WINNIPEG - Peguis First Nation and GrowForce announced they are establishing a partnership in a cross-Canada expansion that will evaluate opportunities in the cultivation, distribution and retail sale of cannabis products.
The partnership will be announcing further details on its initial activities, later this year, and share their plans for the future.
“This is a fitting announcement reflective of the spirit of reconciliation inherent in National Indigenous Peoples Day and demonstrates the intent of the leadership of Peguis to capitalize on economic opportunities in the cannabis space,” said Chief Glenn Hudson. “The joint venture is the culmination of seven months of intense effort by a dedicated team from the Chief Peguis Investment Corporation acting on the directives of Chief and Council with the support of the Peguis First Nation membership. This initiative will result in local investment, significant job creation and long-term economic development for our people and to the Selkirk area.”
Prior to selecting GrowForce, we explored a number of potential joint venture partnerships and GrowForce clearly has the most industry experience and the clearest vision for developing a nationwide seed to sale cannabis strategy that includes First Nations and Indigenous Peoples.
GrowForce currently owns a majority interest in flagship cannabis facilities operated through Health Canada’s ACMPR, with the exclusive rights to MJardin’s cannabis management services and intellectual property portfolio for use in Canada and other federally legal markets worldwide.
GrowForce also has significant project financing from Bridging Finance Inc., which is led by David Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga) First Nation. Sharpe has been instrumental in guiding GrowForce on its strategy to partner with First Nations across Canada, and sees joint ventures like this one bringing significant new economic development and employment opportunities to Indigenous peoples. Selkirk being the first location, will see the strength and shared passion behind this partnership.
“We backed GrowForce financially because of their dynamic business plan and executive experience, but we also saw the company genuinely wanted to make a positive impact in Indigenous communities across the country,” said Sharpe. “GrowForce has an experienced operating team through MJardin and an in-house training program that is second to none in the cannabis industry. Put that together with strong partners and an eager Indigenous workforce, and you have a great combination for both production and distribution of cannabis.”
GrowForce’s portfolio currently spans Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The Peguis venture will spur the development of new facilities in or near Selkirk, Manitoba.
“We continue to move swiftly to strategically build our capacity in Canada,” said GrowForce Chairman and CEO Rishi Gautam. “Partnering with First Nations and Indigenous peoples is a great fit for our company and overall vision. Our operating partner and executives bring the experience of more than nine consecutive years in legal cannabis and 100,000 kg of finished product, with innovative software and training through MJardin University. GrowForce has the substantive ability to invest in new operations while hiring and training local staff.
The partnership with Peguis First Nation helps to achieve our goal of building Canada’s leading cannabis company with our Indigenous partners.”