Ground was broken Friday morning on the Native Spirit Cannabis facility in Kanesatake. It’s a joint venture between Blake and Anna Freeman and AAA Medic of Montreal. They are creating a 34000-sqare-foot warehouse out of the old bingo down by the water. The owners say it will be for mostly medicinal cannabis or CBD. “We have our application in with Health Canada…So both companies will be fully aligned with the government and we’re very excited to do this properly, said Blake Freeman. Freeman says they hope to have the 10-million-dollar project up and running by early next summer. “There will be opportunities and development for the community out of all of this,” Freeman said. “I’m happy that we will have on-the-job training for people to come and actually learn and have a new career here which is a wonderful part and byproduct of doing this sort of project.” Meanwhile there are no solid plans from the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake to regulate the cannabis industry in the community. “They asked us if they could do an online thing and we said ‘no’, They wanted to do a whole dispensary down there – a direct dispensary – no way [they’re] not doing that,” said Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon. “You wanted medical, do your medical. Be content with that and move on.” However, so far, four dispensaries have opened up on the Territory including Smoke Signals, which is owned and operated by Clifton Nicholas. Nicholas opened his doors on 4-20. “They way I look at it too, if you’re going to be using “recreationally” because you had a crappy day and you’re trying to change your mindset so that you have a better day, so that you’re feeling better, to me that’s also medicinal,” said Nicholas. “I’d rather see my own people with a joint in their mouth than a beer in their hand. I’ve never seen someone get slapped around because of a joint in their hand. Unless it’s by a cop trying to take that joint away from them.” Nicholas says his clientele is 20 per cent from the community and 80 per cent from the outside.
A 40-year-old local man has been arrested and charged with possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking after a raid at Green Leaf dispensary today.
Kahnawake Peacekeeper cruisers arrived to the shop on highway 138 around 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. This is the fourth raid at the site since June.
K1037 was onsite Friday morning, before the raid, as customers waited in line to make cash-only cannabis purchases at the dispensary. Many customers appeared to be travelling to the shop to avoid lineups and dwindling supplies in Montreal. Peacekeepers remained onsite this afternoon turning away potential customers.
“It’s illegal. It goes against the wishes of the community at this point in time, it goes against the existing laws,” said Chief Ratsénhaienhs Lloyd Phillips about cannabis sales on the Territory. Phillips holds the Community Safety portfolio and was on the Tetewatha:ren talk show on Friday afternoon.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) issued a press release Friday morning reminding the public that, “At this point, there is no law in place that would allow for the sale or manufacturing of cannabis in Kahnawà:ke.”