MCK announces next steps in Kahnawake Cannabis Control Law

10/09/2018

MCK announces next steps in Kahnawake Cannabis Control Law - View PDF

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to update the community on the next steps regarding the proposed Kahnawà:ke Cannabis Control Law (‘the Kahnawà:ke Law’).

“With legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes less than two weeks away, we need to emphasize the need for the community to move forward on its own law to ensure we – not Canada or Quebec – control our own destiny regarding the production and sale of cannabis on our Territory,” said Ietsénhaienhs Rhonda Kirby, who has been working on the proposed Kahnawà:ke Law since 2016. “Extensive consultation has demonstrated clearly that the community supports the need for our own laws and regulations. However, there is still one question that needs to be clarified – does the community actually support the sale of legal cannabis within the Territory?”

The results of the Technical Survey conducted in 2016 were not definitive on this matter. After it was proposed at the First Hearing of the Law on September 25, 2018 that a ’referendum’ be held to answer the question definitively, Ietsénhaienhs Kirby brought the matter back to Chief & Council for their input.

“It was decided to poll the community directly to get community feedback on the sale of cannabis on the Territory,” Ietsénhaienhs Kirby added. “We’ll have details on this shortly.”

Chief & Council also clarified that the draft Kahnawà:ke Law was correctly categorized as a ‘Type II’ law pursuant to the Community decision making Process.

“The September 25th meeting really showed that the classification of the Kahnawà:ke Law as a Type II was correct,” she stated. “The Type II process was created to ensure that special interest groups aren’t able to ‘stack the meetings’ to influence the process and, for example, advocate for a free-for-all sale of unlicensed cannabis in Kahnawà:ke. There has been two full years of consultation which clearly showed that Kahnawa’kehrò:non support the creation of our own laws and regulations. As a body, the MCK holds the responsibility to look out for the best interests on the entire community, not just certain groups or persons.”

The Kahnawà:ke Law is being created to protect our people from unsafe products and to ensure that any cannabis industry – should it be accepted – has a communal benefit. Most important, if there is to be sale of cannabis in the Territory, it must follow the regulated and licensed process as set out in the draft Kahnawà:ke Law. Anyone cultivating, distributing, or selling cannabis without a Kahnawà:ke and Health Canada license will be operating illegally. In the meantime, the moratorium on any sale of cannabis in the Territory remains in place.

For further information, please go to www.kahnawake.com/legalcannabis .