The cannabis in the line of fire First Nations

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Forty-nine First Nations have invested in 48North Cannabis, allowing them to hold about 20% of the company, has explained the president and ceo Alison Gordon.

The canadian industry of the marijuana grows and First Nations hope to benefit from this new economic bonanza.


Phil Fontaine, a politician who is now the head of a company that produces medicinal cannabis, has spent the last year criss-crossing the country to raise awareness to members of First Nations in the opportunities in this new economic sector in strong growth.


“In each place where we have been, we have had the same reaction : the level of interest and excitement. When First Nations speak of possibilities and potential, this is very encouraging, ” said in an interview with The canadian Press the former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.


The companies of production of marijuana represent a “huge potential” for First Nations, in part because of the communities can be involved in this area at the same time as the rest of the population, rather than to play catch-up years later, as is often the case, mentioned by Mr. Fontaine.




“This is a unique opportunity. This sector is different from all those that the indigenous communities have experienced in the past. Everyone is on the starting blocks at the same time, ” he enthused.

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
Phil Fontaine is a politician native and is now at the head of a company that produces medicinal cannabis.

Phil Fontaine is the president and ceo of the Indigenous Roots, a company that produces medical marijuana by and for First Nations across Canada.


The company is a joint venture founded with Cronos Group, a producer of medicinal cannabis approved by Health Canada. When Indigenous Roots really begins its operations, the profits will be divided equally between Cronos and the First Nations.


Although the cannabis recreational should become legal next summer in Canada, Indigenous Roots will focus its activities on the distribution of marijuana for First Nations. Phil Fontaine has argued that aboriginal people have greater difficulty to get this soft drug prescription that the rest of the population.


“We want to ensure that this service is available to all our communities across the country,” he said.


Indigenous Roots also plans to build a greenhouse production in the vicinity of an installation of Cronos to Armstrong in British Columbia, with the objective of providing patients by the end of 2018, explained in the interview, the president and ceo of Cronos, Mike Gorenstein.


He added that the employees of Cronos will form the members of the First Nations.


“In the medium and long term, this greenhouse will be operated by the First Nations, he argued. Our commitment is to ensure that all the knowledge we hold and that we continue to acquire, we share it, and that we are there to support them. “


This new facility is expected to create between 30 and 50 jobs, not to mention the jobs that could be created in marketing, sales and accounting, has been argued by Mr. Gorenstein. Other greenhouses may be added subsequently.


This type of collaboration, however, is not unique to Canada. A company of production of cannabis located in the north of Ontario has also entered into a partnership with local aboriginal communities.


Forty-nine First Nations have invested in 48North Cannabis, allowing them to hold about 20 % of the company, has explained the president and ceo Alison Gordon.


It also mentions that the company is committed to recruit workers from among the communities established in the vicinity of its facilities in Kirkland Lake.

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