A first of its kind in B.C., the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) and the Province of British Columbia have entered into a government-to-government agreement under section 119 of the Cannabis Control Licensing Act.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that by working together we can find solutions that allow the Province and Indigenous Nations to achieve our individual and shared goals with respect to cannabis legalization,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
"WLFN is excited to conclude this historic agreement with the Province of British Columbia,” said Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars. ”We have expressed a desire to have a government-to-government arrangement around our participation in the cannabis industry for several years and it is gratifying to finally formalize this agreement. We're particularly excited about being the leaders in farm-gate cannabis sales. The WLFN craft cannabis farm-gate facility that is currently under construction will create jobs and stimulate tourism and represents a significant boost for the region's economy.”
The agreement supports WLFN’s interests in operating retail cannabis stores that offer a diverse selection of cannabis products from licensed producers across Canada, as well as a cannabis production operation that offers farm-gate sales of its own craft cannabis products.
The agreement-making provision was included in provincial cannabis legislation to allow some flexibility within the provincial framework to address an Indigenous government’s community-specific interests. Entering an agreement under section 119 allows Williams Lake First Nation to pursue its vision for participation in the cannabis industry, while upholding the public health and safety principles of federal and provincial cannabis laws.
“This is another important step in supporting economic development across B.C.,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “The new agreement will create jobs, boost the local economy and help diversify BC’s cannabis industry.”
The Province supports the growth of a diverse, robust legal cannabis industry, inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities.