More opportunities for Indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs in B.C. will soon be made available, according to the province.
The government announced Saturday that it has allocated nearly $2.3 million to be added to the B.C. Indigenous Cannabis Business Fund (ICBF).
The fund’s goal is to increase Indigenous participation within B.C.’s cannabis industry.
“I commend the province for enhancing its support of First Nations cannabis-related economic development through the ICBF,” said Regional Chief Terry Teegee with the BC Assembly of First Nations.
“This fund is one example of how the BC Assembly of First Nations advocates and works collaboratively to advance First Nations rights and interests in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
The funding announcement comes days after the First Nations Leadership Council’s call for the provincial and federal governments to change cannabis legalities to align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and to support First Nations’ fulsome participation in the cannabis economy.
According to the province, the one-time fund will go toward supporting business planning and advisory services, and will help First Nations cover the costs of licensing and permits. It will also serve as capital funds to support the launch or expansion of businesses.
The funds will be provided through the New Relationship Trust, which is responsible for administering ICBF.
“The cannabis sector can be a multifaceted decision for First Nation communities and entrepreneurs,” said Walter Schneider, New Relationship Trust’s chief executive officer.
“The additional funding means unlocking more opportunities for First Nations seeking to advance their own path toward economic development in the regulated cannabis industry.”