The Six Nations Cannabis Commission said there are thousands of unregulated products being sold on the reserve.
“I could give you a thousand pictures of what’s being sold in the territory right now,” said Kathy Mair, the new chair of the Six Nations Cannabis Commission.
She told Six Nations of the Grand River elected council on Monday, “None of it is regulated, none of it is tested. The cannabis commission doesn’t want those products out there and they wouldn’t be in the stores if they were part of the commission.”
Mair made the comment after Coun. Greg Frazer held up a colourful package called Space Drops during council’s political liaison meeting on Monday.
The package contained cannabis edibles. He expressed concern about the package’s bright colouring and flavoured options.
“It says on the top ‘prescription-only’ but you can just buy it at the weed shop,” said Frazer, adding that the package advertises peach, apple and other fruit flavours.
“One, they’re buying it without a prescription. Two, it actually looks like it’s geared toward children and younger users. You can see that. It really misleads the public. It’s almost like a cartoon. This type of advertising – are you going to address this?” he asked the commission.
The commission’s regulations state that such products are supposed to have plain packaging and not flavoured.
She said that is one of many issues they intend to address.
“Currently on the territory we have a number of retailers that are not regulated. There are some that are geared towards children. There are many retailers who don’t feel the need to be a part of the commission.”
Product packaging was just one of many issues the new chair and newly-staffed commission says it plans to tackle.
The SNCC was formed in 2018 to help regulate the sale and production of cannabis products on Six Nations while also providing protection to retailers.
A Cannabis Control Law, developed by the commission, was passed by elected council and came into effect on June 21, 2021.
The commission has been fraught with controversy and protests since its inception.
Chief Mark Hill said the purpose of the commission was to ensure the safety of everyone in the community with respect to cannabis.
The commission has an entirely new board and staff and Mair has numerous plans to overhaul their operations.
“We’re working at building better relationships with the community,” said Mair.
The SNCC also plans to revise its Website, simplify the application process, post events online, make amendments to the regulations, talk with producers on the territory and offer free advertising on its Website for cannabis businesses.
The commission is also moving in to its new office space in the village plaza, during which they’ll have a grand opening.
Coun. Frazer said the cannabis industry has been like a “runaway train” since the federal government legalized cannabis sales and use in Canada.
Numerous shops have cropped up on the reserve with many choosing not to abide by the cannabis control law.
Chief Hill said Six Nations Police aren’t focusing on enforcing the cannabis control law right now because they’re working to shut down drug houses.
Meanwhile, Mair said the commission has granted two permits to producers so far and are in talks with a number of retailers right now.