The MP for the Northwest Territories says he is all for Indigenous governments and organizations getting in on the profits to be made once cannabis becomes legal in Canada this summer.
Michael McLeod says he is well aware that the territorial government will control the sale and distribution of legal weed at least at the beginning.
But he adds over time – he would like to see Indigenous governments and entrepreneurs get in on the action.
“I totally applaud Indigenous governments that are looking at this as a business opportunity because that is what this is. I am anticipating that down the road we will have opportunity to do that.”
McLeod says there is still a lot of work to be done in the NWT when it comes to educating elders and other Indigenous leaders about the effects of marijuana.
He says some of them still view pot as a hard drug and have fears over how legal marijuana will affect their communities.
McLeod adds those fears over hard drugs in smaller communities are warranted, especially those without an RCMP detachment.
Legal cannabis and what it will look like in the NWT is expected to be debated in earnest during the latest sitting of the Legislative Assembly which began Thursday.