Nations Cannabis and the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers have formalized their alliance with the signing of a memorandum of understanding. (Photo submitted)

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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Update: Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections, 4 in ICU

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital, 4 in intensive care

A new wood chip shelter was constructed this fall to house chips for the boiler serving the North Thompson Sportsplex. The shelter was built by OTL Construction and chips will be supplied by local contractor Max Gunster. The shelter will allow a six-month stock supply of chips. From l-r: TNRD Director A Carol Schaffer, DOC Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Marshall McRae of OTL Construction and Gunster of Max Gunster Contracting. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
New chip shelter helps to keep energy costs low for District of Clearwater

After the Canfor mill shutdown in 2019, the District of Clearwater began… Continue reading

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read