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Songhees Nation co-owned cannabis store opens in downtown Victoria

First Nation plans to take educational approach to cannabis retailing
The interior of the Songhees Nation’s new Seed & Stone cannabis location at 901 Gordon St. (Photo by Jay Wallace)

The first of two educationally focused cannabis stores operated in a partnership by the Songhees First Nation has opened with a mayoral ribbon cutting at their 901 Gordon St. location.

“We thank Mayor Helps, Victoria council and the community for their confidence and support of our Nation’s desire to participate once again in the economies of our Lekwungen homelands as equals,” Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam said in a release.

READ ALSO: First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The newly opened Seed & Stone - Songhees Edition includes a gallery-quality showcase of Indigenous art and cultural pieces to promote Indigenous tourism.

It will be followed later this summer by the opening of a location in the Victoria Bay Centre.

“Our new cannabis venture is a growing business for our nation. I see it as a seed, fulfilling its potential,” said Indigenous welding artist Jessica Joseph, whose work is featured at the Gordon Street store. “Building on the teaching of my grandparents, I have been honoured to learn from knowledge keepers as I considered each plant and its relationship to our people.”

READ ALSO: UVic study finds cannabis has become cheaper, more potent since legalization in 2018

Vikram Sachdeva, owner of multiple Subway franchises in Chilliwack as well as a cannabis store, has partnered with the Songhees.

“Out of friendship has grown a business partnership that will help support the economic goals of the Songhees Nation,” he said. “This is important to me and I look forward to sharing what I have learned over my career, knowing that I, too, will expand my knowledge and play an active role in helping shape a more prosperous future for Chief Sam’s community members.”

Sam said Sachdeva and Songhees Nation are aligned in their values and business goals.

“His record of corporate citizenship and regulatory compliance speaks to some of the many strengths that he brings to our partnership,” Sam said.

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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