Officers from the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Services Tuesday raided at least two recreational cannabis dispensaries that recently opened on Cornwall Island.
One business, Wild Flower Cannabis Dispensary, opened on Island Road on Dec. 18 and has been selling buds, oils and even edibles to Canadian and Cornwall Island residents. It was the second dispensary to be raided, after AK420 was visited by police earlier in the day.
It is not clear why the Mohawk police raided the dispensary. Police have not responded to a request for more information.
On its Facebook page, Wild Flower claims that it is licensed to sell cannabis.
But the cannabis store next door, Green Chief Naturals, is still waiting for its own licence to be approved despite having been open for months longer than Wild Flower. It was not raided on Tuesday.
The raid highlights the grey area that cannabis sales on Cornwall Island seem to exist in.
Currently, only 25 stores are being given licences from the Ontario government to open this coming April, but since First Nations such as Akwesasne are under federal jurisdiction, it is unclear whether the provincial licensing regime applies on reserves.
Akwesasne has its own interim cannabis control regulations, which the Mohawk council passed in October. Under these regulations, businesses can apply for an interim licence to sell cannabis, a process that involves a $2,000 application fee and filing a detailed business plan. When those regulations were adopted, a spokesperson for Ontario’s finance ministry said the provincial government would not interfere with regulations adopted by First Nations on the retail sales of cannabis once they became legal.