The colonial framework of the “Cannabis Control Act”

Here’s the details of how the MBQ’s “Cannabis Control Act” is based on Canadian Federal and Provincial laws that violate the customs, treaties, and constitutionally protected rights of Mohawk people.

  • Section 3.1 –  The regulation applies to “all persons and business entities” on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
  • Section 4.1 – The regulation prohibits the cannabis plant. “The cultivation, extraction, processing, production, distribution, sale, possession, and use of recreational cannabis within and from the land or territory is prohibited.”
  • Section 5.1 and 10.1 – A five person “First Nation Cannabis Control Board” appointed by Band Council will run all aspects of the cannabis industry at Tyendinaga and liaise “regularly and cooperate” with other jurisdictions and regulatory and law enforcement agencies (ie. Canada). This board is also empowered “to enter into an agreement on price and point of sale taxation arrangements with the Ontario Cannabis Store and the Ministry of Finance.” Board meetings can be open or closed to the public at the will of the board. Three members are all the quorum required for any decision making. 
  • Section 8.0 – The definitions in the document imply congruence and integration with Canada’s Cannabis Act. Cultivator means the holder of a “valid Standard Cultivation Licence or Micro- cultivation License from Health Canada”, “distributor” means the holder of a valid Distribution Licence from the First Nation; “licence holder” means the holder of a valid licence from Canada or the First Nation or both; etc.
  • Section 9.0 – Cannabis possession in TMT is only permitted if “the cannabis has been acquired from a licensed retailer or from a facility that is licensed by Health Canada; and the total amount possessed at any given time does not exceed limits found in The Cannabis Act (Canada).” The only exception to this regulation is for medical patients with a “valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner.”
  • Section 16.18 – ALL the cannabis grown in Tyendinaga must be approved by Health Canada before sale. The term “cultivator” as defined in the document “means the holder of a valid Standard Cultivation Licence or Micro-cultivation License from Health Canada.” Furthermore, “No person is eligible to apply for or hold a Standard Cultivation Licence, a Micro- cultivation Licence, a Standard Processing or a Micro-processing Licence unless the facility from which operations are intended to be conducted has been inspected, certified and licenced by the health and safety authorities designated by the Board, which may include Health Canada officials.”
  • Section 16 – Cannabis “Distribution licenses” will only be issued to entities “in which Council, or an entity created by Council” has an ownership interest. “All licence holders must comply with the provisions of this Law, the Board regulations, any conditions to which the licence may be subject and all other laws, regulations, and policies that are applicable within the Territory.” In addition, “A licence is not valid unless and until any licensing fees and MBQ Community Contributions prescribed by the Board have been paid in full.” The board sets those fees and contributions. 
  • Section 16.16 – Anyone with a criminal conviction for an indictable offence who doesn’t have a pardon from the Queen won’t be eligible for a license under this system.
  • Section 18.0 – The federal government gets in everywhere. “The Board may engage Approved Agents, which may include representatives of Health Canada, to assist and advise the Board in relation to “standards, inspections and certifications of facilities, equipment and materials, testing, storage and handling.”
  • Section 20 – The MBQ via its control board will set price controls “for which any cannabis product can be sold.”
  • Section 21.0 – Licencing fees pay for more cops and enforcers. “All licencing fees shall be the method of substantially paying for the cost of regulating and controlling cannabis in the Territory.”
  • Section 22.0 – Total control. The board is given full powers to create new categories of licenses, set the price of licence fees, determine the operating hours of stores, the type of products, number of licenses, maximum amount of cannabis a store can sell in a given time to customer, potency limits on cannabis, standards and testing procedures, may impose fines up to $100,000 per breach; set up procedures to “accurately track all cannabis sold by a cultivator, processor, distributor, and retail store” and “any other regulations required.”
  • Section 24.0 – Violation of the regulations will be “addressed through fines and suspension or revocation of a license,” or “investigated by the Tyendinaga Police Services, and, where appropriate, criminal proceedings will be initiated and adjudicated in a court of competent jurisdiction.” 
  • Section 27.0 – According to the document it was already enacted as is on March 31, 2019. Despite that fact it is nowhere available on the MBQ website as the links to the actual law are dead. 
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