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Millions in funding going to BC Indigenous cannabis business, entrepreneurs

On Saturday, the province announced millions in funding to support Indigenous participation in the regulated cannabis industry.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said the money would be provided to the BC Indigenous Cannabis Business Fund (ICBF), which was launched in December 2022.

The fund supports Indigenous businesses that want to increase their participation in, or join, BC’s growing cannabis industry.

Nearly $2.3 million will be provided to the New Relationship Trust, which is responsible for administering the program, says Farnworth.

This one-time funding boost in addition to the $7.5 million announced by the provincial and federal government over threes ago.

<who> Photo Credit: Government of BC

“I am pleased that this additional grant will support Indigenous entrepreneurs in British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general.

“It is another step forward in keeping true to our commitment to develop a robust, diverse and sustainable regulated cannabis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous entrepreneurs and First Nations communities.”

The fund also supports business planning and advisory services, helps Indigenous businesses or First Nations cover the costs of licensing and permitting and makes capital available to support the launch or expansion of businesses.

In addition, the fund helps with the development of information and planning workshops in First Nations communities to help prospective business owners learn about the industry, regulations, business opportunities and how to apply for funding.

“I commend the Province for enhancing its support of First Nations cannabis-related economic development through the ICBF,” said regional chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations.

Hugh Braker, political executive, First Nations Summit, said the cannabis industry is a fairly new sector where First Nations communities can work in self-determined economies.

Brakered added that it also encourages them to participate in and support the province's economy while taking a lead in the industry.



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