The FSIN is threatening to take the Saskatchewan government to court after the province said a First Nation has no right to enact its own cannabis law.
The Muscowpetung First Nation passed its own cannabis law on Monday, allowing it to regulate and set restrictions on the use, consumption, and processing on its reserve.
On Wednesday, the Muscowpetung Economic Development Corporation opened Mino Maskihki – a cannabis shop.
It is not one of the communities approved for a recreational permit by the province.
The province said Muscowpetung has no legal right to set up a shop.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) said Wednesday it supports the First Nation and the Saskatchewan government has no jurisdiction in the matter.
“The provincial government has no business or jurisdiction on this matter and once again, Saskatchewan will face more legal battles if they choose to violate those inherent and treaty rights,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.
“First Nations have the jurisdiction, sovereignty and authority within their respective nations and we are in full support and will back Chief Cappo and Muscowpetung in exercising that.”
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said Tuesday while reserves do have powers of self-governance, regulating cannabis in Saskatchewan falls to the province.
“The federal government has given us responsibility for licensing and regulating cannabis retailers to the province,” Morgan said.
“We have jurisdiction over the province, including on reserve. So it would be our position that somebody setting one up without a provincial license would not be legal – would not be authorized.”
Muscowpetung, located south of Fort Qu’Appelle, open the doors to its cannabis store on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Cherish Francis said the shop has seen steady business since opening.
– With files from David Baxter
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