Former AFN National Chief Moves into Medicinal Marijuana Business

Article by CBC News

A former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations has moved into the medicinal marijuana business.

Phil Fontaine, who was also previously the grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, is now the lead of Indigenous Roots, a medicinal cannabis company.

“Our primary interest here of course is business opportunities, job creation, it’s about the Indigenous economy, job opportunities, and it’s about training,” Fontaine said.

The goal of the company is to work cooperatively with First Nations towards building and operating licensed facilities and providing medical cannabis to First Nations patients. To reach that goal, Indigenous Roots partnered with Cronos Group, a cannabis company that already operates two wholly-owned licensed producer facilities — one in Ontario and the other in British Columbia.

“It’s about doing whatever is necessary to make a difference in terms of ensuring that Indigenous people have access to quality products when it comes to medical cannabis and that they are able to access good service,” Fontaine said.

“Because when we look at the Indigenous community, I mean it’s an under-served community and so our approach is to ensure that we are able to deliver good service to our people.”

Through the partnership, Indigenous roots will be able to quickly enter the medicinal marijuana market, Fontaine said. The flagship Indigenous Roots facility will be located in British Columbia at Cronos’ In The Zone Produce facility in the Okanagan Valley.

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