VIDEO: WLIB embarking into cannabis industry with retail store planned for Williams Lake

The shop will be built on IR#6 land adjacent to Kal Tire on Mackenzie Avenue South

Williams Lake Indian Band is getting into the cannabis business with the construction of a retail shop on IR#6 land inside the city limits of Williams Lake.

Chief Willie Sellars confirmed the band’s plans Wednesday and said shovels should go into the ground soon for the shop on Mackenzie Avenue South near Kal Tire and Scout Island.

“We are working with Indigenous Bloom Corporation,” Sellars told the Tribune of the Kelowna-based company.

“One of the company leads is Robert Louie, former chief of the West Bank First Nation. They’ve built a store in Chilliwack, are building one in Kelowna. They are working with First Nations right across Canada.”

Indigenous Bloom the only dispensary operating in Chilliwack with the dawn of legalization

In advance of embarking on the venture, chief and council developed a cannabis bylaw which had its first reading at the chief and council level and then went in front of the community for its second reading on Monday, Dec. 3.

Sellars said if there had been major concerns brought forth by the community then chief and council would have considered putting the law to a vote.

“It went really well,” Sellars said of the community response. “The feedback and the questions that were asked were very well done. The community is excited, people are curious about how it is going to roll out, and there is definitely some concerns, but overall the communication was positive.”

Sellars said concerns around drug awareness and social programming were raised during a regular community engagement session, but added council was transparent about its plan moving forward and how it envisions the cannabis industry is going to go with the WLIB.

“We have the jurisdiction to regulate cannabis retail on our reserve lands,” Sellars said.

“Reserve lands are federal and while we recognize there is a complicated interplay between Federal, Provincial and First Nations laws we are confident in our authority in this area.”

Sellars said they are working with the Province of British Columbia to negotiate an agreement under Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

“We feel that having an agreement with the Province will give clarity as to the authority of our respective laws and reduce the possibility of confusion and conflict.”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth was unavailable for comment on WLIB’s cannabis agreement, however, his office noted the province has established a licencing regime for private non-medical cannabis retail which is administered by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

“LCRB is engaging directly on all enquiries from Indigenous nations and is working closely with Indigenous nations and partnerships who are interested in either applying for licences or supporting the establishment of retail stores on their lands,” the ministry spokesperson noted.

“The province is committed to working with Indigenous nations to respond to the needs and interests of individual communities.”

WLIB fully agrees with the core policy objectives in section 119, Sellars added.

“We want to make sure that any product sold is safe and thoroughly tested. We want to ensure that cannabis is kept out of the hands of minors and criminals. We will be scrupulous in our maintenance of records. We want to be on the cutting edge of this industry. We’re looking forward to working with the Province and creating an agreement around cannabis that works for both our governments.”

Sellars said the cannabis shop will be hooking up to the City’s water and sewer at the edge of the Mackenzie Avenue site .

“We have the right to do that from another agreement we had with the City where we granted them a right of way for a road,” Sellars explained, noting the band has been in contact with the city’s chief administrative officer and director of development services as well as informed mayor and council.

The band has hired Titan Built Construction Ltd. of Williams Lake to build the shop.

“We have some drawings completed already,” Sellars said.

“We are just waiting for a few things from Indigenous Bloom and then we will get started on the construction.”

It is anticipated the construction of the new facility will be completed in three months.

Once operational the shop will create an estimated 10 to 15 new jobs.

Read more: B.C. First Nations get into growing, selling marijuana before legalization



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Architect’s rendering of the new cannabis retail facility on WLIB IR#6. Image submitted

Just Posted

Canada goose protected by horse from eagle attack, rescued and reunited with nest mate

One was protected from an eagle attack by a horse, the other one wandered onto a porch

RCMP trying to locate two men on outstanding warrants

Justin Tyler Pichoch and Gerald Isnardy are believed to be living in the Williams Lake area

Baby makes surprise arrival on Sheep Creek Hill

Meldrum Creek woman delivers in the passenger seat

Periods of light snow should end by noon for Williams Lake area

There is a southeast wind gusting up to 20 kilometres an hour that will ease up by noon, Environment Canada’s forecast suggests

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes in Bella Coola

“Last fall when I was sleeping in my car I woke up to a big grizzly bear staring in my window” — grateful new tiny home resident Wayne Schooner

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Most Read