First Nations say they weren't consulted on legalized cannabis plan
When cannabis becomes legal next July, only people 19 years of age and older in Ontario will be able to buy it at government-run retailers.
That's the plan in a bill currently making its way through Queen's Park.
However, First Nations say the proposed legislation makes no mention of them, and they say they should be the ones to decide how sales will be controlled on reserves.
Isadore Day, Ontario's regional chief, says it's not clear how the new pot law will apply to First Nations.
"There was very little inclusion of First Nations in the development of the bill, very little consultation," he said.
"Although we knew, there was no real engagement from the Ontario government, so therefore once introduced, as a result of the rapid pace by which it was moving through the federal ranks of legislation, we simply were rendered not ready for this."
Day says he believes First Nations should be part of the legalization process.
"Every First Nation community has the right to choose and because the province didn't include us in the front end, there's no existing framework for us now going forward," he said.
"This really will be a logistical nightmare for the province to sort that out now, because there are dispensaries in the communities now."
Day says he's been in talks with Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi to figure out how the new law impacts First Nation communities.
He adds he believes both the provincial and federal governments are rushing legislation through.
With files from Waubgeshig Rice