In preparation for the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has passed the Akwesasne Interim Cannabis Regulation.   The regulations were passed on Oct. 1, 2018 and will go into effect officially on the date of Canada’s recreational cannabis legalization – Oct. 17, 2018. At that time, cannabis will no longer be considered a drug under the Akwesasne Drug Law.

From February to April of 2018, MCA conducted a cannabis survey in order to gauge the level of support in the community for the legalization of the possession of cannabis, commercial sale of cannabis, and MCA’s regulation of cannabis and its industry.  The survey results were reported at the May 2018 MCA General Meeting and revealed a strong support for the legalization of cannabis as well as for MCA’s regulation of the production, distribution, sale and possession of recreational cannabis in Akwesasne.

MCA will work to develop a cannabis control law through the Akwesasne Legislative Enactment Regulation process during the 2018-2021 term.  MCA invites all members to get involved in the process.  It will take time to develop a successful community cannabis law. In the meantime, immediate interim measures need to be in place at the time of legalization.

“The intent of the interim regulations is to protect the rights, interests and welfare of the Mohawks of Akwesasne,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict who is part of the Cannabis Working Task Group.  “We are working to ensure that the legalization of recreational cannabis is a smooth transition and that our community members have the clear parameters they need to navigate through the process of legally buying, possessing, growing or selling recreational cannabis in Akwesasne.”

The Akwesasne Interim Cannabis Regulation apply to any person in MCA’s jurisdiction whether they are a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne or not.   The regulations include rules for possessing cannabis, growing, selling or distributing cannabis, as well as guidance on the enforcement of the regulation.

The regulations stipulate, in part, that:

 No person under 18 is permitted to possess cannabis. 
 Cannabis must be purchased from a licensed dispensary. 
 Cannabis may only be transported to Tsi Snaihne and Kana:takon by watercraft, utilizing an approved route.
 Any person who wishes to produce, sell or distribute cannabis must be licensed to do so by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

The community is encouraged to review the full Akwesasne Interim Cannabis Regulation and ensure that any cannabis-related activity is conducted in accordance with the stipulations of these regulation.

The Akwesasne Interim Cannabis Regulation can be found here 
Download MCR 212

For more information on the Akwesasne Interim Cannabis Regulation please contact the Mohawk Government Office at 613-575-2348.