Vik Sachdeva, owner of Seed & Stone cannabis store on Lickman Road in Chilliwack which opened in April 2020, amidst the chaos of the global pandemic. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Vik Sachdeva, owner of Seed & Stone cannabis store on Lickman Road in Chilliwack which opened in April 2020, amidst the chaos of the global pandemic. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

TOP STORIES 2020: Retail landscape for legal cannabis stores in Chilliwack kept shifting

The provincial government declared cannabis retail business an essential service in March 2020

Chilliwack’s retail landscape for legal cannabis kept shifting in 2020.

The Chilliwack area was already unique, with the first fully licensed store in the region opening in 2019 on First Nations land. Several licensed stores opened subsequently within City of Chilliwack boundaries under a specially created cannabis retail zone, C9.

The provincial government declared cannabis retail an essential service in March 2020, just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prospect of opening a new cannabis business in Chilliwack during a global pandemic was described as “interesting” by Cannabis Connection’s retail operations manager, Tina Cox.

RELATED: Rolling with store openings through the pandemic

Cannabis Connection was among the first to open legally and licensed in the Chilliwack area but not the technically the first. It was the first within City of Chilliwack boundaries.

The first federally licensed non-medical cannabis store was The Kure, on Skwah First Nation.

RELATED: First licensed store to open was The Kure

The store on Dyke Road celebrated its first year of operations in June, having been the first licensed store to open in the vast area between Vancouver and Kamloops in June 2019, but it was not subject to City of Chilliwack business licensing.

The list of licensed cannabis stores to date include:

The Kure (Dyke Road), Cannabis Connection (Industrial Way), Seed & Stone (Lickman Road), This is Cannabis (Vedder Road), Dutch Brothers Buds (Vedder Road), and BC Cannabis Store (Luckakuck Way).

Also emerging from Stólo territory in Chilliwack was a trend toward grey-area stores operating on Indigenous land, under land codes enacted by those individual nations. It turns out it is part of a sustained effort by a collective of First Nations to negotiate a retail licensing agreement directly with the provincial government and the Cannabis Secretariat.

Several local stores run by local First Nations went from “Indigenous Bloom” branding to “All Nations” branding on reserves around Chilliwack.

A consortium, All Nations Chiefs, has been trying to negotiate an in with the provincial government on the cannabis distribution question for months, with an application pending as a licensed producer at the same time.

Darwin Douglas, All Nations Cannabis CEO, and Cheam First Nation councillor said the goal is creating a path towards self-determination through legal cannabis.

“Today, we remain on the fringes of an industry that we should have the equal right to participate in,” Douglas said. “Our rights are not recognized on our reserves, segregating our communities from creating a livelihood and fighting poverty.”

“All Nations Chiefs” comprises leaders from Shxwa:y First Nation, Cheam First Nation, Soowahlie First Nation and Sq’ewlets First Nation.

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act does allow the province to enter “government-to-government agreements” with First Nations to address “unique, community-specific interests” regarding cannabis, a statement from a provincial spokesperson said, citing the province’s first cannabis agreement with the Williams Lake First Nation in September.

“The Province is actively working with a number of Nations that have expressed interest in similar agreements,” a media spokesperson said.

While the provincial government opted not to participate in a recent roundtable discussion, Indigenous leaders involved with All Nations pledge to continue that licensing battle.

RELATED: Cannabis retail landscape unique in Chilliwack

RELATED: One more C9 application in the queue

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.


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

Just Posted

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Glenwood Seniors Community is the second long term care home in Agassiz to have a COVID-19 outbreak. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz

The long term care home is the second of Agassiz’s three facilities to have an outbreak

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

The section of Princess Avenue from Young Road to Nowell Street, seen here on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, will be converted to one-way traffic to help increase parking in the area. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack council opts to convert downtown street to one-way traffic to create parking

Council voted to start with Princess Avenue, holding off on converting Victoria Avenue until later

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Chilliwack

Food-delivery company is starting with 60 local restaurants

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read