At a time when the Federal Government is doing very little to support First Nations needs and the Prime Minister is doing little more than offering lip service to Residual School issues and demand for information to help settle families of lost children. The BC Provincial Government offering deals that will help support First Nation claims to the land. The last is dealing with cannabis which is become a large growth industry.
From the BC Government
Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Province have reached an agreement that supports Snuneymuxw’s interests in the cannabis economy, including establishing a cannabis retail store that is expected to open in January 2022.
“This agreement is an important milestone,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “It advances the economic objectives of Snuneymuxw First Nation, and it demonstrates the benefits of the Province and First Nations working together to develop a vibrant cannabis sector in B.C.”
Under Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, the Province is authorized to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations with respect to cannabis, including the ability to operate in cannabis production and retail. While Snuneymuxw is focused on operating retail cannabis stores that offer a diverse selection of products from licensed producers across Canada, the government-to-government agreement provides flexibility for Snuneymuxw to pursue its vision for greater participation in the cannabis industry, while maintaining alignment with the provincial regulatory regime.
“The Section 119 agreement is significant for Snuneymuxw,” said Chief Mike Wyse, Snuneymuxw First Nation. “The Section 119 agreement creates career opportunities for our people, income for our government and, most importantly, an opportunity to further advance economic reconciliation and develop our economy as a Nation.”
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, said: “Snuneymuxw First Nation and B.C. continue to strengthen our relationship and find new and innovative ways to work together. This cannabis agreement is an example of that. Opening its new cannabis retail store is a credit to Snuneymuxw’s Chief and Council working hard for new economic models.”
To further the growth of the cannabis industry in B.C., development of programs for direct delivery and farm-gate sales is underway and will launch in 2022.
Cowichan Tribes and the Province of British Columbia have made permanent a government-to-government agreement that supports participation in cannabis production and sale.
This sustains and builds on the temporary agreement from December 2020.
“This agreement reflects our commitment to reconciliation, economic self-determination for Indigenous Peoples and their full participation in the cannabis sector,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Cowichan Tribes and B.C. have worked collaboratively to reach an agreement that allows both governments to advance our objectives for cannabis legalization.”
The agreement confirms Cowichan Tribes’ ability to continue operating in cannabis production and retail and enables some variation from the provincewide cannabis framework. This flexibility supports Cowichan Tribes’ unique interests respecting its cannabis operations, while maintaining alignment with the provincial regulatory regime.
“Cowichan Tribes has been in negotiations with the Province for the past two years to reach an agreement that will support new economic development opportunities and advance our interests in jurisdiction and right to self-determination,” said Squtxulenuhw, Chief William (Chip) Seymour, Cowichan Tribes. “This agreement is a positive move forward and reflects the commitment of both our Nation and the Province to continue working government to government to advance our respective priorities and objectives in the cannabis sector. Further discussions are needed, but we are very positive we will achieve our collective goals.”
Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act authorizes the Province to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations with respect to cannabis. It provides a mechanism for meaningful government-to-government dialogue and supports collaboration that allows for both governments to achieve individual and shared goals.
“The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is a major shift in provincial-Indigenous relations in B.C.,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Entering innovative arrangements like this cannabis agreement is one example of how the Province and First Nations are working together to support growth of the industry and create new, innovative economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.”
The Province remains committed to supporting growth of the cannabis industry. This includes development of programs for direct delivery and farm-gate sales that will launch in 2022.
Snuneymuxw First Nation order-in-council (OIC):
Information on cannabis regulation in B.C.: https://www.cannabis.gov.bc.ca