QUESNEL, BC (April 20, 2022 Press Release) – Lhtako Dené Nation and the Province of B.C. have reached an agreement supporting Lhtako’s participation in the cannabis economy, including opening a cannabis retail store this spring.
“This agreement demonstrates the Province’s commitment to supporting Indigenous participation in B.C.’s regulated cannabis market,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “It respects and advances Lhtako’s vision for participation in the cannabis industry and furthers the diversity and strength of B.C.’s cannabis sector.”
Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act authorizes the Province to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations, providing a mechanism for meaningful government-to-government dialogue and supporting collaboration that enables both governments to achieve individual and shared goals.
This government-to-government agreement enables variation from the provincial cannabis framework for Lhtako’s cannabis ventures and includes the option for Lhtako to operate in both production and retail sales. It provides flexibility for Lhtako to pursue their vision for participation in B.C.’s cannabis industry while aligning with the provincial regulatory regime.
“The Section 119 agreement gives us the freedom and flexibility to enter the cannabis economy on a level playing field with the rest of the province and gives us the opportunity to be competitive and successful. It completely shows that government-to-government agreements can be successful and real benefits can be achieved for both parties,” said Chief Clifford Lebrun, Lhtako Dené Nation. “It is our vision to open later this spring with a full staff, providing six to eight jobs for community members and non-community members alike and serving the general public in the Quesnel area. This agreement also supports a very important revenue stream for the Nation. Although not a huge revenue stream, it provides a steady flow that adds to others that will lead to complete self-sufficiency and the freedom to plan our own journey forward.”
Agreements made pursuant to Section 119 reflect the Province’s commitment to advancing reconciliation by supporting new economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities.
To further grow a strong and diverse cannabis industry in B.C., in January 2022, the Province launched the B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program. Programs for direct delivery and farm-gate sales are in development and will launch later this year.
To see the text of the Lhtako-B.C. Section 119 agreement, visit: https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/oic/oic_cur/0216_2022
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