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Residents of Niverville have decided to allow retail cannabis stores in their town after holding a vote on the issue. 

This summer, the town’s council asked residents to vote on the question, “Should licensed retail cannabis stores be allowed in Niverville?” The town went to the polls on the question Tuesday. 

The results of the vote were close, with 863 voting “yes” and 719 voting “no,” for a split of 54.6 per cent in favour and 45.4 per cent against.

The issue has been a divisive one for the town, which had a ban on liquor sales less than two decades ago. Signs urging people to vote “yes” or “no” were peppered across Niverville ahead of the vote. 

The issue began at a July 23 town council meeting, where a conditional-use permit for the Calgary-based cannabis retail chain Canna Cabana was rejected in a 3-2 vote. Just under a month later, council voted 3-2 to hold a plebiscite — a binding public vote — to decide whether cannabis retail should be allowed in the town.

Canna Cabana was planning to lease space in 349 Bronstone Drive, which is just a stone’s throw from town hall.

Niverville is located 32 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

Bryan Trottier, who owns the building Canna Cabana was planning to lease, said the space has since been rented out to another business, but he is working with the company to find another option for them. 

“We have to have to see where it leads from here. It’s pretty, pretty cloudy right now,” he said. 

For now, he said he’s glad the matter is settled.

“I don’t expect any tension. I think it was a moment in time and time usually heals all,” he said. 

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