National Indigenous Peoples Day and Red Market Brand Cannabis
Lately, we’ve all been thinking a little harder about our role in reconciliation. How do our actions reflect this country’s history and influence its future? We may not have a perfect answer, but we can say that CannSell is proud to support the Nation Building and entrepreneurial efforts of Indigenous Canadian communities through the growth of compliant cannabis businesses. On this National Indigenous People’s Day, we’re pleased to announce that participating licensed Ontario retailers will begin carrying Red Market Brand Cannabis later this year.
We believe that backing economic self-determination and employment opportunities for First Nations peoples is an important step in redressing the mistakes of the past, and in building a better future together, for all Canadians.
RMB and Indigenous Communities
Red Market Brand (RMB) Cannabis Cannabis will be available both at participating AGCO-licensed cannabis retailers throughout Ontario, as well as through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). Their long-term fair trade, seed-to-sale profit sharing model is designed to ensure that revenue from legal cannabis sales reaches those within the community who need it most.
Indigenous peoples have a long history with, and knowledge of healing plants. RMB is about combining these traditions with modern, compliant cannabis industry practices, in a way that will employ hundreds of Indigenous Canadians at all points along the supply chain.
Isadore Day, Bimaadzwin, and Inclusion in Mainstream Cannabis
A Hereditary Chief, as well as a former Elected Leader and Representative to many Indigenous communities at regional and national levels, Red Market Brand’s Founder and CEO Isadore Day is no stranger to efforts at economic self-determination.
Day is also the Founder and CEO of Bimaadzwin, whose name means “Life” or “Good Path” in Anishinaabe, is an organization devoted to the advancement of self-governance and economic development for Canada’s First Nations.
Bimmadzwin provides guidance and facilitation services, helps with access to venture capital, and offers strategic direction and assistance with public/government relations for First Nations businesses. The acceleration of the legal cannabis space in the past few years has presented enormous opportunities, and Day has been vocal about making sure Indigenous communities are not excluded.
“Ultimately, I think the best case scenario is not leaving our entrepreneurs behind, and creating that space for them and I believe that’s the obligation of community leadership,” Day told the CBC in a 2019 interview on First Nations cannabis entrepreneurship.
The founding of Red Market Brand is an important step towards achieving that vision, but the work is still just beginning.
Cannabis Done Right
Much of this country’s history has involved systematically disenfranchising our First Nations peoples. Recent events have provided a vivid reminder of just how far beyond the pale these practices went. No one venture or gesture can redress this, nor should the way we move forward be an effort to put it behind us without more actively addressing the consequences and realities of our shared history.
So how can cannabis help?
Enfranchisement and Indigenous Nation Building are the surest routes to a more equitable future. In this sense, cannabis can be more than a business. Done right, it can provide a platform to help the healing process through economic reconciliation.