Proposition 401 passes

With the passage of Proposition 401, Bayacan, LLC, can move forward with cultivating cannabis in two former NatureSweet greenhouses in Bonita.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The Graham County Elections Department has released its initial election results and Proposition 401 has passed. 

It may be on the other side of the mountain but it is still Graham County and one would have to be living under a rock not to know about the major countywide proposition. According to initial election results, the proposition passed by a vote of nearly 54% to about 46% with initial votes at 5,751 for and 4,863 against out of 10,614 votes cast. A total of 5,982 votes were cast early and 3,474 on election day and 1,158 “late votes”.

The proposition affirms a Graham County Board of Supervisors vote to change zoning to allow the cultivation of medical-grade cannabis at two greenhouses at the NatureSweet facility in Bonita. During a historic BOS meeting on June 21, 2021, the supervisors approved a zoning request change from Bayacan, LLC, to rezone two greenhouses at NatureSweet’s facility in Bonita to allow for cannabis cultivation by a 2-1 vote, with Chairman Danny Smith – whose district encompasses the area in question – casting the lone opposing vote. The rezoning changes the area from General Land Use Certification to Unlimited Manufacturing.

The approval from the BOS prompted a group called “Respect The Will Of The People: Graham County Voters & The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance Encourages A No Vote On Massive Marijuana Expansion In Our Area,” to seek signatures for a referendum on a decision by the Graham County Board of Supervisors (BOS) to rezone greenhouses at the NatureSweet site in Bonita to allow for the cultivation of cannabis. The group beat an Aug. 5, 2021, deadline and turned in 2,288 signatures, according to Graham County Elections Director, Hannah Duderstadt.

With the vote, the issue is seemingly settled and Bayacan is free to move forward with its cultivation plans.