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BC Cannabis

Stratcann: BC announces funding to support Indigenous cannabis businesses

By BC Cannabis


The BC government says they are providing additional funding to support Indigenous participation in the regulated cannabis industry.

First launched in December 2022, the BC Indigenous Cannabis Business Fund (ICBF) supports First Nations communities and Indigenous businesses in British Columbia that want to increase their participation in, or join, the regulated cannabis industry.

The provincial government announced nearly $2.3 million in additional funding for the New Relationship Trust which oversees the ICBF. This funding is on top of up to $7.5 million in funding previously announced by the provincial and federal governments over three years.

The announcement comes on the same day that Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, gave a speech at the BC Cannabis Summit in Kelowna, which was sponsored, in part, by All Nations, a cannabis producer owned and operated in Shxwhá:y Village in Chilliwack, BC.

In addition to providing capital for launching or expanding cannabis businesses in BC, the fund will support “business planning and advisory services” and will seek to assist Indigenous businesses or First Nations to cover the costs related to licensing and permitting.

“I am pleased that this additional grant will support Indigenous entrepreneurs in British Columbia,” said Farnworth in a press release. “It is another step forward in keeping true to our commitment to develop a robust, diverse and sustainable regulated cannabis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous entrepreneurs and First Nations communities.”

Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations said the announcement is an example of the organization’s commitment to UNDRIP, which seeks to secure the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world.

“I commend the Province for enhancing its support of First Nations cannabis-related economic development through the ICBF. This fund is one example of how the BC Assembly of First Nations advocates and works collaboratively to advance First Nations rights and interests in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Hugh Braker, a political executive for the First Nations Summit, whose mandate is to support First Nations in conducting their own direct treaty negotiations with Canada and BC, says the additional funding can assist in the broader fight for indigenous self-determination.

The ICBF was developed by the Canadian federal government and British Columbia in partnership with the BC Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Summit through the federal Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI).

“We are pleased BC is providing additional funding for the IBCF. The cannabis industry is one of many sectors where First Nations communities and entrepreneurs can work to create self-determined economies, engage in the BC economy and take a lead in the cannabis industry going forward,” adds Braker.

“We continue to see this program as a key support for the priorities of First Nations in relation to cannabis and look forward to how it will evolve as we continue to work to align provincial and federal laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The BC government has entered into agreements with several First Nations communities who have sought to enter the legal cannabis industry. BC’s section 119 agreements allow the provincial government to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations, “providing a mechanism for meaningful government-to-government dialogue and supporting collaboration that enables both governments to achieve individual and shared goals.”

BC has now signed Section 119 agreements with seven First Nations in the province, the most recent with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation located in the Lower Mainland.

Global News BC: ‘There’s a market for this’: Kelowna hosting summit on cannabis tourism

By BC Cannabis

By  &  at Global News BC

Just like wine, British Columbia is also known for its bud.

That was evident during the second annual cannabis summit in Kelowna, B.C., where a new study says there’s a major market for cannabis tourism.

“There is a market for this,” said Susan Dupej, president of the Canadian Cannabis Tourism Alliance, “for new products for people who want to try new products and tourism, hospitality experiences provide this context for people to do that.”

Essentially, the study looked at the potential demand for cannabis tourism in Canada, and what drives people to travel to participate in cannabis-included activities.

Of those activities, edibles were the most desirable method of consumption within the study.

“Eating an infused meal, this is an accessible way for people to try cannabis for the first time or a beverage or an infused edible of some kind,” said Dupej, who is also a researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

The survey revealed that B.C. is the top tourism destination for cannabis, followed by Ontario and Alberta.

While cannabis is one obvious factor, where you can consume it also part of the equation.

“The outdoors, the Okanagan Valley, just look around,” said Dupej.

In related news, the ongoing review of the federal Cannabis Act and the role that Indigenous communities play is up for discussion

“I think First Nations, right from the beginning of cannabis legislation, have wanted more involvement consultations to discuss how First Nation jurisdictional issues and cannabis legislation work together to create an industry for Indigenous participation,” said Darwin Douglas, All Nations CEO.

“There are a lot of amazing ideas that are coming out of our Indigenous partners,” added Jaclynn Pehota, B.C. Cannabis Council executive director.

“And I think the government would be very wise to listen because not having listened in the past has not had a positive outcome for anybody.”

One major concern surrounding cannabis tourism is spaces for consumption, since every part of Canada has different laws regarding consumption.

“There are inconsistencies,” said Dupej. “Not only is that a problem for citizens, but for tourists.

“We don’t want to put tourists at risk. We don’t want to put tourists in danger unknowingly; that’s one of my concerns.”

Friday was the first day of the three-day summit at the Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna. Different topics will be discussed each day.

The Chilliwack Progress: Indigenous-owned All Nations Cannabis steps onto world stage with first overseas export

By BC Cannabis

by Jennifer FeinbergThe Chilliwack Progress

All Nations Cannabis is ready to step out on the world stage.

Indigenous-owned All Nations Cannabis just sent its first-ever shipment of product to Israel from its growing facility on Shxwhá:y First Nation, near Chilliwack.

“All Nations has grown substantially over the last year,” said Darwin Douglas, CEO of All Nations Cannabis.

They’ll be talking about the export first when they get to the 2023 BC Cannabis Summit in Kelowna, starting Friday (April 21).

It took All Nations Cannabis, in partnership with Shxwhá:y Village, several years to become a licensed federal producer, and provincial distributor under section 119 of the B.C. Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. That’s what makes them wholly unique in their status as “a vertically integrated” Indigenous cannabis company, not only federally licensed to grow in a 30,000-square-foot facility, but provincially approved to sell in the retail store just down the road.

They opened the first retail store on Nov. 2 last year under their Section 119 licence, issued by the province in July 2022.

“We’ve continued to grow high-quality cannabis and we’ve put that cannabis into two brands that we’ve launched, our All Nations premium brand, and Uncle Bob, our secondary brand, and we are selling through the provincial distribution system throughout Canada.”

The BC Cannabis Summit they’re heading to in the Okanagan this week will bring together craft producers and other players to share challenges and successes.

“We are super excited to be participating in this upcoming Summit and really grateful for the organizers to include us as a participant and as a partner,” Douglas said. “Our role there will be to help create as much Indigenous participation in the summit as we can, and organizers have asked All Nations to work with them on that goal.”

Part of what they’ll address at the conference is the success of their first export. The clients were suitably impressed with the product quality, and were keen to be working with an Indigenous group.

“I think it’s a huge accomplishment as a licensed producer operating not only on First Nations land but also just as a licensed producer in the Fraser Valley to be making these big moves on the export front.

“So we are really, really proud of our team, and all the hard work that’s gone into this, and excited for what the future holds on the export markets.”

It bodes well for building more international relationships. They’re working on completing a shipment to Germany later this summer.

“Having those export markets, and having success in the domestic market here in Canada, allows us to be looking at our growth strategy,” Douglas said.

That means building out more cultivation sites down the line, and production square footage, bringing in more Indigenous partners, more retail distribution, more international trade, and ultimately more Indigenous participation overall in the industry.

“I think All Nations is set up to be a major player,” Douglas said.

All Nations Cannabis can legally distribute its cannabis products under All Nations Mestiyexw Holdings, a holding company, in partnership with Shxwhá:y Village (Skway First Nation), stemming from the provincial licensing deal made directly with the First Nation, on a “government to government” basis.

From the global perspective to the hyper local, All Nations has put Indigenous cannabis on the map, as well as the Chilliwack region, and Shxwhá:y Village, for cannabis production.

Part of that is the traction they’ve gained locally.

“And I think that’s a combination of our high quality cannabis and our Indigenous brand which I think resonates with people,” he said.

According to their marketing, All Nations is “an Indigenous collective on Stó:lō Traditional Territory weaving traditional Indigenous values with industry-leading cultivation methods” to grow craft cannabis.

The goals going forward will be on building relationships, and growing partnerships.

“We’re also focused on building strong, healthy communities,” Douglas added. “We want to create positive social impact, positive social change through jobs and careers and, and building good economics, prosperity with the nation.”

Gaining recognition in the industry is part of how they’ll get there.

“We hear a lot of people talk about reconciliation but you know to have an Indigenous cannabis company like ours being accepted in the industry overall, being recognized and supported, is a good sign that there’s economic reconciliation starting to happen.”


Press Release: All Nations Confirmed As Title Partner Of BC Cannabis Summit

By BC Cannabis

BC Craft Farmers Co-op

Syilx (Okanagan)/Kelowna, B.C.) – The Retail Cannabis Council of BC (RCCBC) and BC Craft Farmers Co-op (BCCFC) announced today that All Nations Mestiyexw, an Indigenous-led cannabis producer and retailer, will be the title partner of the 2023 BC Cannabis Summit in Kelowna, B.C. on April 21-23, 2023.

All Nations Mestiyexw is a leading Indigenous collective; weaving traditional Indigenous practices with innovative cultivation methods; creating products that are superior in quality, offer unique experiences and have the support of the First Nations communities behind each offering. Reimagining Indigenous traditions of trade and barter, All Nations is establishing a community-focused and driven distribution network of retail stores across Canada in partnership with First Nations on their traditional territories. All Nations uplifts First Nation communities and supports meaningful and sustainable participation in the cannabis industry.

“At All Nations, we focus on strengthening the connection to Indigenous communities. We strive to make a positive socioeconomic impact with Indigenous communities, always encouraging and inspiring Indigenous participation in this industry,” says All Nations CEO Darwin Douglas. “Our model is recognized by Indigenous communities across the country. It speaks to where Indigenous communities are in their quest for economic sovereignty and their desire to build prosperity – seeking business opportunities within their Nation and on their traditional territories. All Nations is about producing great cannabis, creating hope for communities, bringing the Indigenous people into this industry and creating a future that’s sustainable and creating positive societal impact.”

RCCBC and BCCFC invite craft cannabis stakeholders across BC and Canada to “roll it up and hash it out” together in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley from April 21 to 23, 2023 at the Eldorado Resort. The Eldorado Resort is Kelowna’s finest full-service waterfront resort.

“We feel very honoured that All Nations has chosen to be the title partner of our second BC Cannabis Summit,” said RCCBC Executive Director Jaclynn Pehota. “In a sector facing many challenges, All Nations represents a shining light and a clear demonstration of the public benefits of Indigenous leadership and innovation in the cannabis sector.”

Since the 2023 Summit was launched earlier this year, BCCFC and RCCBC have confirmed BC Deputy Premier, Hon. Mike Farnworth, and BC Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport and the Premier’s Special Advisor on Youth, Brittny Anderson as keynote speakers. The Weed Pool Cannabis Cooperative was also confirmed as a returning partner.

“BC has earned a reputation as the home of the best craft cannabis farmers in the world – many of whom are Indigenous,” said BCCFC President Tara Kirkpatrick. “We are very pleased the BC Cannabis Summit has become an inclusive place to facilitate reconciliation, respectful dialogue, and wellness. I am very excited to learn from All Nations and celebrate their success with hundreds of other Summit delegates next month.”

More speakers and Summit partners will be announced over the coming days. Visit to register for the Summit, take advantage of partnership opportunities, and book accommodation at the Eldorado Resort. RCCBC and BCCFC members receive VIP rates.



BC Cannabis Summit:

All Nations: Bilal Cheema, Strategic Advisor:

MJBIZ Daily: Indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs underrepresented in Canada

By BC Cannabis


Entrepreneurs in Indigenous communities are significantly underrepresented within Canada’s cultivation and retail marijuana industry, new data compiled by MJBizDaily suggests.

MJBizDaily research also found that the country’s largest provinces by population – Ontario and Quebec – have not reached any government-to-government deals regarding cannabis regulation with First Nations since 2018, a potential factor for their general absence from the federally legal industry.

Among the 755 unique cannabis corporations licensed by Canada’s federal government as of last year – mostly cultivators and processors – only six were located in an Indigenous community, or 0.8% of all licensees.

And among more than 3,300 provincially authorized recreational marijuana stores across the country, approximately 24 were situated on First Nations reserves at that time, or 0.7% of the retailers in Canada.

The new data gives credence to claims by some Indigenous leaders that First Nations communities in Canada have been excluded from the economic opportunities and public health benefits stemming from the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana spelled out under Canada’s 2018 federal cannabis law.

“We talk about reconciliation, but it hasn’t happened yet. There was an opportunity with the cannabis legislation,” Darwin Douglas, CEO of All Nations told MJBizDaily.

All Nations is one of the six federally licensed producers operating on a reserve.

Douglas said Indigenous participation is so low in the cannabis industry because meaningful consultation did not take place when the legislation was rolled out.

“The opportunity was to engage Indigenous people and nations, and consult with them on the legalization process, and understand how legalization and the building of this emerging cannabis industry was going to apply to Indigenous people,” he said.

“How the legislation would apply to Indigenous people on their title lands and territories was the opportunity to develop a system that works for everybody – the people of Canada, the federal and provincial governments, and the Indigenous nations and their jurisdictions.”

Delay denied

Before Canada legalized adult-use cannabis in 2018, the Senate’s Committee on Aboriginal Peoples requested the then-proposed bill be amended to address a lack of meaningful consultation with First Nations communities.

That committee’s report ultimately foretold many of the issues stalling First Nations participation in the industry today.

A request was made for a preferential licensing system for Indigenous-owned or -controlled entities, for instance, “to ensure that interested Indigenous communities have the appropriate tools to seize economic opportunities as they arise.”

The committee’s proposals were ultimately not accepted by the federal government.

Isadore Day, regional chief of Ontario for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), previously told MJBizDaily that the federal government, provinces and territories “have not done anywhere near an effective job in engaging and considering us within the process.”

The AFN has said First Nations have inherent jurisdiction over economic development initiatives, both federally and provincially, and possess the authority to manage production, licensing and distribution of legalized cannabis.

“As it currently stands, (the federal Cannabis Act) makes no room for the inclusion of First Nations governments,” AFN noted before cannabis was legalized.

“The federal and provincial governments must recognize and respect First Nations sovereignty and jurisdiction over their reserves and traditional territories.”

At the time, AFN also called out the federal government for not including First Nations in its deal with provinces to share excise duty collected on the sale of cannabis.

“The lack of First Nations inclusion in the cannabis tax framework is a missed opportunity for the federal government to demonstrate its commitment to a nation-to-nation relationship that incorporates First Nations governments into the federation,” the organization said.

More recently, the Assembly called on the federal government to “recognize First Nations jurisdiction over cannabis and remove regulatory barriers that exclude First Nations from the marketplace.”

Jason Childs, associate professor of economics at the University of Regina, told MJBizDaily that First Nations were excluded from the law, noting that the text of the law mentions “Indigenous” only once – and that’s regarding the four-year review process, which itself started a year late.

“The fact is, they were excluded. They were not mentioned in any meaningful way,” he said.

“It shines a light on the larger issue of Indigenous-federal government relations.”

Huge interest

Douglas, the CEO of All Nations, said there remains a huge amount of interest among other First Nations communities in regulating their own cannabis industries.

He said First Nations should have had a carve-out to regulate their own businesses.

“Any (First Nations communities) we’ve interacted with do want regulation, whether that’s done by their own laws and regulations, or whether they want to harmonize some of their jurisdiction with the federal and provincial governments,” he said.

Some Indigenous communities choose to go down a licensing path with stores on reserves, outside of provincial laws and regulations.

Potentially hundreds of stores have been established in this way, which may be compliant with the laws of their respective First Nations communities, but still fall outside the scope of Canada’s Cannabis Act and provincial control.

Douglas said cannabis producers outside the scope of the Cannabis Act miss out on advantages of being part of a fully regulated and nationally legal market.

Those advantages include access to:

  • Trade opportunities with other First Nations.
  • More traditional banking resources.
  • Sources of financing, including capital markets.
  • Larger markets outside the province and internationally.

“I think it comes down to being able to participate in a larger industry, here within our country and internationally,” the All Nations CEO said.

“Having a federal license allows the business and nation to participate in the greater economics of Canada and the world, so we can export product, we can get a bank account at some of the major banks, and insurance.

“(Being licensed) also allows Indigenous communities to uphold the health and safety standards for the production and distribution of safe (cannabis) products,” he said.

Support needed

Douglas said the federal government offers helpful support to entrepreneurs interested in participating in the fully regulated industry.

One such service is Health Canada’s Navigator program, which provides assistance to “Indigenous affiliated” prospective licensed producers.

“It has given Indigenous businesses some support with the application process to enter the industry,” Douglas said of Navigator.

“I think the Navigator program helped, because it was a definite point of contact that helped navigate the system. It was useful.”

He said government could be doing more.

“I think there’s a lot of room to provide more support for Indigenous entrepreneurs and nations who want to enter this industry,” he said.

In Canada, the federal government regulates cannabis production while provinces manage retail distribution.

MJBizDaily reached out to the provincial governments to find out what they’re doing to include First Nations in the public health benefits and economic opportunities of cannabis regulation.

British Columbia

British Columbia’s cannabis law gives the province legal footing to enter into agreements with Indigenous nations with respect to cannabis regulation.

The province has entered into six government-to-government cannabis agreements, including with Shxwhá:y Village near the city of Chilliwack – where Douglas’ All Nations company is located – and Williams Lake First Nation, 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Prince George.

Among almost 500 provincially approved legal cannabis stores in British Columbia, only about a dozen are on reserve land.

However, the fact that the province has Section 119 in its law and has entered into agreements with First Nations puts B.C. near the forefront in facilitating Indigenous economic participation in the burgeoning industry.

“B.C. is actively working with the First Nations Leadership Council and First Nation governments to address their cannabis interests and support the development of a strong, diverse and safe legal cannabis sector that is inclusive of Indigenous peoples,” a provincial spokesperson told MJBizDaily.

“These (government-to-government) agreements reflect B.C.’s commitment to reconciliation, economic self-determination for Indigenous peoples and their full participation in the cannabis sector.”

B.C. also amended licensing regulations to allow licensed retail stores to ship products across the province, which could “increase access to regulated cannabis in remote communities, including First Nations communities.”

The province also operates the Indigenous Shelf Space Program, which highlights products in stores from Indigenous producers.


Saskatchewan has also made efforts to include First Nations in the public health benefits and economic opportunities of cannabis legalization.

In December, the province proposed amendments to the Cannabis Control Act to allow First Nations to enter into an agreement with the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority to establish their own marijuana regulatory authority that could grant retail permits on reserve.

Once established, businesses would be able to apply for a cannabis permit directly from the First Nation regulatory authority, rather than the authority run by the province.

Currently, there are no fully legal cannabis stores on any reserves in Saskatchewan, as the amendment is not yet in effect,

“The government of Saskatchewan shares with First Nations the goals of ensuring that cannabis is supplied safely and legally and of protecting minors and other vulnerable individuals in our communities,” a provincial spokesperson told MJBizDaily.

The province says the regulatory change will:

  • Serve to further undermine the illicit market.
  • Ensure that all Saskatchewan residents will have access to safe and legal cannabis products “by giving businesses operating under recognized First Nations regulatory frameworks access to federally regulated cannabis products.”


Quebec operates a government monopoly on regulated cannabis stores, meaning only the province has the ability to open a “legal” store.

Quebec has opened no stores in Indigenous communities.

“As with any type of retail business, members of First Nations communities always have the option of shopping (online) at the SQDC (Société québécoise du cannabis) if they so desire,” a spokesperson for the province told MJBizDaily via email.

Like British Columbia’s cannabis law, Quebec’s law grants it the ability to enter into an agreement with First Nations communities whereby different regulatory provisions would apply to the community’s territory.

Quebec has entered into no such agreements.


Ontario regulators have authorized only seven cannabis stores on First Nations reserves out of more than 1,700 stores in the province.

About 15 more are in the licensing pipeline.

The low level of access to a regulated supply of cannabis might be, in part, because the province has achieved no government-to-government deals with First Nations regarding marijuana regulation.

Nonetheless, a spokesperson for the province’s Ministry of the Attorney General said that “the provincial government remains committed to continued engagement with First Nations interested in developing their own approaches to cannabis to identify how the government can best support efforts to promote public safety and legal access to cannabis on First Nation reserves.”

The spokesperson added that Ontario has waived and, in some cases, reimbursed on-reserve cannabis licensing fees charged by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) “to support collaboration between the province and First Nations governments with respect to the regulation of cannabis on reserve.”

“Ontario has and will continue to engage with First Nations communities and organizations to discuss interests, perspectives and concerns, and to consider opportunities for collaboration with respect to cannabis regulation.”

In 2019, Ontario amended Ontario Regulation 468/18 to allow for the authorization of up to 26 stores on First Nations reserves.

It’s unclear why only seven stores have been opened.

Eastern Canada

In the Eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, there are only two fully “legal” cannabis stores in First Nations communities.

Nova Scotia has 45 stores across the province, and one of those in the First Nations community of Eskasoni.

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia government said the “expansion of our (store) network supports improved access to legal cannabis in all communities across Nova Scotia, including First Nations communities due to the proximity of our stores.

“We also provide home delivery of cannabis across the entire province, including First Nations communities.”

Nova Scotia doesn’t appear to have entered into any government-to-government deals with Indigenous communities regarding cannabis.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the only other province east of Ontario that has any fully “legal” cannabis stores on a reserve.

The province would not say what it’s doing to facilitate access to safe, legal recreational cannabis in Indigenous communities.

The provinces of PEI and Manitoba did not reply to MJBizDaily queries regarding the regulation of cannabis on First Nations lands and any economic opportunities and public health benefits afforded to their respective communities.

A spokesperson for the Alberta government said that, among the province’s 750 stores, just three are in First Nations communities.

The province would not answer questions about expanding legal access to a regulated supply of recreational cannabis products in Indigenous communities, nor were questions answered about economic opportunities.

Alberta directed MJBizDaily’s queries to the federal government, even though the federal government does not oversee cannabis retail regulation.

Matt Lamers can be reached at

MJBIZ Daily: Canadian Indigenous cannabis producer eyes global expansion: Q&A with All Nations executives

By BC Cannabis

by Matt Lemers, MJBIZ Daily


An Indigenous-owned and -operated cannabis producer in British Columbia has its sights set on domestic and international expansion.

In an interview with MJBizDaily, All Nations executives said one of their big advantages is the company’s story.

“We’re giving people (consumers) all of the things they look for when they want to buy into something; it’s good product, has a good story, and consumers are ethically paying into something they know is going to help the economy and development,” said Stacey Duffy, the company’s director of retail.

CEO Darwin Douglas added that “we’ve focused on the production of quality cannabis. That’s our foundation. That’s our bedrock – to grow premium and ultra-premium cannabis.

“That’s the sweet spot – to be successful in business and also support positive social change in the communities where we work.”

All Nations, which is majority-owned by the Shxwhá:y Village Indigenous community near the city of Chilliwack, is one of a handful of licensed producers located on a reserve in Canada.

“Connecting people with Indigenous culture through our cannabis and products is a competitive advantage,” Douglas said.

“We’re also about connections, telling our story and the stories of Indigenous people,” Douglas said.

Shxwhá:y Village and the province recently entered a government-to-government agreement to support cannabis-related economic development under Section 119 of B.C.’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

Douglas said the agreement allows the company to own eight stores and supply up to half the products on the shelves.

Soon, he wants to bring his Indigenous brand to the rest of the world.

“There’s not a lot of Indigenous businesses that are involved in international trade, so it’s new ground for us and we’re happy to be part of that work,” he said.

MJBizDaily spoke with Douglas, Duffy and All Nations Director of Cultivation Todd Scarlett about the company’s strategy, hurdles and opportunities.

What trends are you seeing in the Canadian industry?

Stacey Duffy, director of retail: We’re finding a lot of people are wanting to learn more about the brands and products they’re consuming.

We’re starting to find that the consumer is coming in with a little bit more of a sophisticated concept of what they want.

Years ago, it was “give me the cheapest ounce.”

Now we’re seeing more people who are wanting better quality and want to know where products are coming from.

One of the trends we’re seeing is people wanting to understand more of who’s producing their product; who’s behind it; is it hang-dried, hand-trimmed.

One of the things we’re seeing is local “BC bud” is the best-moving product on our shelves.

How do international cannabis markets, so far very small, play into your strategy?

Darwin Douglas, CEO: We want to produce (medical) cannabis here on Indigenous lands and export it to countries around the world.

Right now, we’re in discussions with countries with (federally regulated) medical markets.

As new countries come online with legalization and regulation, we’ll be looking to those markets and where we can supply, and hopefully where we can have our Indigenous brand represented.

Why is Indigenous participation relatively low in Canada’s adult-use cannabis industry?

Douglas: Adequate and meaningful consultation (with Indigenous communities) did not take place when the legislation was rolled out.

We talk about “reconciliation,” but it hasn’t happened yet. There was an opportunity with the cannabis legislation, but it didn’t happen.

I think it goes back to the fundamental issues that still exist in our country related to the recognition of Indigenous inherent rights and title and treaty rights.

These have been continuously overlooked in many areas.

Do you have any advice for other businesses looking to follow in your footsteps? 

Douglas: For other Indigenous groups, come and talk to us. We’re happy to help, even if it’s advice and not in a consulting fashion.

Seeking advice from other producers who have gone through the process successfully is very important, because we’ve made some mistakes, been through the ups and downs, and we’re happy to share those experiences with other Indigenous groups.

Can you share any of those hurdles and how you overcame them? 

Douglas: There were big challenges in getting Shxwhá:y its Section 119 deal for retail with the province (of British Columbia). That was a long process. It took years.

My advice is, don’t give up. Keep working toward your vision. A lot of willpower, work and resources will make it happen.

Can you share any innovative ways you save money?

Todd Scarlett, director of cultivation: From a cultivation standpoint, what may be relevant to us compared to most other shops is we maintain our own mother (plants) and take all of our own cuttings.

We don’t do any out-of-house propagation.

You can’t not be efficient in this business. You won’t make it.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Matt Lamers can be reached at

APTN: All Nations Cannabis company is cashing in on B.C. bud

By BC Cannabis

By Tina House

In the Shxwa:y village just outside of Chilliwack, B.C. they are taking full advantage of this opportunity to grow, harvest and sell top-grade B.C. bud.

Chief Robert Gladstone says he came back to the community after a 20-year absence with a vision for the future.

“I looked at my village and I said it’s time. I have read a lot of books by people in the world who said there is value in our land but we couldn’t unlock it here,” he said.

“We were wealthy in land and I lived in houses as a child with no electricity in this day and age and no plumbing I had a burning desire in my soul to unlock the value in the land.

“I had a burning fire within my soul to want to create jobs I wanted to do something that would change the status of our people.”

The first recorded use of cannabis dates back to 2,700 B.C. when it was referenced as Chinese medicine.

On Oct. 17, 2018, cannabis became legal in Canada.

Gladstone said he partnered with All Nations Cannabis and successfully received a federal legal licence to grow and sell. He said the economic impact of this new revenue stream is changing lives.

His company sells everything from pre-rolled individually packaged joints to gummies, and vape cartridges of oil to cannabis. All Nations Cannabis not only provides products for government retail stores but they have just opened this retail outlet with plans to expand soon.

Stacey Duffy, director of retail said that under the new legislation – they’re hoping other First Nations also consider cannabis as a new way forward.

“This is going to offer economic development and growth in nations all across B.C. under section 118 and hopefully nationally in working with the jurisdictional in the province as well in terms of each province and what they offer in the cannabis sector currently,” said Duffy.

In the Shxwa:y village, economic development is booming. A brand new cultural centre was just built in the village as well as elder’s housing and single and family housing have gone up along with other cash bonuses for the members.

For the last two years All Nations Cannabis company also has created hundreds of jobs Gladstone said.

Bryson Rabang is from this community and is well on his way to becoming a master grower at the facility.

“It’s amazing because a lot of people have jobs now and they get to provide for their families and there used to be so very little jobs here,” he said. “Like the landscaping crew was so small and there was like the only job they had around here and now that we have this facility it’s only growing.

“We could supply jobs with anybody that wants to work here in the community and that means a lot to me.”

The company said it produces roughly 100 to 120 kg every month – and with plans in the works to expand soon they will be producing double that amount.

“Some of our strains that we have in the market right now are Sto:lo Haze, Mac Daddy, Modified Grapes, Peanut Butter Breath,” said All Nations Cannabis company CEO Darwin Douglas. “And then we have about another six other strains that are coming into the market.

“We really work to try and develop our strain names to be representative of what’s important to us as Indigenous people so we are constantly doing and brainstorming and developing of strain names that are meaningful to us and hopefully other Indigenous people throughout B.C. and Canada.

“So the product from here goes all across the country and we are also exporting right now to countries around the world.”

StratCann: Cannabis farmgate comes to BC

By BC Cannabis


As of November 30, cannabis growers in BC can now apply for a “farmgate” retail licence that will allow them to run a retail cannabis store at their farm or facility, but consumers may still need to wait to visit one near them.

Long anticipated, British Columbia’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) announced in October that they will be accepting Producer Retail Store (PRS) licence applications beginning at the end of November.

The PRS licence is what the LCRB calls their cannabis farmgate program. The program will allow micro cultivators, standard cultivators, and nurseries to sell their own products at their own production facilities or sites.

BC says the farmgate licence is intended to support cannabis growers in the province to become “part of developing a robust, diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy” in BC that is “inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities.”

Two First Nations-owned cannabis producers in BC—Sugar Cane Cannabis in Williams Lake and All Nations Cannabis in Shxwhá:y Village, Chilliwack—have already recently opened their own farmgate stores through unique agreements with the province. All other applicable growers will now be able to apply as well.

The program will be limited to cannabis cultivators and nurseries. Stand-alone cannabis processors will not be able to apply.

Kyp Rowe, President of the Victoria Cannabis Company (VCC), a collection of micro cultivation sites and a nursery in Victoria, says his company is eager to get started and has already built out much of its storefront.

Located along the Galloping Goose Trail, Rowe says they plan on catering to locals as well as Victoria’s steady stream of tourists.

“We saw the potential because of the location, because of the traffic, the fact that we believe this can allow us to distinguish ourselves and have a fighting chance.”

VCC operates multiple licences in the building where their retail store will be located, just off Esquimalt Rd. on Mary St. The plan will be to focus on selling their own cannabis as well as other unique BC-grown products. The goal, he says, is to ensure they offer a different experience than other retailers in the area.

“We want to be a destination spot in a tourist town where if you want a store that’s going to have all the top BC gear, you come to VCC. That’s what we specialize in. We’ve put a lot into building this and with our location, we really think we can be a jewel in the crown for this beautiful city.”

“We plan on keeping it to as much BC product as possible, friends and family, gear that we would smoke. You’re never going to see a distillate cartridge in this place.”

Not everyone says they are ready to apply, though. Logan Dunn of Dunn Cannabis in Abbotsford says that he would love to build out a farmgate store at his small, indoor micro cultivation and processing facility, but he’s still waiting on clarity from his municipality.

“I want to, but I don’t even know if the rules will allow farmgate yet,” says Dunn. “If we can get clarity around that, then I can speak to the city about what I want to do here. So I’m looking forward to seeing that so that we can really go to work.”

While VCC already has its own retail store built, Dunn’s plans are, if he can get the necessary approvals, to build a new building on his site for a store, as well as a small area for events with on-site consumption, if allowed.

“There is so much I want to do here. I think we can create a really unique destination for people. But we’re in limbo until we can find out what the city is going to do.”

Back on Vancouver Island, Alannah Davis, CEO of Dabble Cannabis Co, an outdoor cannabis farm located in the Cowichan Valley, says she wants to build some kind of farmgate store, but plans to wait to see how things work out first.

“I envision a farm store that is not just a cannabis retail store,” Davis shares. “I would love to have other products in there, including maybe a cafe, local fruits and vegetables, pottery, honey and jams, anything that a farm store would have, as well as a consumption area, a dab bar, maybe infused treats from the bakery.”

Acknowledging that much of this is still “far fetched” given the current provincial and federal regulations, the plan is to try and work with all levels of government to try and make allowances that are closer to her own vision. Cost is another issue, Davis points out, from $9,000 in provincial licensing fees, to the cost of building the store itself.

“Rather than jump in and be frustrated by what I can’t have, it makes more sense to just do some work with the government and work towards what I want to see and then jump in when we’re more well-positioned and when the regs are more aligned with what I want to do.”

The application fee is $7,500. The first-year licensing fee is $1,500, while the annual renewal fee is $1,500. These are the same fees as a standard retail cannabis licence. Davis notes that the licensing fee for a winery, brewery, or distillery is $550.

The province has also been asking stakeholders if they would be interested in holding events on the site of their production facility and farmgate licence, as well as allowing on-site consumption and product sampling. A report on the process of that work is expected soon.

Farmgate in other provinces

The first province to allow cannabis farmgate stores was Ontario in early 2021, followed by New Brunswick later the same year. Ontario currently lists four cannabis farmgate locations and New Brunswick lists three.

Thrive Cannabis, an outdoor cannabis farm a few hours outside Toronto, opened the first cannabis farmgate store in Canada in April 2021. With a year and a half of experience behind their store now, Robyn Rabinovich, VP of Marketing at Aurora Cannabis (Thrive’s new parent company), says the real value to having the store at their farm has been creating a unique experience for consumers, rather than operating as a standard day-to-day retailer.

“For us, the primary value of farmgate is to build a deeper connection with our consumers, as it gives us a unique opportunity to get direct feedback on our products and deliver brand messaging right to the consumer. The farmgate store makes our products easily accessible and gives consumers a unique chance to connect directly with the employees who make their products and learn more about our soil-to-oil process.”

BC Gov News: Shxwhá:y Village, B.C. sign cannabis agreement

By BC Cannabis

Shxwhá:y Village and the Province of B.C. have entered a government-to-government agreement that supports cannabis economic development.

This is the sixth agreement of its kind and a major milestone that shows B.C. and First Nations are working to support a robust cannabis industry.

Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act authorizes the Province to enter into agreements with Indigenous Nations. The provision provides flexibility that enables both governments to achieve objectives for regulated cannabis. This agreement confirms some variation from the provincial framework for Shxwhá:y’s cannabis operations, while maintaining alignment with federal and provincial cannabis laws.

“Shxwhá:y Village and B.C. have diligently worked in partnership to reach an agreement that supports both governments in meeting our cannabis objectives,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Together, we’re implementing a path forward that supports a safe and strong cannabis sector.”

The agreement supports Shxwhá:y’s interests in operating cannabis production and retail ventures, and it affirms each government’s shared policy objectives relating to public health and safety, social responsibility, protecting young people, deterring illicit activity, and supporting socio-economic development.

“We set out to harmonize our interests and approach with those of the provincial government. We had some tough discussions and finalizing this agreement took the better part of three years, but I am proud we signed an agreement that sets a strong foundation for ongoing government-to-government collaboration,” said Chief Robert Gladstone, Shxwhá:y Village. “This is reconciliation in action. However, reconciliation has no end. The work continues through the implementation of this agreement. This would not have been possible without the support of my community, colleagues at the BC Cannabis Secretariat and my negotiating team at All Nations.”

To further support the growth of a strong and diverse cannabis industry that is inclusive of Indigenous-owned and small-scale operations, the Province introduced a B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program in January 2022, expanded delivery options for all retailers and will launch new programs for direct delivery this summer and farm-gate sales later this year.

Learn More:

For information about the B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Product program, visit:

For more information about the expanded delivery options for retailers, visit:

For information about cannabis regulation in B.C., visit: