Cowichan Tribes enter into cannabis retail and production agreement with B.C. government

This is not the first such agreement between the province and an Indigenous group

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The Government of British Columbia announced this week that it has entered a one-year agreement with Cowichan Tribes under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

According to a December 21 news release from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the agreement enables Cowichan Tribes to continue to continue its existing licensed retail cannabis operations and participate in licensed cannabis production.

“During the period of the agreement, the Province will undertake further policy work to ensure the provincial regulatory framework supports continued development of a robust and diverse cannabis industry that is inclusive of Indigenous Nations,” the release stated.

This agreement is unusual in that it allows the Vancouver Island–based First Nation band to operate in both the production and retail sides of the cannabis industry. As the press release notes, “The CCLA generally restricts businesses from operating in both the cannabis production and retail sectors in order to ensure the B.C. retail market is not dominated by a small number of larger producers.”

Cowichan agreement is not the first

This is not the first such agreement between the province and an Indigenous group. As CannCentral previously reported, the B.C. government announced in September that it and the Williams Lake First Nation had entered into a government-to-government agreement under section 119 of the CCLA.

According to a press release issued at the time, the agreement supports WLFN’s interests in operating retail cannabis stores. These stores would “offer a diverse selection of cannabis products from licensed producers across Canada”. The agreement also supports a cannabis production operation that offers farm-gate sales of its own craft cannabis products.

“This is another important step in supporting economic development across B.C.,” Attorney General David Eby said at the time. For example, the AG said, the agreement will create jobs, boost the local economy, and help diversify B.C.’s cannabis industry.

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