GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – George County will still not allow medical marijuana businesses after voters signaled their disinterest Tuesday.

Unofficial results show 52.3% of voters said no to allowing growing facilities, 52.1% were against cannabis sales in the county.

George County supervisors previously voted to opt out of the state law signed in February allowing medical marijuana businesses to start forming in the state.

Medical marijuana legalization was on the ballot statewide in 2020 with a pair of initiatives that differed in what patients would qualify to be prescribed cannabis. It passed with 68% of voters in favor of either initiative before the Mississippi Supreme Court struck it down.

52.77% of people voting on the issue in George County were in favor of either initiative presented in 2020. Board of Supervisors President Frankie Massey said before the election Monday he thought the measures then were confusing. He wrote the ballot questions presented Tuesday to be as simple and straightforward as possible, he said.

Three separate questions asked whether voters were in favor of the cultivation, sale, and transportation of medical marijuana. The votes were nonbinding and would not have reversed policy on its own. Massey said he would have asked the board of supervisors to consider opting back in if the election results were in favor of it.

As of Sept. 12, 18 counties (out of 82) and 28 cities were opted out, according to Department of Revenue data. In the Gulf Coast and Pine Belt regions, D’Iberville, Pass Christian and Picayune were the only cities to opt out along with George, Jones and Pearl River counties.

Lucedale aldermen voted 4-1 in August to opt back in. It came against the recommendation of the city’s zoning and planning commission. Members voted 3-2 against the ordinance earlier in the evening.

A local investor told the board in September that the ordinance’s 1,500 feet buffer zone from any residential areas, church, school or childcare facility made it impossible to establish a medical marijuana business in city limits.

Anyone in the state with a medical marijuana card, including George County residents, can still purchase products online or from a county allowing sales. The law allows medical marijuana to be prescribed to treat 20 different conditions.

Alcohol sales also remain barred in George County. Lucedale adopted an ordinance permitting retail beer and wine sales in 2016.