The BC government has entered into their fifth agreement supporting a First Nation with their aspirations in the cannabis industry.
The Section 119 agreement with the Kispiox First Nation was announced on July 15 and is intended to support the community’s interests in pursuing cannabis ventures. The small community is located about 5 hours northwest of Prince George by vehicle.
“This agreement is another significant achievement for legalized cannabis in B.C.,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “It shows that by working together in respect and partnership, both Kispiox and B.C. governments can achieve our goals for regulated cannabis.”
Kispiox Band’s intentions in the cannabis industry are not yet stated publicly, be it retail, production, or both. The BC government manages retail licensing while the federal government manages cannabis production.
Previous Section 119 agreements with First Nations in BC have been signed with Williams Lake First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Snuneymuxw First Nation, and Lhtako Dené Nation.
Williams Lake First Nation and Cowichan Tribes both operate cannabis production and retail locations. Snuneymuxw First Nation operates a retail store that opened earlier this year, while Lhtako Dené Nation plan on operating both retail and production.
The BC government has been utilizing Section 119 agreements—named after the section of the province’s cannabis regulations that authorizes such agreements—to encourage participation within provincial and federal cannabis rules.
The province has also established a program called BC Indigenous Cannabis Product (BCICP) intended to highlight BC cannabis products from First Nations producers.
“The Kispiox Band Council is committed to bringing new economic development and employment opportunities to the Gitxsan Territories and view this government-to-government Section 119 agreement with the Province as a positive step in the right direction,” said Chief Councillor Cameron Stevens in a press release. “We anticipate this venture being the first of many positive opportunities our council has been working toward during this term of office.”
Representatives from the Kispiox Band Council were not available for further comment as of press time.