Band Member opposes proposed cannabis law

We received the following email from a member of Shawanaga First Nation stating their opposition to the proposed cannabis law. We re-post the email here with permission.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Chantale Sheehan 
Date: Sat, May 8, 2021 at 9:27 PM
Subject: Cannabis Law – I am opposing the draft law, more discussion is needed.
To: <bandmanager@shawanagafirstnation.ca>, <administrationassistant@shawanagafirstnation.ca>

Hello Adam:
I am writing to you in response to the email sent out on March 31 regarding the Cannabis Notice and Law.  I’ve had the opportunity to review the notice, letter, and draft law that was attached in the email.  Although this could be a great opportunity, further and careful consideration is still needed.

At this time, it is too soon to put this draft law to a vote and my reasons are as follows:

1. The March 31 email is the very first time members are hearing about this proposed law and asking us to proceed to a vote sometime after the 42 day review is short notice.  The March 31st email is the very first communication sent out to the members and technically, members were not given 42 days notice because the email was sent out two days after the dated letter of March 29th. 

2. In the notice, I found it interesting that the council passed a motion back in Sept 25, 2020 prohibiting the issuance of any licenses or activity regarding cannabis.  The notice said consultation with membership will be critical to determine how SFN would proceed and members would be kept informed.  I’ve gone through my past emails and newsletters around that date, I cannot find any communication about this “complex issue” or discussion on the proposed cannabis law.  If it was referenced in a past newsletter can you kindly let me know the date of that newsletter? 

3. I don’t recall any specific past communication about the Land Code being amended to include cannabis as a resource and to have the Cannabis Law become part of the Land Code.  Was this mentioned in a past newsletter, where council minutes of the meeting were attached?

4. Who are the Cannabis Board members?  Are these individuals fully knowledgeable with the Cannabis Law Act 2018, AGCO regulatory processes, Health Canada regulations?

5. What is the Board’s mandate?  In reviewing Section 21 – Cannabis Committee & General Mandate, this is extremely vague and should be more clearly defined.

6. The draft cannabis law should clearly define the two jurisdictions of licensing, they should be clearly categorized:  a) medical cannabis outlets, cultivation and production (as per Health Canada regulations)  b) licensing of recreational retail outlets and personal use

7. Who will be the individual with legal signatory authority to sign off on these licenses?

8.  Regarding section 7.10 and 7.11, given that council members are elected on 4 year terms, I am not sure how efficient this will be if they are the governing body regarding the application and licensing of cannabis.

9. Has Shawanaga First Nation consulted with other First Nation communities who currently sell cannabis on their territory?  Do they have a Cannabis Board, will SFN Cannabis Board liaise with other First Nation Cannabis Boards?

Thank you for your consideration and attention to this matter.

Kind regards,

Chantale Sheehan