Northwest Territories


What you need to know to start a legal cannabis grow-op

If Yellowknife's Jason Harker is successful in his quest to get a licence to produce cannabis, he'll become one of the first people to enter the industry in the Northwest Territories, if not the entire North. CBC News looked into what exactly a person needs to do in order to receive approval to run a grow-op in Canada.

What do I need to do to get licensed?

Shirley Toms, a regulatory consultant who works for Cannabis Compliance Inc., compares the process to a "4D matrix." Here's what's in that matrix:


A cannabis grow-op could be coming to Yellowknife

A proposed cannabis grow-op in Yellowknife got a warm reception from city councillors on Monday.

"You have somebody who wants to actually produce something that will be sold in the territory, that's a rarity up here. This should be applauded," Coun. Niels Konge said.

The warehouse facility would be located in the Engle Business District at 92 Falcon Road, west of the Yellowknife Airport.

Jordan Harker, the man behind the pitch, said the business is not affiliated with growers in southern Canada.

"We're looking at about 10 to 12 full-time jobs with probably 15 to 25 part-time jobs," he told city council during a committee meeting on Monday.

"It's our goal to be competitive with pricing."


Weed, roads, shelters and employment top of mind after N.W.T. budget revealed

Money in the latest budget that's allocated to go to five shelters in the N.W.T. will go a long way to help people in need, says the executive director of the local YWCA.

Lyda Fuller was at the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday to hear the finance minister lay out the 2019-2020 operating budget. The Northwest Territories government expects to spend about $1.87 billion, slightly more than it brings in, over the next fiscal year.

The budget allocated $4.92 million to address the needs of vulnerable persons. Fuller says that includes an additional $500,000 to five family violence shelters in the territory.


Ban on 'intoxicants' will keep legal cannabis off Northwest Territories reserve

With cannabis legalization on the way, communities across the Northwest Territories have a decision to make — will they hold a vote to ban cannabis after more than 90 years of prohibition ends?

On K'atl'odeeche First Nation territory, however, where intoxicants have been illegal since the 1980s, community members have the opposite choice to make: will they repeal their prohibition for Canada's newest legal drug?

The K'atl'odeeche First Nation Reserve is one of six dry communities in the N.W.T. Under a section of the Indian Act, First Nations can prohibit the sale and consumption of all intoxicants on their territory.

For K'atl'odeeche Chief Roy Fabian, that law includes cannabis by default.


6 NWT communities face July 16 deadline for cannabis plebiscites

Communities without liquor store have more time to decide.

It will likely be months before cannabis becomes legally available across Canada and in the Northwest Territories, but one significant deadline looms for six communities in the N.W.T.

Municipalities with liquor stores have until July 16 to notify the government if a cannabis plebiscite to ban or restrict local sales is needed. Communities in the N.W.T. with liquor stores are Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Norman Wells and Fort Simpson.

According to a government press release, once cannabis is available through a retail outlet, local governments will no longer be able to hold a plebiscite.


N.W.T. government gives liquor stores 6-month head start on selling legal cannabis

Government commits to allow private retail stores 6 months after legalization.

Private retail cannabis stores will be left out of the legal cannabis market in the Northwest Territories when the drug becomes legal, but the door is open for them to get in six months after that.

MLAs rejected an amendment to the territorial government's cannabis legislation Thursday that would have required the finance minister to keep the door open for private cannabis stores as soon as legalization happened.

But a so-called "compromise" motion presented following that vote did pass.

It allows the government to designate any store it deems "in the public interest" and calls for the development of criteria for judging public interest within six months of legalization.


Justice minister nixes private pot sales proposal : N.W.T.

Several regular MLAs have expressed disappointment that the territorial government appears unwilling to entertain the idea of the private sale of cannabis once it becomes legal across Canada this summer.

It will be sold in government controlled liquor stores in the six communities that have liquor stores and otherwise through mail order.

Hay River MLA R.J. Simpson says the government is going against the wishes of the majority of NWT residents who have made their opinions known.

MLAs visited 16 communities and six schools across the territory earlier this year to get public input of Bill 6 – the government’s cannabis regulation bill.


Debate over private cannabis sales leaves MLAs at odds with NWT justice minister

'Cannabis is not coffee,' says justice minister, arguing there isn't a market to support private sales.

Members of the Northwest Territories legislative assembly focused on private cannabis sales as they publicly debated individual sections of Bill 6 — the territory's proposed Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act — Monday morning.

The debate was part of a clause-by-clause review of the bill undertaken by the assembly's standing committees on social development and government operations before the bill is voted on in the Legislative Assembly. That vote is expected to come during the current sitting of the Legislative Assembly, which began on May 24.


Questions remain as NWT Legislature set to debate marijuana bill

Government has yet to release price of recreational marijuana, or where it will buy it from.

With marijuana expected to become legal soon in Canada, the Northwest Territories will attempt to pass its law legalizing the drug.

The territory's MLAs will debate and vote on the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act this week before the Legislative Assembly breaks for the summer, when the federal government's legislation is expected to take effect.

Before the vote happens, regular MLAs will present amendments to the government's initial proposal announced last November.


MP supports Indigenous profitting from legal cannabis

The MP for the Northwest Territories says he is all for Indigenous governments and organizations getting in on the profits to be made once cannabis becomes legal in Canada this summer.

Michael McLeod says he is well aware that the territorial government will control the sale and distribution of legal weed at least at the beginning.

But he adds over time – he would like to see Indigenous governments and entrepreneurs get in on the action.

“I totally applaud Indigenous governments that are looking at this as a business opportunity because that is what this is. I am anticipating that down the road we will have opportunity to do that.”


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