Cannabis Commission, Alongside Council, Opposes Cannabis Distribution at Santa Parade

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In a recent Santa Claus parade held in Six Nations, the handing out of cannabis products by an unlicensed dispensary has sparked controversy and condemnation from both the Six Nations Elected Council and the Six Nations Cannabis Commission. The incident involved a float with children dressed in Dalmatian outfits allegedly handing out cannabis products, which was deemed inappropriate and generated a misconception about the relationship between children and cannabis. The commission expressed disappointment that the float won first place and emphasized the need for safe and tested products, as well as the adherence to community regulations. Elected council members expressed their disapproval of the incident, emphasizing the importance of upholding Haudenosaunee values, which include abstaining from mind-altering substances. The incident has prompted discussions about licensing regulations and community standards within the cannabis industry in Six Nations.

Council and Six Nations Cannabis Commission condemn cannabis giveaway at Santa Claus parade

Six Nations Elected Council and Six Nations Cannabis Commission condemn cannabis giveaway

The Six Nations Elected Council and the Six Nations Cannabis Commission have expressed their strong condemnation of the handing out of cannabis at the recent Six Nations Santa Claus parade. Six Nations Coun. Audrey Powless-Bomberry stated that she believed it was inappropriate and should never have happened. The Six Nations Cannabis Commission (SNCC) referred to the incident as “unfortunate” in a press release they issued. They highlighted the fact that a float belonging to an unlicensed dispensary participated in the parade, which they felt was inappropriate due to the parade’s focus on children. The float had children or youth dressed in Dalmatian outfits and was allegedly distributing cannabis products as it proceeded down the parade route. The SNCC expressed concern about the misconception that could arise from associating children with cannabis in this way, emphasizing the importance of safety and education when it comes to cannabis use.

Float belonged to an unlicensed dispensary called Off The Track Some Shop

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

The business responsible for the cannabis giveaway at the parade is called Off The Track Some Shop and is owned by Brandon Green-Styres. It is important to note that this dispensary is not under the umbrella of the Six Nations Cannabis Commission. According to Council member Alaina VanEvery, the owner of the shop only distributed cannabis products to individuals they knew were of legal age. VanEvery also participated in an online discussion group where the incident was discussed, and she reported that the store owner agreed to refrain from similar giveaways in the future. It is worth mentioning that Off The Track Some Shop is part of the Six Nations People’s Cannabis Coalition, a group of local cannabis businesses. However, the Coalition did not pay registration fees or acquire a Six Nations license to operate a cannabis business. Their decision to form a coalition stems from their protest of the community reporting standards and financial contributions required for licensed operators.

Incident could have been prevented with adherence to Six Nations Cannabis Law

The Six Nations Cannabis Commission believes that this incident could have been prevented if the business had adhered to the Six Nations Cannabis Law. The Commission has a strong desire for all cannabis establishments within the community to be licensed. According to the Commission’s release, if all establishments were licensed, only floats related to safety and education would have been permitted. The SNCC clarified that they have no control over unlicensed establishments, and the incident involving Off The Track Some Shop’s float would have been prevented if the business had complied with the law. It is important to note that the Six Nations Cannabis Law was drafted and finalized in 2021.

Council and Cannabis Commission condemn cannabis giveaway at Santa Claus parade

Concerns about children’s exposure to cannabis

The presence of children or youth dressed in Dalmatian outfits on the float distributing cannabis products raises concerns about the exposure of children to cannabis. The SNCC expressed their worry that this float sends the wrong message about the relationship between children and cannabis. They emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety and education when it comes to cannabis consumption. The float’s association of children with cannabis in a Santa Claus parade could generate misconceptions and reinforce inappropriate notions about the use of cannabis by minors.

Desire for safe and tested cannabis products

The Six Nations Cannabis Commission is committed to ensuring the availability of safe and tested cannabis products for the community. They strive to offer products that have undergone rigorous testing and meet the highest safety standards. The Commission expressed concerns about products from unlicensed businesses, such as Off The Track Some Shop, as these products are not subject to the same testing requirements. The SNCC highlighted the fact that their products bear their stamp, indicating that they have been deemed safe and that a portion of the proceeds from their sale benefits the Six Nations community. The Commission encourages community members to support licensed establishments and contribute to a safe and educated community in relation to cannabis.

Elected Council’s response to the incident

Council and Cannabis Commission condemn cannabis giveaway at Santa Claus parade

The Six Nations Elected Council also expressed their dissatisfaction with the cannabis giveaway incident. They acknowledged receiving numerous calls from community members demanding action. As a result, the Council announced that they would be designating their future events as alcohol and cannabis-free in order to ensure the safety and appropriateness of these gatherings. Additionally, Coun. Audrey Powless-Bomberry stated that cannabis consumption goes against Haudenosaunee values and principles. The Council emphasizes their commitment to governing through these values and calls for reminders to be put in place to reinforce their importance.

In conclusion, the cannabis giveaway at the Santa Claus parade organized by Off The Track Some Shop, an unlicensed dispensary, has been strongly condemned by the Six Nations Elected Council and the Six Nations Cannabis Commission. The incident raises concerns about exposing children to cannabis and the importance of adhering to the Six Nations Cannabis Law. The SNCC emphasizes their commitment to providing safe and tested cannabis products and encourages community support for licensed establishments. The Elected Council’s response includes designating future events as alcohol and cannabis-free, as cannabis consumption contradicts Haudenosaunee values and principles.

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