Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is concerned with how a cannabis dispensary located on Long Plain First Nation’s Keeshkeemaquah urban reserve is sourcing its product.

The crown corporation stated in a press release circulated this week that Indigenous Bloom, located at 79 Keeshkeemaquah Drive, is selling cannabis manufactured in a facility without a federal production licence, and multiple requests from the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba to cease this illegal activity allegedly went unanswered.

Long Plain first established a licensed META Cannabis Supply Co. store on the Keeshkeemaquah urban reserve in late 2018, just after legalization. According to a spokesperson with the province's cannabis authority, the store closed on March 29, 2020, and has not been licensed since.

Long Plain First Nation leadership released a statement earlier this morning in regards to the province's release, saying that Canada failed to consider Indigenous interests when legalizing cannabis.

"The leadership of the Long Plain First Nation has adopted the Long Plain First Nation Cannabis Law pursuant to section 35 of the Constitution Act, the First Nations Land Management Act and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Cannabis Law is an expression of the Long Plain First Nation’s inherent right to self-determination, which includes the right to exclusively govern cannabis-related activities on-reserve." 

The First Nation says the standards they have adopted meet or exceed health and safety standards established under federal and provincial laws.

As of Friday morning, Portage Online was able to verify the dispensary was continuing to operate. Currently, it is an offence under the Cannabis Act for an individual to possess cannabis they know is illicit. The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act prohibits purchasing cannabis from an unlicensed seller, and Manitoba has a set fine of $672 for anyone found guilty of doing so.

The LCGA has also suspended its retailer agreement with META's store on Long Plain First Nation’s urban reserve in Winnipeg. Currently, there are more than 80 licensed cannabis stores open for business in Manitoba, including stores located on and run by First Nations.