Draft Cannabis Control Law to address health and safety concerns, license processes

04/12/2018

Draft Cannabis Control Law to address health and safety concerns, license processes - View PDF

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) is pleased that the draft Kahnawà:ke Cannabis Control Law has entered the Community Decision Making Process.

With federal legislation to legalize recreational use of cannabis expected to be passed this summer, a working group was created and the Kahnawà:ke-based law was proposed in order to ensure that the community has control of its own destiny in this matter.

“The priority is – and always should be – the health and safety of Kahnawa’kehró:non,” stated Ietsénhaienhs Rhonda Kirby, who holds the Cannabis portfolio with Ietsénhaienhs Gina Deer. “Community members need to look at the draft law and make their comments. This will help all of us to be better prepared for future meetings, which will be announced in the upcoming weeks.”

Kahnawake Shakotiia’takéhnhas Community Services sent a letter of support for the creation of the law. “KSCS is in support of the development of a Kahnawake Law that focuses on placing health and security of our Community as a concern over all else […] A Kahnawà:ke-borne law has to be harmonized with strong preventive measures,” the letter read.

Under the Law, legal cannabis-related operations would require licenses from both Health Canada and Kahnawà:ke in order to operate a business within the Territory (‘Two-Tiered Licensing System’).

“The proposed law would regulate the location and number of cannabis facilities,” said Ietsénhaienhs Gina Deer. “There is much to consider, including the possible socio-economic benefits that could be derived from cannabis-related industries.”  In a written statement the Tewatohnhi’saktha’s Board of Directors said that, “(We remain) prepared to support ratified legislation that accurately reflects the will and intentions of the people of Kahnawà:ke.”

“The Kahnawake Peacekeepers support the creation of our own law in the matter of cannabis,” stated Chief Peacekeeper Dwayne Zacharie. “We need to be able to respond to the community’s wishes regarding certain aspects of upcoming legislation of the product. Let’s not forget: regardless of whether or not it will be legal, it is still a mind-altering substance and, as such, there are great implications from a policing point-of-view.”

Kahnawa’kehró:non will be advised of upcoming Community Decision Making Process activities. The draft law and related documents can be viewed at www.kahnawakemakingdecisions.com .