Tobique First Nation studies medical marijuana facility
Band councillor says facility could help lower 80% unemployment level
The Tobique First Nation is in discussions with companies to set up a medical marijuana grow operation and research facility in the western New Brunswick community.
Paul Pyres said the band council is now talking with companies in both Colorado and Canada about the proposal. He said he will reveal the details to his community in the next few weeks.
Pyres said he’s a living example of why medical marijuana is a good thing. The band councillor has been battling stomach cancer for five years and he said marijuana made chemotherapy and radiation therapy bearable.
Pyres said what worked for him as a medicine could work for the entire community as a business.
The community has an unemployment level of about 80 per cent.
Wayne Nicholas, a band councillor, said the project could help create jobs in the community.
“I really hope we have something like that because it’s a good industry and it would be beneficial to the whole community,” he said.
“There are many amazing things about it. And it could really give us revenue which we badly need.”
In February, X-Change Corp. sent a news release saying it was working with the Tobique First Nation on the medical marijuana facility.
But Pyres said the community is no longer working with the company.
Federal changes to industry
Molly Brown, a school teacher, said she’s opposed to medical marijuana being grown in the community. (CBC)The federal government is privatizing the production of medical marijuana. Right now, the federal government produces its own and allows individuals to grow small amounts.
In a year, it says, only commercial growing operations will be allowed to sell marijuana legally.
Legal or not, there are people in the area who do not want the band to get into the business of medicinal marijuana.
Molly Brown, a school teacher, said she is concerned about the impact on young people in the community.
“We have other people around here trying to get rid of drugs. Why bring drugs to our community, even though I know it’s medical, I just don’t agree with bringing drugs to our community when we’re trying to get rid of them,” he said.