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Peepeekisis Cree Nation opens cannabis dispensary to boost local economy

Cannabis buds lay along a drying rack.
Cannabis buds lay along a drying rack. Tijana Martin / The Canadian Press

On Saturday, the Peepeekisis Cree Nation opened up a band-owned cannabis dispensary.

Located near the Peepeekisis Health Centre — 19 kilometres east of Balcarres, Sask. — the Joint Adventures Medical Dispensary will serve the region with their cannabis needs.

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Colin Stonechild, who is in charge of economic development for the First Nation, said the idea behind the dispensary is to boost their local economy.

“It’s a feasible operation for us to enter into, so we consulted our membership and did a consultation,” Stonechild said.

Following approval from members and elders, the Peepeekisis Cree Nation started developing their own cannabis laws and regulations.

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“This is going to be really great for our membership, young and old,” Stonechild said.

What you need to know about cannabis edibles
What you need to know about cannabis edibles

The new business created 15 new jobs within the First Nation. Plus, revenue from the sale of cannabis and other products will go back into the community toward programming.

“This will offset a lot of costs in our sports and recreation, emergency assistance, elders programs and health care,” Stonechild said.

However, the benefits go beyond economic value.

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Stonechild believes the Joint Adventures Medical Dispensary will deliver health benefits to the community.

“A lot of elders use CBD for chronic pain,” Stonechild said. “For people’s overall wellbeing, THC and CBD combinations can benefit people.”

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The community came together to celebrate the opening of the new business on Saturday, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and lunch.

“This is about self-determination and our inherent rights over our sovereign wealth,” Stonechild said. “We’re creating opportunities to better our community.”