Winnipeg is now up to 10 stores selling recreational cannabis.
The newest store, Meta Cannabis Supply Co., located 420 Madison St., is on the site of Winnipeg’s first urban reserve, Long Plain First Nation. They could be challenging a new tax set to take effect in the new year.
Right now, Aboriginal People with treaty status can buy items such as tobacco products and gas exempt from provincial sales tax on the Long Plain First Nation.
But with a new product — like cannabis — the chief says the province’s new tax, the social responsibility fee, should not apply to this location.
“To me, it’s a bit of a mistake the province is making, and it most likely will be challenged.” Said Long Plain First Nation Chief Dennis Meeches.
“They’ve introduced a regulatory fee that will take effect in January, that may be challenged… probably will be challenged.”
The chief says any court challenge would be fronted by the Indigenous governments because that’s an infringement on their treaty rights.
According to the Manitoba government, all cannabis retailers have entered into agreements with Manitoba containing an obligation to pay a social responsibility fee.
Their take is First Nations are no different than any other retailer.
The province didn’t say what sort of penalty Long Plain First Nation could face, Or if they would withhold product until this is sorted out.