First nations in Canada and the future marijuana industry

Published Mar 10, 2019 12:35 p.m. ET

The largest shareholder in Canada’s private cannabis industry is the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The economic opportunities in the retail side of the emerging cannabis industry appeared lucrative to the Manitoba First Nations. Marijuana is not new to the community. Cannabis has been flourishing in the black market for many generations. This type of business does not benefit the community or the government. Legalization on October 17th, 2018 allowed for legal business and employment. The social benefit of hiring 16 employees from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation has been amazing for the community. A few years ago, the investment of 3 million dollars has mushroomed to 50 million dollars today.

Who are the First Nations in Canada? There are 634 First Nations in Canada. They are the original people of this land called Canada. The term aboriginal is also a name of First Nation people. The Inuit or Metis are not included in the definition. First Nations in Canada is a general group name.

Alderville Ontario is nestled between Toronto and Ottawa with a population of about 300 people has been home to the Ojibway people since the 1830s. The dispensary in this little town opened for business in 2017. Business has been increasing daily.

The Canadian Constitution Act of 1982 recognizes the rights of indigenous persons and allows them to sell marijuana through indigenous retail stores.

That being said, the opening of First Nations Cannabis Retailers in Alderville has flourished. The economy of the community has lifted and so has the communities’ spirits. The employment of indigenous people in the stores has had a positive effect on the community.

Some of the retailers in this community-focused town, like Mukwa Botanical has been developed by indigenous people for indigenous people. This is to ensure that the portions of the profits from the business are returned to benefit the community. Mukwa Botanical products include rechargeable vape pens, tinctures, and essential oils. The establishment is adding organic edibles to the product line.

The Sacred Seed is a garden supply and seed supplier that carries seeds from all over the world. All the products are purchased directly from reputable suppliers. All the products are sold for legal and safe use. Any purchase of cannabis seeds requires the legal identification required by Canadian law to purchase cannabis seeds. This store intends to educate and inform the customer on their legal purchase.

The phrase “weed is the healing of the nation” may be more plausible than you think.  Marijuana is quickly becoming a drug with many healing properties. Since legalization in Canada,the prospects of the marijuana business are never-ending. The future both medically and recreationally has, as mentioned above, put communities, especially First Nation communities on the map. The industry has employed a large bulk of people throughout all aspects of the plant's distribution.

Well, I'm off to take a two-hour drive east of Toronto to Alderville’s First Nation Community, “Green Mile.” The nearly one dozen cannabis stores will surely have the strains and products I am looking for. With the different products including flower, concentrates and infused edibles this is the stop to make when supporting our First Nations in Canada, this sounds like a good idea to me. See you there, enjoy!

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