Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001. The country will legalize recreational marijuana on July 1, 2018 becoming the world's largest industrial nation to do so.
Marijuana product standards and grower licenses will be issued by the federal government, and distribution and retail sales will be regulated by the provinces.
Legalized marijuana is expected to become a multibillion-dollar industry, and many First Nations are looking for ways to profit from it. They are seeking business opportunities and job creation for their people.
"It means economic opportunities for First Nations people ... and so many First Nations across this country are in such dire straits," said Allan Adam, Chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
Examples of cannabis business positioning by First Nations prior to federal legalization:
The Siksika Nation has applied for a medical marijuana license and plans to spend $14.2M to build a 25,000 sq-ft processing facility.
Penticton Indian Band
The Penticton Indian Band plans to cultivate medical marijuana on their reserve to help serve First Nation peoples.
Indigenous Roots is a medicinal cannabis company founded as a joint venture between Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and the Cronos Group, a licensed marijuana grower. It is headquartered outside Kelowna. The company works with First Nations to help them set up licensed facilities, help their business operations, and supply First Nations members with medical cannabis.
Opaskwayak Cree Nation
Sep 8, 2017 - The Opaskwayak Cree Nation purchased $3 million of shares in National Access Cannabis. The medical healthcare company operates 10 clinics across Canada.
Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, and Peguis First Nation
Dec 15, 2017 - These 3 First Nations along with National Access Cannabis are starting a new network recreational cannabis stores to be located on First Nation land. News article
Ontario's Cannabis Act for July 1, 2018
Ontario passed their Cannabis Act on Dec 14, 2017. It becomes effective July 1, 2018. The Act establishes the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation as a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The corporation will be the sole retail outlet for marijuana sales in Ontario.
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
Legacy 420 (Medical Marijuana Dispensary)
346 York Rd
Shannonville, ON K0K 3A0, Canada 613-707-4538
Founded in 2014 by Mohawk Tim Barnhart
Wahgoshig First Nation
In 2015 Wahgoshig First Nation entered a joint venture with DelShen Therapeutics, an Ontario company, to grow high quality, pharmaceutical grade medical marijuana.
[Source: Press Release 2015]
Wahnapitae First Nation
First Nation Medicinal (Marijuana Dispensary)
287 Loonway Rd
Capreol, ON CA
Opened September 9, 2017
National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (NIMCA)
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
NIMCA is a national Indigenous organization promoting an Indigenous cannabis industry. It plans to to set up branches in every province of Canada. NIMCA was launched March 24, 2017
New Crown Corporation
New Brunswick government announced Sep 15, 2017 it has formed a new Crown corporation to oversee the production and sales of recreational marijuana.
Tobique First Nation
Tobique Narrows, New Brunswick E7H3Y1
Opened in July 2017
RCMP raid Oct 5, 2017
Kahnawake Mohawk Territory
In March 2017 the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake announced seeking information about the medical cannabis industry and subsequently organized a Cannabis Working Group. Later that year the Council announced a moratorium on all production, distribution and sales of cannabis in their territory. They will write and pass their own cannabis legislation before lifting the moratorium.