Cannabis conference on tap
Canadian and U.S. Indigenous leaders are expected to take part in a conference in Vernon this weekend discussing First Nations’ future in the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Harvest Gathering takes place Friday through Sunday at the Vernon Lodge and Syilx Okanagan Trading Post.
Elected Indigenous councillors, economic development leaders, cannabis farmers, processors, and retailers will gather for the convention, with a focus on the federal government’s recently announced review of the Cannabis Act.
In addition to responding to the federal policy review, delegates will celebrate the cannabis harvest, discuss business opportunities, and share opinions regarding Canada’s evolving legal cannabis industry.
They will discuss education and dialogue regarding medical cannabis consumption as well as traditional methods of farming and plant processing.
“We believe the results of the gathering will help facilitate job creation, strategic tourism partnerships, social and economic development opportunities for Indigenous and rural communities,” say the event’s organizers.
“The message we want to send is that many Indigenous governments in B.C. are open for cannabis business opportunities and ready to lead. We are excited to build on the significant work that has already been completed by Indigenous organizations and launch into a new era of collaboration,” Cory Brewer of the Syilx Cannabis Society said in a press release.
First Nations law-making and regulation, economic development, taxation, revenues, health, safety, and education are all on the agenda.
“With the Government of Canada’s current review of their Cannabis Act, a co-ordinated and strategic approach to the implementation of First Nations’ rights and interests with respect to cannabis in B.C. will strengthen First Nations’ advocacy and contribute toward the achievement of mutual objectives related to reconciliation, consumer protection, environmental stewardship, inclusion, job creation, social and economic development,” the event’s website states.
The bulk of discussion will happen Saturday, with a delegate roundtable on the first four years of cannabis legalization, guest speakers, talks about opportunities and barriers facing Indigenous communities, and a potlach celebration.
A closing announcement is expected on Sunday with regard to a Cannabis Act policy resolution.