Shxwhá:y Village, in Partnership with All Nations Opens Licensed Farmgate Cannabis Store
Shxwhá:y Village Traditional Territory (Chilliwack, BC) – All Nations Mestiyexw Holdings (ANMH), a First Nations holding company, born and bred in the Fraser Valley opens its first retail store under the name of All Nations Retail on Shxwhá:y Village traditional territory in Chilliwack, BC. The store will feature products from FN Canna Cultivation and Production, a sister company under ANMH, also located on Shxwhá:y Village traditional territory and an array of cannabis products from licensed producers from across Canada.
This is the first cannabis retail store located on reserve in the lower mainland. It also happens to be the first store to be opened on reserve with a federally approved production facility.
The store itself is infused with references to the community where it sits, from the logo that includes local landmarks, the cedar siding that was harvested from Stó:lō lands, the Halq’eméylem language used on the signs inside, and other Shxwhá:y artwork and imagery. This is a strategic decision to tell the story of the Shxwhá:y people and all Indigenous people.
Darwin Douglas, CEO of ANMH, says it’s taken a long time to get to this point, but he’s proud to help create what he sees as long term economic development on reserve which will support sustainable jobs for the local community.
“At All Nations, we are really focused on strengthening the connection to our Indigenous communities. We are always striving to make a positive socio economic impact in the Indigenous communities where we operate and we can encourage and inspire Indigenous participation in this industry,” says Douglas. “That’s really what we’re about.” Because of their ability to carry their own products through a special agreement with the province, the store is, in practice, the second cannabis “farmgate” to be licensed in BC, and the first in the Lower Mainland.
“Signing this Section 119 with the province was a long and involved process. We had to educate the province on many aspects of what we were proposing. We never quit,” said Chief Robert Gladstone from the Shxwhá:y Village. “Without the support from within the community and the negotiations teams, it’s hard to fathom where we would be. I am super excited about this opportunity and forever grateful to all our partners for helping us achieve this.”
ANMH, in partnership with Shxwhá:y Village and other First Nations are moving ahead with plans to open up other stores across the province and in other parts of the country. As was heard from participants at the opening, this is reconciliation in action. The push for reconciliation will never end suggested Chief Gladstone.
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