Note: These bylaws and principles will be discussed, amended as necessary, and hopefully adopted at the inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association which will be held on January ___ 2017 in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
MISSION STATEMENT (Terms of Reference)
The Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (IMCA) shall:
- Advocate for the interests of Indigenous people involved in the medical cannabis industry on and off reserve throughout Turtle Island.
- Encourage the self-regulation of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Industry through the application of Indigenous political and economic principles that will: uphold Indigenous self determination, protect minors, combat addiction, keep out “organized crime,” provide for quality control and safe handling and consistency of product, educate consumers, regulate prices, ensure fair standards of wages and benefits to workers, and otherwise promote public health and wellbeing.
- Develop and share public policy positions that advance the interests of IMCA members and the indigenous communities they are a part of in light of the changing policies being adopted by various US and Canadian governmental entities concerning the regulation of various forms of medical and recreational Cannabis consumption.
- Advocate and promote the rights of Indigenous people to access medical cannabis and to build an “above ground” industry to produce, transport and sell medical cannabis by means of workshops, publications, advertisements, and public relations campaigns.
- Encourage the diversification of the medical cannabis industry into a broader “green economy” using cannabis byproducts to produce building materials, paper, clothing, health foods, etc. in such a manner to bring prosperity and economic benefit to indigenous communities.
- Defend and build political and legal support for members of the IMCA who face criminalization or state sanctioned targeting for participating in the Indigenous medical cannabis industry.
- Cooperate with other organizations and social movements to put pressure on governments and corporations to respect the interests of indigenous people and the rights of the indigenous economy.
- Support the traditional [i.e. non-colonial] governance of Indigenous peoples on their home territories. The IMCA shall not claim to speak on behalf of or to negotiate on behalf of any specific Indigenous nation or peoples, and shall respectfully engage with and support traditional indigenous governance.
- Pool resources to return a portion of profits made in the Indigenous Medical Cannabis industry into social and cultural programs that strengthen and support indigenous identity and values.
Bylaws of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (IMCA)
- The Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association is an organization comprised of Indigenous people involved in the growing, processing, distribution and retailing of the cannabis plant for medical purposes.
- We define the term Indigenous as meaning people of Native North American descent who personally identify as Indigenous and who belong to an Indigenous community that claims them as such.
- Any indigenous person who has an involvement in the Indigenous Medical Cannabis industry, who supports the IMCA statement of principles, agrees to follow the bylaws of the IMCA, and who pays the yearly $___ IMCA membership fee will be accepted as a member of the association.
- Membership Groups
- Members of the IMCA are placed into one of three bodies based upon their involvement in the medical cannabis industry. The three groups are: growers (anyone involved in any stage of the production and harvesting of cannabis) retailers (anyone involved in sale of the product to its end user) and transport and administration (anyone involved in physically moving the product or in administration of the industry). Members that do not clearly fall into one of these three categories will be assigned a category of membership by the executive upon joining.
- The General Assembly meeting
- The highest decision making body of the IMCA is its General Assembly, which is a meeting of all members.
- General Assembly meetings of the IMCA occur quarterly, on the Saturday morning following the winter and summer solstice, and the Saturday morning following the spring and fall equinox.
- Meetings shall begin at 9am on Saturday morning.
- After welcoming and introductions, the General Assembly shall divide into its three component parts (growers, retailers, and transport and administration).
- Each group will meet together to discuss its concerns and issues.
- Once it has met and discussed within its group, each group will pick spokespeople to reflect the general positions and perspectives held by each of the three groups.
- Passing of resolutions
- Business is advanced by one of the three sides coming to an internal agreement to make a specific resolution – such as: “the IMCA should pass such and such a resolution or carry out such and such an action” – and passing it across to one of the other groups to have them discuss. That group seeks to arrive at consensus to either reject, accept or modify the proposal and lets the group which proposed the initiative know whether they accept, reject or have modified the proposal.
- Once both the first and the second group have come to agreement, the originating group shall pass on the motion to the third group which may either ratify the decision, or send it back to the other two with modifications.
- If the same matter is passed back and forth on three separate occasions and no consensus is reached, then the matter shall be deemed closed and shall not be discussed again.
- Motions that are ratified by all three groups, are written down and recorded as official decisions of the IMCA and shall be published on the IMCA’s website.
- Executive committee. At its first meeting on January ___ 2017, the IMCA as a whole shall choose an executive committee made up of a spokesperson, a treasurer, a secretary as well as two representatives from each membership group.
- The terms of the executive members last for a one year period.
- The positions of spokesperson, treasurer and secretary, shall each be filled from a different membership group. In addition, a further two representatives from each side will be chosen to join the executive, making for a total of nine (9) executive members.
- The role of the executive is to run the affairs of the association in between IMCA quarterly meetings.
- The spokesperson speaks on behalf of the association publicly and is responsible for external communications.
- The treasurer handles the group’s finances.
- The secretary is responsible for keeping minutes of executive and general assembly meetings and handling internal communications amongst the membership.
- The other six executive members may assist the spokesperson, treasurer and secretary as necessary or be assigned to other areas of responsibility.
- Executive members are recallable by the members of the group that placed them on the executive. They may be removed from their position and replaced by the group that chose them at any of the quarterly meetings of the IMCA.
- The executive committee shall produce a proposed agenda, and provide a written report of the executive’s activities on behalf of the IMCA no less that two weeks before each quarterly meeting.
- The executive is collectively responsible for organizing the quarterly general assembly meetings and communicating the decisions made to the membership.
- Modification of bylaws and statement of principles
- The bylaws and statement of principles of the IMCA may be modified with the agreement of the three bodies of the IMCA as long as the notice of such change is provided to the membership with two weeks notice before the quarterly meeting.