Six Nations Cannabis Commission issues first production licence under community regulations

| David Brown

The Six Nations Cannabis Commission (SNCC) has issued a cannabis production licence to Bloom Cannabis.

The announcement, made on SNCC’s social media on June 13, is for the first production licence issued under the SNCC’s 

Indigenous Bloom, which operates a chain of cannabis stores operating on First Nations land, applied for a production licence in 2021. The location is across the road from the Six Nations police services office.

SNCC enacted its own cannabis regulations in June 2021 to oversee cannabis cultivation, processing, and retail. In September 2021, they placed a cap of five retailers within the territory. 

A retail sale licence holder is only allowed to possess cannabis products purchased from the SNCC. Sales are limited to those 19 and older and cannot exceed 30 grams of cannabis per person.

“Our community has always been clear that the cannabis industry, producing a product that can be a mind-changer, needs to be credibly regulated in accordance with our Haudenosaunee values so as to minimize, if not eliminate, any potential risk to public health, safety and security,” said Chief Mark Hill at the time. “This new regulatory regime will ensure the protection of our natural and built environment, prevention of monopolistic or improper business practices, and community contributions directed to the well-being of our people.”

SNCC Chief Commissioner Nahnda Garlow says licensed partners like Bloom are allowing Indigenous communities to take control of their communities. The Nation emphasizes that it is illegal to operate an unlicensed or unregulated cannabis facility on Six Nations Territory.

“Having a licenced producer that has worked cooperatively with the SNCC to build a state-of-the-art growing facility will now allow retailers licenced by the SNCC to purchase locally grown, safe product at competitive prices in the coming months. The hard work and ingenuity of Six Nations entrepreneurs is the foundation of our community’s economy” said Garlow in a press release.

The SNCC and the Six Nations Band did not respond to requests for comment.

Although The Six Nations Cannabis Commission doesn’t list the retailers it has licenced, Google Maps shows around a dozen stores operating within the Territory, as well as several AGLC licence retailers just outside its borders. 

Two retailers that StratCann spoke with over the phone who are operating on Six Nations’ territory say they do not recognize the SNCC’s authority to regulate cannabis, and instead operate under the guidance of the Six Nations People’s Cannabis Coalition. The coalition lists 16 stores under its guidance. None of the stores StratCann spoke with said they are licensed by the SNCC.

“I don’t follow the band council (rules), I’m not a part of it,” says John Hill, owner of High on a Hill Dispensary. “I belong to the Six Nations Peoples’ Cannabis Coalition”.

The Six Nations Peoples’ Cannabis Coalition and Six Nations Cannabis Commission did not respond to requests for comment.