Nations Cannabis and the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers have formalized their alliance with the signing of a memorandum of understanding. (Photo submitted)

Northern Indigenous cannabis cultivation facility to supply over 60 private B.C. stores

Construction to soon resume on Nations Cannabis in Burns Lake

An emerging Indigenous cannabis cultivation company in Burns Lake will be supplying its product to 65 private B.C. retail stores, marking one of the first partnerships of its kind in the province.

Nations Cannabis announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with 26 members of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES), according to a joint news release issued Wednesday (July 15).

“It’s exciting that ACCRES wanted to work with us,” said company founder and executive chairman Wesley Sam, noting they are unaware of any such agreement involving other Indigenous cannabis companies.

READ MORE: Growing with the sun: Cannabis companies look to outdoor cultivation

“It’s a great opportunity to have products shipped direct to store front.”

ACCRES interim president Matthew Greenwood said he believes Nations Cannabis will become the premier and earliest Indigenous cannabis producer in B.C.

“They have a product that will allow our retailers to differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace,” Greenwood said in a statement.

“Furthermore, partnering with a company that gives an authentic voice to Indigenous peoples is an important aspect of this collaboration and will be exciting for consumers.”

READ MORE: B.C. Interior First Nation eyes own cannabis operation for economic, medicinal benefit

Construction on the facility is nearly 70 per cent completed and located about five minutes outside of the city at the former Burns Lake Specialty Wood building, formerly owned by the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation.

Sam said they hope to resume work within the month, after being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have about three months of construction left, and then hopefully final approval from the federal government,” he said. “Once the facility is completed Health Canada will come in and inspect and give us the okay to grow two crops and a license.”

The indoor facility is anticipated to produce six tonnes of cannabis annually in phase one through its five grow rooms, which will each have three tiers and 2,000 square feet of space.

READ MORE: Cannabis retailers call for change in B.C.’s legal sales regime

It is supported by the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation which is co-owned by six local First Nations including Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band), Lake Babine Nation, Skin Tyee Band, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Band and Wet’suwet’en First Nation.

“As investors in the Nations’ project, we believe that the agreement with ACCRES represents real Indigenous economic reconciliation and participation in the cannabis industry,” noted Chief Dan George, of the Burns Lake Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation).

The band provided $1.5 million to support the development of the facility.

READ MORE: Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

The projected value of the agreement is $28 million in the first year, and $96 million by year three.

Before pursuing the cannabis industry, Sam was a former Band Councillor and Chief of Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation for nearly two decades.

He said the facility will provide up to 60 jobs in phase one – a much-needed economic boost due to adverse impacts by the pine beetle outbreak and downturn in forestry.

“We hope to expand like any other cannabis company as the years go on. We could either do an expansion on that property and or other facilities throughout B.C.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinesscannabisFirst Nations

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

Just Posted

Motorcycle-SUV collision on Moffat Bridge sends at least one to hospital

Traffic along the Moffat Bridge, which links West Quesnel and Quesnel, was stopped for an hour

Fun Millburn Lake poker paddle Aug. 22 aims at creating flood awareness

The first boat is set to depart at 11 a.m. with the last boat out at 2:30 p.m.

Quesnel Elks Lodge return to fundraising with upcoming garage sale

The sale will take place at the lodge on Aug. 22, with COVID-19 measures in place

LETTERS: Gold pan hijacking my first complaint on city change in over 80 years

I came to Quesnel in 1938 so have been here a while and have seen many changes

Quesnel Technics Gymnastics look to stick COVID-19 landing

The club is back, with new procedures and funding to help fight the spread of COVID-19

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Most Read