Tyendinaga – The first annual Smoke Signals Indigenous Cannabis Cup opens today at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on Lake Ontario. It runs four days, including overnight camping, until Monday, May 21st, when the Cup winners will be announced.
This is the first cannabis industry event of its scope and size that is 100% Indiginous owned, operated and hosted.
The Cup is the brainchild of Tyendinaga Mohawk, Jamie Kunkel. His vision for this peaceful celebration of “all things cannabis” has sparked a movement. In less than a year after opening his dispensary the public, he has franchised stores in Pikwakanagan, Kanesetake, and has been joined by 40 other independent dispensaries at Tyendinaga.
Kunkel sees cannabis as a turning point of possibility for Indigenous peoples’ economic self-determination, alongside that of other peoples historically experienced with the plant’s benefits, but now shut out of government monopolies.
“Setting race aside, there is room for everybody in this industry. There’s room for growth, room for everybody to learn, or if you know something, room to educate. Everybody is welcome. Race doesn’t matter.”
Thousands are expected to join in the festival atmosphere, and will take in concurrent educational workshops, three nights of live music and comedy, fresh local foods, tattooing, networking and commerce with more than 70 industry vendors.
The Cup gates open at 2pm (EDT) on Friday, May 18 and close at 6pm, Monday, May 21st. Tickets for the general public are available each day at the gate. We regret that there are no media passes available.
Organizers, vendors, musicians and attendees will be on hand for interviews.