Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod said his Council supports the individual from his community who succeeded in applying for an Ontario REC retail license. However, the Chief said, “We don’t necessarily support the idea that the province has jurisdiction in our First Nation lands. we’re still pursuing the avenue of working out a bilateral agreement with the federal government so we can maintain jurisdiction and the creation of laws in our land.”
- Tim Barnhart, owner of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory dispensary Legacy 420, said he has no use for the Ontario government’s REC licensing appeal to First Nations. He said, “My dream has always been self-efficiency for our people, and I see this [Mohawk cannabis industry] as a mechanism to get many out of poverty, without the aid of the government.”
- In Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia, three dispensaries have opened. Saying cannabis is subject to treaty rights regarding medicinal plants, Sma’knis Trading owner Michael Stephens said, “I feel like [Indigenous communities] were intentionally dismissed, and left … out of that whole [legalization] process.”
The government’s new cannabis-possession records suspensions won’t likely be much use in the North, say lawyers and academics. Though the records-suspensions themselves have no cost, they require hundreds of dollars in spending to order criminal records and other information, and Northern people are less likely to be able to afford that. As well, Northerners convicted of cannabis possession are usually also convicted of other crimes at the same time.
After members of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation protested locally owned cannabis company Wiisag was licensed without proper consultation, the community’s Band Council asked Health Canada to withhold a license for the facility. Health Canada agreed. Chief Greg Nadjiwon and his Council stressed they were not opposed to cannabis, but were opposed to Wiisag “for environmental and other reasons.”
Owen Sound Sun Times