Neyaashiinigmiing could be the first First Nation in the country to host a licensed outdoor medical marijuana grow operation on its territory.
Wiisag Corporation, an Indigenous cannabis company headquartered in Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, announced Tuesday that it had received a notice of “Confirmation of Readiness” from Health Canada, the final stage before obtaining a cultivation licence.
Neyaashiinigmiing is about 200 km northwest of Toronto, on the Bruce Peninsula.
Jake Linklater, Wiisag co-founder and executive chairman, said the company expects to have its licence by June and work is already underway to begin planting 19,500 plants across six hectares.
“Getting this notice is, I think, an acknowledgement that our strategy was well-rounded and well thought out,” said Linklater.
He said the outdoor grow-op would mean 20 immediate new jobs in the community, plus 15 additional jobs in July.
If it gets the Health Canada licence, Wiisag would be the second Indigenous-owned company based in a First Nation to enter the licensed cultivation business after Seven Leaf which is based in Akwesasne, a Mohawk community about 120 kiliometres west of Montreal that straddles the Canada-U.S. border. It obtained a licence for an indoor grow-op.