All Nations Cannabis on Wednesday celebrated a soft opening in the village of Shxwhá:y as the first “farm-gate” cannabis retail store in the Lower Mainland.
It is unique as a cannabis retail store located on Indigenous land with a 30,000 square foot licensed production facility just down the road.
“It’s a huge achievement and a momentous day,” said All Nations CEO Darwin Douglas.
All Nations Cannabis can now legally distribute its cannabis products under All Nations Mestiyexw Holdings, a holding company, as a partner of Shxwhá:y Village (Skway First Nation), resulting from a provincial licensing agreement entered into directly with the First Nation on a “government for government”.
“The work we’re doing here to create a business and an economic base,” said Douglas, residents of Shxwhá:y and other Indigenous communities, friends, staff and to those who have worked with them to get here.
“It really complements the business model we set out for ourselves.”
All Nations Cannabis, at 9433 Schweyey Road, had its license approved in July 2022 under Section 119 of the BC Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. It is one of six Aboriginal-led licenses in the province.
“There are a lot of people who made it happen. It took a lot of work for them,” said Shxwhá:y village councilor Michelle Roberts.
Patience was the key.
“Even though three years seems like a long time, what they’ve accomplished in those three years is incredible. We are here today to celebrate that. We are really proud of Shxwhá:y Village and All Nations for all their encouragement.
All Nations licensed production facility, FN Canna Cultivation and Production, is a sister company, located less than a minute away on Schwehey Road near Chilliwack, producing varieties such as ‘Peanut Butter Breath’ or ‘Modified Grapes as well as “Mac Daddy” and “Stólō Haze”.
Shxwhá:y leader Robert Gladstone said last summer that their Herculean effort to obtain a Section 119 license was all about participating in the cannabis economy and creating “hope” for his community. , future generations and others.
He called it “reconciliation in action”.
Shortly after cannabis was legalized, they tried to control their own destiny by finding a way to participate in the emerging economy “on a nation-to-nation basis,” Gladstone told The Progress in 2020. He doesn’t there were only four people working. in the Shxwha:y community back then, but now there are more than 20 between the establishment and the store.
Section 119 app Shxwha:y used the Williams Lake model, on the heels of cannabis retail stores opening on reservations under the nation’s laws to begin with , having enacted cannabis laws through land codes.
The province launched a farm-gate program in 2022 with the idea of giving cannabis producers in British Columbia who have Health Canada authorization, such as Shxwha:y Village, the opportunity to sell their products from of “on-farm” stores located or near a production site, as well as direct delivery options for small producers.
“These programs support the government’s commitment to developing a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy in British Columbia, inclusive of rural and Indigenous communities, while prioritizing health and safety,” said the provincial press release.
All Nations Cannabis officials say there are plans to open more stores in British Columbia and Canada.
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