Home Art shop BC First Nation rolls out province’s first farm-to-table pottery store

BC First Nation rolls out province’s first farm-to-table pottery store


You may have heard of farm-to-table meals, but what about farm-to-table doobies?

At the new Sugar Cane Cannabis facility, owned and operated by Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), BC bud buyers will soon be able to purchase pot where it is grown. The 650 square meter building opens on Friday and will soon be the province’s first “farm to door” cannabis retail outlet, meaning every step from seed to sale will unfold. on the spot.

Located on WFLN land on South Mackenzie Avenue in Williams Lake, the facility includes both a retail area and 185 square meters of grow space. Chef Willie Sellars says the first harvest is expected to yield around 200 kilograms of cannabis which will be sold at Sugar Cane and dispensaries across British Columbia

The first harvests should be ready in a few weeks and the plan is to have the product on the shelves in June.

“We’re looking at making between two and six million a year from this store,” Sellars said, speaking on Friday on The first edition. “It’s pretty surreal and it’s pretty cool.”

Sugar Cane Cannabis customers can take a peek at the plants growing in the establishment’s retail space. (Kiera Elise Photography)

The nation is the first in British Columbia to enter into a government-to-government agreement with the province under Section 119 of the Cannabis Control Licensing Act.

Construction of the Sugar Cane Cannabis building began in the spring of 2020 and the facility received its micro-cultivation license from Health Canada in January 2022.

The WFLN already has Unity Cannabis retail stores in Williams Lake, Merritt and Penticton, and Sellars says three more will open soon. According to a press release, Sugar Canna Cannabis currently employs seven people, and when the harvest is ready, there will be more paycheck opportunities for band members.

In January 2020, revenue from a single domestically-owned cannabis retail outlet helped cover 100% of post-secondary education costs for graduate members of the group who applied for funding.

Williams Lake First Nation has entered into a unique agreement with the province to be able to produce and sell cannabis on the same site. (Kiera Elise Photography)

According to Statistics Canada, recreational weed prices have fallen more than 8% over the past year. Sellars said he knew the market was saturated, but still expected success with the new model on the farm.

The nation is hosting a grand opening on Friday night and former Canadian Olympic snowboarder turned current cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Ross Rebagliati is in town for the celebrations.

He said the price of pot has gone down since it was legalized in 2019 as many people jumped into the industry unknowingly and are making corrections now after facing black market competition.

Rebagliati says lower prices are good for Canadians.

“It’s a positive thing to see the price come down so the average person can afford cannabis. Getting to $10, $15, $20 a gram, I mean, it’s completely unaffordable,” a- he declared.

Former Canadian Olympic snowboarder and cannabis advocate Ross Rebagliati in Williams Lake on Friday, May 6. Rebagliati was invited by Williams Lake First Nation to celebrate the opening of the country’s newest sugar cane facility. (Ross Rebagliati)

The plan is to produce up to 650 kilograms of craft cannabis at the new site each year. Customers will be able to catch a glimpse of it growing from vantage points inside the retail space.

Sugar Cannabis COO Daniel Penny likened the experience to visiting a vineyard.

“We will also be able to deliver a cannabis tourism experience like no other in this province. Our visitors will have the opportunity to connect with the product they are purchasing in the same way as those visiting a winery,” Penny said in a statement.

The project has at times been pushed back by the town of Williams Lake. In June 2020, the city council expressed concern that it did not have critical information on the cost of the facility to the city in terms of infrastructure and services such as water and utilities. sewers and insisted on public consultation.

Sellars’ response was then that the land where the facility is located belongs to the Band. He said on Friday that for some “old school individuals” there was still a stigma around cannabis and some locals worried the facility would be unsightly and smelly.

“This industry has evolved and some of these politicians should too, because, I mean, it’s a state-of-the-art facility. It looks beautiful,” he said.

The first edition7:22Cannabis Sugarcane

Today marks the grand opening of Sugar Cane Cannabis, a micro-cultivation facility owned by Williams Lake First Nation. We speak with chef Willie Sellars and their special guest Ross Rebagliati. 7:22