CANNABIS CULTURE – To some, weed is medicine. To others, it’s a source of joy. But to First Nations, cannabis is even more. It’s a much-needed opportunity.
Among First Nations cannabis advocates there is the hope the process could provide First Nation communities with a steady source of jobs and income, allowing them to re-invest in other badly needed economic development projects.
If managed correctly, legalization could be a healthy boon to indigenous communities across Canada, many of whom struggle with high unemployment and poverty, as well as declining revenues from industries like timber and mining.
The Start of an Industry
“Of course, we’re always trying to strengthen our economy. So [legalization] is something we took a hard look at,” said Long Plain Chief Dennis Meeches, in a phone call with Cannabis Culture. “We thought: Ok, we need to get involved”.
A signatory to Treaty One, Long Plain reserves and urban economic zones cover a land base of over 10,000 acres in the central plains of Manitoba.
The community doesn’t have a particularly strong stigma against cannabis, explained Chief Meeches, so legalization has largely been welcomed as an economic opportunity. Now legal recreational cannabis is here, the community intends to