Newfane is the next local town planning to hold a vote on allowing retail cannabis. 

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

WILMINGTON — Following a successful petition, a revote on allowing retail cannabis sales in town is set for May 10.

Town Clerk Therese Lounsbury said by law, the opposition will need more than 116 votes and be in the majority.

“So they have to exceed two-thirds of what the original majority was,” she said Thursday, two days after the Select Board set the date for the revote.

On March 1, residents voted 173-85 by ballot in favor of allowing retail cannabis sales in Wilmington. Charlotte Verry of Wilmington submitted the petition for the revote earlier this month and couldn’t be immediately reached Thursday.

In a letter to the editor of the Deerfield Valley News, Verry said she believes retail cannabis sales downtown “will hurt the culture and safety of our town.”

“Our small town is often seen as a refuge and escape from the challenges of city life, and allowing retail locations to sell marijuana products will irreparably alter the culture of our town,” she wrote, adding that as a mother, she’s also concerned about the safety of families. “Recreational cannabis consumption can lead to dangerous drugged driving on our roads. In addition, when drugs are legally sold, many youth perceive that legal equals safe. And there are numerous studies about the harm that marijuana inflicts on developing minds.”

An informational meeting at the Town Offices and likely Zoom is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 5. The re-vote will occur by ballot on May 10 in the music room in the Old School Community Center, the former Twin Valley High School.

Lounsbury said the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voters can request early mail-in ballots by contacting her office or visiting My Voter Page at mvp.vermont.gov.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

Town Manager Scott Tucker said the town is legally required to host an informational meeting ahead of the vote, like it did for annual Town Meeting when the initial vote occurred.

“The Legislature and governor passed a COVID bill giving all the towns ability to go to Australian ballot, which the Select Board did, same as the previous year,” he said. “So for all of those votes we had an informational meeting ... This is basically the same process. This is just one question.”

Tucker said the Select Board will be hosting the informational meeting, not preparing information or asking anyone to present.

“I would imagine people who have questions or statements would be able to do that,” he said.

Christian Engel, co-owner of Ratu’s Liquor and Market, plans to ask some hemp and cannabis farmers to attend the meeting. Hoping to sell cannabis at their downtown shop, Engel and his wife successfully petitioned for the original vote.

In a statement previously provided to local newspapers, the couple described being “bummed that there will be a revote.”

“We have thousands of dollars invested already in the development of our future business and are so excited for the local growers who also want to partake in this momentous opportunity for not only ourselves, but for our community,” they wrote. “We now have to tell four local tradesmen that we will need to wait on the infrastructure of transforming part of our space to allow for the sale of marijuana sales.”

The couple said residents “voted once in a 2-1 victory, and now we will all come out again and do the same.” Like Verry, the couple also noted they are parents.