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Wahnapitae Chief and Council prohibit cannabis on reserve in wake of pro-cannabis referendum vote

Posted in Cannabis Referendum, Cannabis Regulations, and News

WAHNAPITAE FIRST NATION – Mere hours after the people of Wahnapitae endorsed Indigenous cannabis sales on their territory in a referendum, Chief and Council of Wahnapitae FN published a set of cannabis bylaws on their website that prohibit all cannabis sales on reserve that are not regulated by Health Canada.

The bylaws were created with no consultation with the people of Wahnapitae, the workers and owners of the community’s cannabis dispensaries, and were not discussed at any recent meetings of Chief and Council. The bylaws were passed the day before the referendum at a secret Council meeting and run counter to the vote in the referendum which supported the sale of cannabis and its accessories on the Territory.

The new Bylaws prohibit cannabis sales on the territory, and insist that all cannabis must come through Canada’s LP system, which defacto excludes the vast majority of Indigenous grown and sold cannabis. 

A preliminary analysis of these bylaws was undertaken by Creator’s Choice and is available below and at the following link.

The new Bylaws explicitly ensure the rule of Canadian law on Wahnapitae First Nation via the application of the Cannabis Act, an piece of legislation widely denounced by Indigenous leadership for its total failure to consult with Indigenous people or to take their treaty rights into consideration. Moreover, the Chiefs of Ontario, an organization to which Wahnapitae FN belongs, just recently passed a motion recognizing the right of First Nations to create their own legal regimes outside of and separate from Canada’s Cannabis Act.

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