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

Artist Mike Dangeli gives his son, Hayetsk, a shoulder ride on Oct. 4. (Mike Dangeli/Instagram)
Skeena Voices | ‘The culture and the art saved my life’

Terrace-based artist shares stories of the journey that brought him here

The City of Terrace now requires masks at all indoor City facilities. (File Photo)
Masks to be required in all indoor City of Terrace facilities

Requirement comes as B.C. sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of new COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw the highest number of new cases in the Health Authority since the start of the pandemic

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news channels were full of images of Mi’kmaq fishermen in New Brunswick battling federal fisheries officers over seized lobster traps. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Nisga’a Lisims Government calls on Prime Minister to act in N.S. fisheries dispute

NLG President: “We are shocked by what’s happening in Nova Scotia”

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Most Read