St. Mary’s First Nation continues cannabis dispensary ban

Click to play video: 'St. Mary’s First Nation moratorium on cannabis dispensaries here to stay'
St. Mary’s First Nation moratorium on cannabis dispensaries here to stay
WATCH: St. Mary’s First Nation put a moratorium on cannabis dispensaries in the community back in February, and now after community consultation- the chief and council says that ban is here to stay for now. Nathalie Sturgeon has more. – Aug 10, 2021

St. Mary’s First Nation says it will continue a moratorium on cannabis dispensaries it put in place in February after community consultation showed support for the move.

The community’s Chief and council made the move after several complaints were made about new dispensaries opening up and it prompted them to make the ban.

There are currently 11 cannabis dispensaries listed online within St. Mary’s First Nation.

“The primary concerns cited by both community members and Chief and Council remain increased traffic through the community, loitering of non-community members and the effects of exposing the community’s youth to these businesses,” Chief and council said in a statement.

Cannabis became legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, but the only way to legally obtain is through a licensed provider and in many provinces that’s either a privately-owned business or a Crown corporation operated by the government.

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In New Brunswick, that licensed seller is Cannabis NB.

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Indigenous leaders have been clear First Nation communities were not consulted on the Cannabis Act. Leaders want jurisdictional power over the industry within their territory, in order to seize the economic potential and growth and avoid potential conflicts.

Cannabis dispensaries are still illegal if they are not a licensed provider, according to the Fredericton Police Force. It remains a controlled substance.

“The enforcement of the Cannabis Act on First Nations communities in Canada is complex,” said police spokesperson Alycia Bartlett.

“We work regularly with St. Mary’s First Nation to identify issues of local concern, discuss solutions, and to set local policing priorities,” she said.

“Cannabis remains a controlled substance, and the only legal way to obtain marijuana is to purchase it from a licensed provider. Fredericton Police has conducted and continues enforcement action as and when appropriate.”

On top of the continuation of the ban on cannabis dispensaries, the hours of operation are also being tightly controlled.

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All dispensaries operating within the community must close at 10 p.m.

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Dog rushed to emergency vet after consuming THC

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