Our Cannabis Retail operations have been placed on hold at this time as we continue to negotiate with the Province of Saskatchewan. The hold was introduced as a “good faith” measure while our governments finalize Saskatchewan’s first Shared Jurisdiction Agreement.
As the first Indigenous community within Saskathewan to set-up a Cannabis dispensary, it is our intention to continue to move forward in this space, expanding throughout the province. Muscowpetung has worked tirelessly to advance our Nations’ self-determination. Muscowpetung has shown particular leadership in defending First Nations’ jurisdiction to regulate cannabis. This approach has allowed Muscowpetung to enter high-level discussions with Canada and Saskatchewan regarding First Nations’ jurisdiction over cannabis. While no agreement has yet been reached, Muscowpetung’s unrelenting efforts have brought us close to signing a landmark agreement with Saskatchewan.
On November 12, 2018, Muscowpetung passed the Muscowpetung First Nation Cannabis Act (“Muscowpetung Cannabis Act”). This was an assertion of Muscowpetung’s inherent right to self-government in relation to cannabis. The Muscowpetung Cannabis Act created a Cannabis Board which would regulate cannabis on-reserve. Also on November 12, 2018, the Muscowpetung Cannabis Board issued licences to Mino-Maskihki Good Medicine Cannabis Dispensary.
The next day, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice Don Morgan was reported to have stated that regulating cannabis in Saskatchewan was within the power of the Province. Over the coming days, the leadership of Muscowpetung approached Saskatchewan to discuss the apparent disagreement over the Muscowpetung Cannabis Act.
Negotiations between Saskatchewan, Canada and Muscowpetung commenced in late December, 2018 and carried on until June, 2019. In August, 2019, Muscowpetung applied for a Cannabis Retail Store Permit. There was never a response to this application.
Muscowpetung returned to the table with Saskatchewan and Canada in June, 2021. These talks are ongoing and substantial progress has been made. Muscowpetung and Saskatchewan are close to reaching an interim agreement. An interim agreement would allow Muscowpetung to maintain its inherent right to self-government while participating in the provincial cannabis market. The agreement would be “interim” because Saskatchewan and Muscowpetung would continue to negotiate a final agreement to address all aspects of cannabis regulation. An interim agreement would be a major victory and the first agreement of its kind in Saskatchewan.
Muscowpetung has also been working with Saskatchewan to change the province-wide approach to on-reserve cannabis. Saskatchewan has been extremely receptive to Muscowpetung’s vision and advocacy. We are very optimistic that Muscowpetung’s leadership on First Nations’ jurisdiction over cannabis will benefit First Nations across the province in the near future.
As you may be aware, we have already conducted surveys online and engagement sessions have started. As a First Nation that is only 40 minutes away from the City Regina it is important that we gain access to this important resource and infrastructure capability.
We approach this project with our ongoing commitment to Environmental Stewardship. We also seek the input of our elders and the people before we advance the major infrastructure projects on behalf of the nation.