The Wahgoshig First Nation in Ontario. Photo: P199
Business | Canada

First Nations are getting into the marijuana game amid uncertainty in U.S.

While only a handful of tribes in the United States have successfully entered the marijuana industry, the picture looks a lot different just across the border.

According to The Cannabis Business Times, 13 First Nations have joined a medical marijuana collective. The Pontiac Group, a Native-owned development firm that helped facilitate the partnership, expects more in the future.

“It’s very rare that First Nations get on board with new things as they come into Canada,” managing partner Jacob Taylor, a citizen of the Curve Lake First Nation, told The Times. “And it’s even rarer that they come on board as a collective.”

The partnership started with the Wahgoshig First Nation in Ontario in November 2015, CBC News reported at the time. A $20 million facility on the reserve is expected to generate up to 100 jobs in the coming years.

In the U.S., only a handful of tribes in Washington have grown marijuana while most others have faced legal problems. A Department of Justice policy that was issued during the Obama administration has not prevented federal or state raids or the plant.

In Canada, medical marijuana is legal and producers can secure licenses from Health Canada. The provider for the Wahgoshig operation is DelShen Therapeutics.

Read More on the Story:
Banding Together (Cannabis Business Times 7/25)
Former Seminole Chief Leads Partnership to Boost Legal Marijuana Industry on Tribal Lands (WUSF 8/1)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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