Outcome of pot plebiscite lights up prospect of cannabis store in Manitoba town

NIVERVILLE, Man. — A Manitoba town has voted by a narrow margin in favour of allowing a retail cannabis shop in their community.

Residents of Niverville, south of Winnipeg, cast ballots Tuesday in a plebiscite on the question of whether a pot store should be allowed to open there. 

A total of 863 people opted to let Canna Cabana — a retailer selected through a provincial process — set up shop.

Another 719 voted against the move.

Town council decided to hold the plebiscite in August, when it initially denied the conditional use permits the business needed to open.

Residents on both sides of the issue put up signs around the community, with some urging people to say no to drugs.

The question on the plebiscite ballot asked: "Should licensed retail cannabis stores be allowed in Niverville?"

Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck had previously told CTV News that if the majority said no, Canna Cabana would not be able to open.

A vote in favour would allow it to reapply for a permit.

Community groups in Niverville had been working to drum up support in the lead-up to the plebiscite.

"I do not want a drug store to be coming here to Niverville," said resident Judi Funk.

"I'm in health care and I see the results of drug use."

Another resident, Scott McCorrister, took the opposite viewpoint.

"I know people say that it’s going to bring drugs, it’s going to promote drug use, I don’t agree with that," he said.

"In my opinion it's just another business." (CTV Winnipeg)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2019.

The Canadian Press