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Thursday, May 23, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


BC authorities raid Indigenous cannabis shops in Comox again

“We can’t even operate on our own lands without being harassed, it’s just wild to me,” a worker said after the previous February raid

BC authorities raid Indigenous cannabis shops in Comox for second time this year
The Buddery House, one of four unlicensed shops on K’ómoks land, reopened Friday after being raided the previous day. Photo credit: The Buddery House

British Columbia’s Community Safety Unit (CSU), the provincial authority for cannabis law, has again raided a series of pot shops on Indigenous land. The unit was assisted by the RCMP.

This is the second time this year that the unlicensed Vancouver Island shops on the K’ómoks First Nation were descended upon by law enforcement. The first occurrence was on Valentine’s Day.

Significant quantities of cannabis products were seized. A lawyer representing one of the shops told Global News that they were trying to set up a meeting with the CSU when the raids occurred Thursday.

The Butterfly Effect, one of the dispensaries, says they took about C$10,000 worth of merchandise.

“That’s a lot of medicine that they have taken, not just from us but from our people,” co-owner Amanda Chartrand said. She added that there were more pressing issues that needed to be addressed in the community than weed goodies.

“We have other significant community safety issues they are not supporting us with, like trespassing, criminal activities and animal control on our lands,” the First Nation said. They think they are being unfairly targeted while others get to operate freely.

Read more: The importance of third-party lab testing for CBD products

Read more: Historic cannabis rescheduling imminent in the U.S., multiple sources say

K’ómoks believes it has self-governance rights

Another store front, The Buddery House, was looted by the cops too. The owner was quite frustrated as he was denied entry while they were inside. However, the shop opened the following day and business continued as usual.

Owners from The Butterfly Effect, The Buddery House and the other two stores raided say they have business licenses and pay taxes, but none of them currently possess a provincial cannabis license.

Rob Laurie, an attorney assisting The Buddery House, says they ultimately see it as a matter of having sovereignty over the sale of cannabis. Furthermore, the group believes in its rights to the access and use of medicinal plants and thinks they should be treated like a government of their own.

K’ómoks is disappointed with these actions and aims to reach a compromise in court.

“They are not allowing the time for our community to work through the process needed, to find a path forward that makes sense for our Nation,” the K’ómoks Indigenous group said in a statement.

“First Nations have inherent rights and jurisdiction to govern the cultivation, processing, sale and consumption of cannabis in their territories,” the First Nations Leadership Council stated regarding the matter.


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