Six Nations Cannabis regulations reach second draft

SIX NATIONS — The long anticipated draft of Six Nations cannabis regulatory laws has been shared with the community.

Under the new plan, a person of Six Nations 21 years and over is permitted to possess cannabis for medical or non-medical reasons. The bylaw and the total amount possessed at any given time does not exceed the amount prescribed by federal law. Anyone under 21, can possess cannabis for medical use only with proof of a prescription.

Where to legally smoke or vape will follow the present tobacco smoking laws and be restricted from any public area or school zone.

“This law applies to all cannabis related activities on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve and will remain in effect until the Six Nations Elected Council enacts its own licensing regulatory regime,” reads the new draft — saying it “overrules and supersedes conflicting federal and provincial laws” surrounding cannabis.

The draft says the production, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis has a “significant impact on socio-economic development, health, safety and peace, order and good government within the Six Nations of the Grand River” — and says the elected council has an obligation to regulate the industry for the safety required by the Six Nations membership.

Questions about whether the acceptance of a valid permit by band members may expunge any current rights for Six Nations people at large, was dealt with in section 8.3 of the proposed law, under Permit Granting.

“Only those businesses or individuals holding valid licences from the appropriate provincial or federal authority may apply for a permit under this law; this is for administrative purposes only and does not mean any acceptance of the application of provincial laws on reserve land via Section 88 of the Indian Act or by default.”

Proposed growers must prove themselves capable of producing a high standard of plant and declare a list of promises including a water irrigation plan, what, if any, fertilizer being used, which will be considered by Six Nations Environment Department. Growing or distributing marijuana products is prohibited without a valid permit and could cost that person fines and even imprisonment.

Section VII, 12.4 addresses driving or operating heavy equipment under the influence of marijuana products and states; “No person is permitted to use, or be under the influence of cannabis when operating a motor vehicle.” That is pretty straight forward. In fact, using cannabis in public could result in a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offence, and $5,000 for subsequent offences.

There are distinct parts of the proposed law which deal with issues of dispensary, distribution and growing of cannabis.

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