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.

 

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

Paddle down the Hope Slough in a kayak or canoe

Learn about the importance of a local waterway, discuss solutions, and enjoy a bbq lunch at the end

Harrison Festival releases 2019 line up

The 41st annual Harrison Festival of the Arts will be held from July 12 to 21

Expanded youth recreation program for Chilliwack aimed at preventing high-risk behaviour

Youth the fastest-growing demographic in Chilliwack, so funding geared to after-school activities

Chilliwack’s Heritage Park hosts cutting horse show

Organizers say cutting horse shows were once a Fraser Valley staple, and they hope for a revival.

Australian author reacts to Chilliwack school trustee’s ‘book banning’ statements

John Marsden responds to ‘horror and outrage’ from adults about mildly sexual thoughts in his novel

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Most Read