File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / mrorange002)

First Nation to ban pot delivery at reserve

A First Nation just outside of London has announced that it will ban the delivery of recreational cannabis to the reserve.

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation issued a news release on Wednesday, the day recreation marijuana became legal across Canada, and said while the federal government has left the regulation of recreational cannabis to the provinces, the First Nations reserves are considered federal land.

“Provincial sales of cannabis are not welcome on the territory at this time. We want an agreement with Ontario that results in the province stepping away from assertions of jurisdiction on our territory,” said Chief Myeengun Henry in the news release. “We need to look no further than the tobacco sales on reserve in Ontario to see where we could end up with cannabis if the province and First Nations do not come together to address this.”

The First Nation said it has spent the last five years examining the same issues through a pilot project with the province which examines the self-regulation of tobacco on the reserve.

While the First Nation is blocking pot deliveries at this time, Chief Henry said it is not their long-term position. He said Ontario’s cannabis laws would allow an agreement to be made which would allow the First Nation to regulate the sale of cannabis on the reserve, rather than the province.

“We have been working on a tobacco law and are now undertaking an interim cannabis law, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Chief Henry. “Having our own regulations is the answer here but we still advise band members that selling cannabis, recreational or medical, without a license is illegal.”