Kahnawà:ke considers Medical pot investment

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, a.k.a. MCK, conducted a survey to gather consensus on whether that community should invest in the burgeoning Medical Marijuana industry, or leave it alone.

The results were made known last Friday, but community leaders are still accepting some more community input and the implications of the data collected.

According to a MCK media release, approximately 1,700 numbers were called through random selection. There were 268 respondents, which represents a 16 per cent participation rate. MCK Public Relations is 90 per cent confident in the results. The four surveyors all reported similar participation issues such as disconnected lines, phones not being answered (note: surveyors did not leave messages) and unwillingness to participate. All feedback given throughout the consultation period will be given to Chief and Council, including survey comments.

The results showed:

More than 70 per cent were aware that medical cannabis is currently legal and that Canada also intends on passing legislation to legalize recreational cannabis in 2018.

More than 57 per cent were in agreement with the need for Kahnawà:ke to develop its own regulations, with 31 per cent disagreeing. The rest were unsure.

Regarding agreeing with the purchase of recreational cannabis (in Kahnawà:ke) from licensed outlets after 2018, 45 per cent agreed, with 42 disagreeing. However, 70 per cent of those who disagreed, strongly disagreed, while only 43 per cent of those who agreed did so strongly.

Regarding the production of legal cannabis in a secure facility if the cannabis is to be distributed off the territory, only 52 per cent agreed and 35 per cent disagreed. The rest were undecided.

Regarding off-reserve investment, only 41 per cent agreed, while 46 per cent disagreed. The remaining were unsure.

More than 60 per cent of participants reported having an above-average or excellent understanding of both medical and recreational cannabis. Of this group, more than 60 per cent were in agreement with the previous four points. The majority of those who reported a below-average or poor understanding of both medical and recreational cannabis also agreed with the regulations but disagreed on the remaining three points, though none of the three points registered more than 50 per cent disagreement.

The eight-question survey was carried out by random telephone calls using the Kahnawà:ke Directory from June 10, 2017 to July 7, 2017.

“This survey will be a very useful tool in determining the next steps in the process,” said Ietsénhaienhs Rhonda Kirby who, with Ietsénhaienhs Gina Deer, is responsible for the file. “Chief & Council will be meeting shortly to examine, analyze and discuss the results. We’d like to thank the Kahnawa’kehró:non who took the time to participate in this survey, as the community has been put in a situation where we will need to make some important decisions in the months to come.”

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