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Province brings legislation for on-reserve cannabis regulation

Province also bringing in on reserve bylaw enforcement.
Minister for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority Lori Carr at the legislature earlier this week.

REGINA - This week at the Legislature, the province has brought in legislation for First Nations to be able to control the distribution and retailing of cannabis.

According to the province's news release, The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Amendment Act, 2022 establishes a provincial legal framework for First Nations to license and regulate distribution and retailing of cannabis on-reserve. 

“This is actually something that we brought into regulations in the summertime this past year, 2022," Minister responsible for SLGA Lori Carr said at the legislature this week. "So now we’re just taking those regulations and putting those into legislation, and it is something the First Nations were asking for." 

The biggest benefit, she said, was that they would be able to access the product directly from the Canadian government and be able to ensure the product is safe for their consumers.

The province states the proposed amendments will provide First Nations the opportunity to create their own First Nations regulatory framework, consistent with federal and provincial legislation to establish a local cannabis authority. Once that is established, stores regulated by First Nations will have access to federally regulated cannabis products.

These amendments will also require cannabis retailers to only ask for proof of age when a purchaser appears under the age of 25, as opposed to the current requirement to ask all purchasers.

In addition, the province has also introduced The Summary Offences Procedure Amendment Act, 2022, which the province says will provide a legal framework for First Nations to enforce laws and bylaws through tickets, fines and other measures on-reserve.

"These amendments will allow First Nations to use the summary offence procedure to issue tickets and fines, similar to how tickets and fines are issued for traffic violations and other provincial offenses," Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said in a news release. "Our province is proud to take this important step as part of our ongoing work on bylaw enforcement with the Muskoday and Whitecap Dakota First Nations."

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