Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation (Ceg-A-Kin Treaty 4 Territory near Sintaluta, Saskatchewan) is partnering with Surrey, B.C.-based licensed producer (LP) Indigenous Bloom with plans to form a wholesale cannabis business on reserve land.
It is the first official partnership with a First Nation from Saskatchewan for Indigenous Bloom.
Carry the Kettle, which bought the land and its accompanying grow facilities years ago, intends to build the new facility at the location formerly occupied by Indian Head Tree Nursery. The 350,000 square-foot property was allocated as reserve land last month.
Carry the Kettle Chief Brady O’Watch says that the new venture will provide jobs and economic growth for the First Nation.
“As a priority as a chief, you’re trying to look at ways you can help your nation succeed, not only revenue wise but also jobs wise,” O’Watch told CTV News. “One of the main purposes of what we’re doing is to create economic prosperity for my nation and this was something that was long overdue and will be able to supply jobs to our people.”
The income generated from the business could be of great benefit to Carry the Kettle, which was devastated when its water treatment plant was severely damaged by a fire in February 2019, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency. The cause of the fire was not determined.
While the exact cost of the construction has yet to be announced, pending inspection and evaluation from building engineers, but it is expected to amount to millions of dollars to bring existing buildings up to Health Canada’s stringent standards for cannabis cultivation facilities.
The announcement is also big news for Saskatchewan cannabis lovers, who will benefit from the planned retail shops that are expected to result from the partnership.
“Our objective is to work with First Nations in partnerships for the construction of growing operations and also seed-to-sale, so retail shops,” Indigenous Bloom executive chairman Robert Louie, who promises the facility design will be “first rate”, told CTV News.
The move is an about-face for Carry the Kettle, which had declared a ban on both legal and illegal drugs — including cannabis — in May 2019.