For Immediate Release
October 10, 2019


Vancouver, BC – The co-founder and Executive Chairman of NATIONS, a cannabis production company based in Burns Lake, addressed the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) in Vancouver today, about the challenges and opportunities associated with the emerging cannabis industry in Canada.

NATIONS is an indigenous-controlled, late stage applicant in the federal cannabis cultivation and processing licensing process and is seeking to become the first Indigenous-licensed producer of cannabis in British Columbia.

Speaking to delegates from around the globe at the WIBF, Wesley Sam highlighted some of the important factors for those considering getting into the market. “A solid business plan and securing investment are key, because the licensing process is time consuming, multi-step, and requires construction of a cultivation facility prior to approval. Securing a land-base, appropriate zoning and infrastructure are paramount. And, not unlike alcohol or tobacco, there are significant restrictions associated with the marketing and advertising of cannabis that developers need to be cognizant of.”

Sam suggests the emergence of the industry can play a positive role in a number of respects for Indigenous Peoples and communities, because of the opportunity it presents to help improve economies and create jobs, while ensuring Indigenous Peoples have safe, supported, and holistic access to all-natural, high quality medical and recreational cannabis. “It’s important to ensure access to viable natural healthcare alternatives for serious health issues and conditions that are prevalent in many of our Indigenous communities, not the least of which is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

This is an exciting time for NATIONS. The construction of the company’s primary cultivation facility is well underway. The company is currently operating with 15 employees and once in full operation, as many as 60 full-time employees will be required. NATIONS has entered into educational partnerships with post-secondary institutions in the region, established a parternship with Carrier Sekani Family Services, and the company has committed to returning  5 per cent of EBITDA to provide meaningful social and economic impacts for local communities and Indigenous populations.

“We believe NATIONS has the right model for success, as a result of our vision; our positioning in the marketplace; and, the tangible benefits for Indigenous Peoples and communities. At this time there are no Indigenous-licensed producers in BC. We strongly believe NATIONS will be the first,” concluded Sam.

About Nations:

 NATIONS is an Indigenous-controlled cannabis production company based in Burns Lake, British Columbia. NATIONS was conceived in 2013, and its mission and guiding strategic plan will ensure meaningful social and economic benefits for local communities and safe, supported access to high quality medical and recreational cannabis.


Kelly Gleeson

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