Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Province have reached an agreement that supports Snuneymuxw’s interests in the cannabis economy, including establishing a cannabis retail store that is expected to open in January 2022.

“This agreement is an important milestone,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “It advances the economic objectives of Snuneymuxw First Nation, and it demonstrates the benefits of the Province and First Nations working together to develop a vibrant cannabis sector in B.C.”

Under Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, the Province is authorized to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations with respect to cannabis, including the ability to operate in cannabis production and retail. While Snuneymuxw is focused on operating retail cannabis stores that offer a diverse selection of products from licensed producers across Canada, the government-to-government agreement provides flexibility for Snuneymuxw to pursue its vision for greater participation in the cannabis industry, while maintaining alignment with the provincial regulatory regime.

“The Section 119 agreement is significant for Snuneymuxw,” said Chief Mike Wyse, Snuneymuxw First Nation. “The Section 119 agreement creates career opportunities for our people, income for our government and, most importantly, an opportunity to further advance economic reconciliation and develop our economy as a Nation.”

Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, said: “Snuneymuxw First Nation and B.C. continue to strengthen our relationship and find new and innovative ways to work together. This cannabis agreement is an example of that. Opening its new cannabis retail store is a credit to Snuneymuxw’s Chief and Council working hard for new economic models.”

To further the growth of the cannabis industry in B.C., development of programs for direct delivery and farm-gate sales is underway and will launch in 2022.