Chief's Special Newsletter Proposed Land Law on Cannabis Use, Sale and Production within our lands

When cannabis was legalized in the fall of 2018, Band Council responded to community concerns by issuing a moratorium on the sale and production of cannabis within our reserves until the members had an opportunity to become better informed and to express their views through a community vote.

We have since had a number of community meetings for information purposes, and it appears that at least some members are in favor of allowing properly regulated use, sale and production on our lands. Band Council has accordingly prepared a draft cannabis land law dealing with these matters for your consideration. Although Council has authority under the Land Code to enact this land law without a community vote, we also have the authority to put anything that is contentious to a community vote if we think it is advisable, and that is what we are doing on this draft land law.

The proposed Henvey Inlet First Nation Cannabis Land Law 2021, which is available from the Band Administration Office or on our First Nation website, does three main things:

  • It defines areas where cannabis cannot be used, such as inside and around band buildings and in band vehicles. This will reduce the exposure of children to cannabis use and ensure members who do not wish to participate in cannabis use and lifestyle are not forced to do so, and is essential for workplace safety.
  • It requires an HIFN land use permit for any cannabis grow-ops and for cannabis stores, which only be on land leased from the First Nation, not CP or CE land. This is so that everybody in the community can share in the benefit of any production facility or store through band rental income. Application fees will be sued for our drugs and addictions programming.
  • It requires any producer or seller of cannabis to have all necessary provincial and federal licences and authorizations, in addition to a HIFN land use permit and lease, before they can operate. This will ensure that only reputable and law-abiding businesses can operate in our community, and ensure the quality of product that is sold or grown within our reserves.

Meeting of Members to discuss the draft land law will be held at the Fire Hall, Pickerel River Road, French River Reserve No. 13, on two dates:
Sunday, 17 October 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm, and Tuesday, 19 October 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Voting will be by mail in ballot and in person on Sunday, 24 October 2021 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, or by mail-in ballot received by Scott Jacobs, the Voting Officer, on or before noon on Friday, 22 October 2021. Ballots will be sent to all members by mail shortly.

If you have any questions or require any further information in the meantime, please contact me or Councillor Doreen McKenzie at the Band Administration Office, or send in the Feedback Form included in the Notice package you will receive shortly and the Lands Advisory Committee will follow up with you.

CLICK HERE for the full Chief's special newsletter.