Article by Michael Lee, North Bay Nugget
Nipissing First Nation is expected to lower the legal age to purchase recreational cannabis to 19 from 21.
The amendment to Nipissing First Nation’s Cannabis Law will see the age limit lowered effective May 19.
The decision also will allow for the sale of legal edible cannabis products.
The May edition of the Nipissing First Nation newsletter Enkamgak says Nipissing First Nation chief and council “believe it is in the best interests of the membership to reduce the sale of unregulated cannabis and enable the sale of inspected and regulated cannabis at licensed NFN cannabis retail stores.”
Communications officer Geneviève Couchie says the proposed amendments were posted from March 6 to 23 to get feedback from the community, as well as through a mail-out, on the Nipissing First Nation website, social media and digital signs. Community meetings also took place March 11 and 12.
“Community members were able to provide their feedback by mail, email and telephone. An online survey form was also available and saw a strong response rate,” Couchie said in an email.
She says the input overall was favourable to the proposed amendments, which will be formalized through a band council resolution during a council meeting May 19.
Nipissing First Nation currently has one licensed cannabis retail store — Kana Leaf.
The store became not only the first licensed store to open on Nipissing First Nation when it launched in late February, but the first one in the area.
Two other proposed stores on Nipissing First Nation are still going through the approval process.
At the moment, the province’s regulator for cannabis retail stores, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, is not issuing any new cannabis retail store authorizations, but will continue to process applications.
The Ontario government removed cannabis retail stores off of its list of essential workplaces as part of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The province later introduced an order in early April allowing stores to offer delivery and curbside pickup.