Article by Eric Welsh, Abbotsford News
Chilliwack will soon be home to a state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and processing facility.
The 30,000 square foot project, with licensing just approved by Health Canada, will be built and owned by the Shxwha:y First Nation, an Indigenous community with a small population on the northwest side of Chilliwack.
It’s a historic moment, representing the first Health Canada approval of a majority owned Indigenous on-reserve licensed facility in Western Canada. Only four have been authorized across the entire country under the Cannabis Act, out of more than 600 approvals.
“Our investments in our people, processes and partnerships have facilitated this most exciting regulatory milestone,” said Shxwha:y Chief Robert Gladstone. “This is about advancing economic development on-reserve, maximizing returns on our traditional lands, and ensuring meaningful employment opportunities for our members and communities for years to come.
“We are set to start production immediately, utilizing leading technology, with the care and commitment to quality from top to bottom.”
Once active, the facility will produce 4,000 kilograms of cannabis products year round. Those products will be distributed locally, nationally and internationally.
Chief Gladstone worked closely with the federal government on the way to this moment and said that collaboration will continue. He hopes this achievement motivates other Indigenous leaders to pursue similar opportunities.