This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, has gathered the support of one of the first licensed cannabis growers in the region, Cronos Group, to bring medical marijuana to First Nations. Cronos Group operates the Peace Naturals Project in Ontario and In The Zone Produce Ltd. in British Columbia. It has partnered with Mr. Fontaine in a joint venture called Indigenous Roots, which would work co-operatively with First Nations to supply people living on and off reserves with the drug.
A press release issued by the partners on Tuesday morning explained that the idea is to allow First Nations to invest, operate and participate in the economic opportunities related to the emerging cannabis industry. With a flagship operation at the B.C. location, they say they intend to consult and work co-operatively with First Nations that are interested in participating, and would commit to remaining a First-Nations-owned-and-operated company providing employment and economic opportunities to First Nations people.
Cronos has promised to acquire the land, license, intellectual property and engineering expertise and in return share the operating profits on a 50/50 basis. Mr. Fontaine explained that “we are committed to working with First Nations agencies in every region towards developing a solution that provides our patients access to insured cannabis medication.” Whereas, the chief executive officer of Cronos, Mike Gorenstein, also added that his company has tremendous respect for First Nations “and this relationship extends our vision of providing compassionate care. Indigenous Roots will contribute to a shared goal of bringing top quality medicine to patients in need.”
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