The Indigenous Bloom store in Chilliwack was open and operating Oct. 17 under a cannabis law passed by Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt First Nation through its land code. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Indigenous Bloom the only dispensary operating in Chilliwack with the dawn of legalization

Ashwell Drive storefront is on Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt First Nation land operating under a new ‘cannabis law’

Indigenous Bloom was doing some brisk retail business on the day that cannabis became legal in Canada.

The Ashwell Drive location on Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt First Nation was the only storefront in the Chilliwack area where pot was being sold.

The Indigenous Bloom store in Chilliwack is operating and licensed under a new cannabis law passed by Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt officials through their land code, according to Darwin Douglas, Cheam First Nation councillor.

READ MORE: Bloom opened before legalization

“I was involved in helping them partner with Indigenous Bloom Corporation, which led to the opening of the cannabis dispensary,” said Douglas, who stressed he doesn’t have a title or role with Indigenous Bloom, and can’t formally speak on their behalf.

What he can provide, Douglas said, is an overview as to what is happening locally since he has been working closely with Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt and Shxwhá:y Village leadership on governance and economic development opportunities.

That includes taking over jurisdiction for cannabis distribution on reserve lands through enacting a cannabis law.

“Cannabis is a business opportunity that many First Nations have decided to become involved in,” said Douglas.

READ MORE: Two dispensaries raided in July

The other dispensary, The Kure, located on Skwah First Nation, shut down last Sunday with the stated intent of re-opening as a government licensed facility in the near future.

The stance being taken locally by some Sto:lo leaders is that pot production, distribution and sales are part of self-determination and self-governance by First Nations, and therefore protected under the Constitution, Douglas said.

Marijuana distribution was technically established as a provincial responsibility but “the Province doesn’t have jurisdiction over First Nations lands,” Douglas said, “which is why some of the First Nations locally have enacted their own cannabis laws.”

The cannabis laws enacted on Sto:lo territory, and regulating the store, will “meet or exceed” federal standards under the Cannabis Act, he said.

“The other thing that’s important is that Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt leaders are actively working with provincial and federal officials to develop a model that works for everybody,” Douglas said.

They and other First Nations leaders been meeting with high-ranking federal and provincial government ministers leading up to legalization this week to further discuss the jurisdiction issues.

“I think both levels of government recognize that it is a unique time, and that First Nations have a unique role to play in this new emerging industry,” Douglas said.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The other dispensary, The Kure, located on Skwah First Nation, shut down temporarily last Sunday with the intent of re-opening as a government licensed facility. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

A 60-unit apartment complex approved near downtown Chilliwack

City councillor noted that density adds to the livability of the downtown

UPDATE: Chilliwack poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Two men charged with first-degree murder in 2019 Surrey case

Two men charged with first-degree murder in killing of Andrew Baldwin, 30, in Surrey

Chilliwack average rents up, vacancy rate down

Local situation in the rental market mirrors the national picture according to CMHC

Science World brings vibrant, visual demos to Chilliwack schools this week

Science World’s On The Road team will be visiting nine schools in the Chilliwack School District

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Woman guilty of dangerous driving crash that left Saanich girl, then 11, unresponsive

Nikirk guilty of one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read