Williams Lake Chief and Council are thrilled with having entered into a government-to-government agreement with B.C. under section 119 of the Cannabis Control Licensing Act. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Williams Lake First Nation can now legally sell cannabis in B.C.

On Monday, Sept. 21. the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) and province announced they entered into the first of its kind government-to-government agreement under section 119 of the Cannabis Control Licensing Act.

“We’ve been negotiating the agreement since pre-legalization,” Sellars said. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, that we’ve finally done, that we can move forward — it’s exciting times for Williams Lake First Nation.”

In a news release, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said the agreement supports WLFN’s interests in operating retail cannabis stores that offer a diverse selection of cannabis products from licenced producers across Canada, as well as a cannabis production operation that offers farm-gate sales of its own craft cannabis products.

Through the agreement, the WLFN will drop its partnership agreement with cannabis dispensary Indigenous Bloom on 1145 South Mackenzie Ave. in Williams Lake. The store will be closed for the next two to three weeks, and will reopen as Unity Cannabis. The facility, on reserve land, had been operating under WLFN cannabis law and was not legal in the eyes of the B.C. government.

In June, WLFN also started construction on a new farm-to-gate cannabis cultivation facility next door to its retail outlet. Sellars said they needed a retail licence in order to sell from the cultivation facility.

Read More: B.C. Interior First Nation breaks ground on farm-to-gate cannabis cultivation facility

While upholding the public health and safety principles of federal and provincial cannabis laws, the agreement will allow WLFN to open up to eight Unity Cannabis stores throughout the province.

Next door, construction continues on B.C.’s first farm-to-gate cannabis cultivation facility —Sugar Cane Cannabis.

Sellars said it remains on schedule, and they anticipate to be growing cannabis by this time next year. The agreement provides shelf space with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, and the potential for the branch to purchase their product so long there is demand.

“There’s a ton of benefit in the agreement to the WLFN but there’s also a ton of benefit for the provincial government and how they’re handling cannabis with First Nations communities because right now you can see a number of them operating under the jurisdiction of their sovereignty to sovereignty model – their own laws,” Sellars said.

Read More: B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Both Sellars and B.C. Attorney General David Eby agree that the new agreement will create jobs, boost the local economy and help diversity the province’s cannabis industry.

“One of the visions of what we want to do is we want to create substance abuse trauma treatment programming within our community developed by our community,” Sellars said.


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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

cannabisFirst NationsWilliams Lake

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

Just Posted

North District RCMP are urging the public’s assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Weutz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area east of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
RCMP release more information on missing Prince George woman

Amber Weutz, 25, was last seen in the Canim and Mahood Lake area on Oct. 18

Courtney Driver is the new president of the 100 Mile Performing Arts Society. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile Performing Arts Society elects new president

Courtney Driver wants to provide more diverse events

Erica Henderson the supervisor of early year services and programs at South Cariboo Early Years Centre and others were giving out Halloween Family Activity Kits the week leading up to Halloween. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Halloween activity kits offered to kids at home

South Cariboo Early Years Centre is finding ways to bring activities into children’s homes.

Juliette Leclair enjoys a day of skiing with the 100 Mile Nordics.
Nordic skiers practice skills in early snowfall

Thirteen young skiers got out on their skis at 100 Mile Junior.

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Most Read