Is Quebec afraid of cannabis, yet legal in the province as in all of Canada? The CanFest, the first cannabis fair, which was to be held on May 28, was canceled following pressure from the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS).
After a visit by the MSSS to the premises of the cannabis show on May 5, the latter would have hinted at the illegality of the event at the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère (CCH), which was to host the exhibition and which finally put a term in the contract binding him to CanFest.
Awa Diagne, creator of the event, hides neither her anger nor her sadness.
“Faced with these new reprisals, we have no choice but to succumb to the threats and cancel CanFest,” she wrote to us.
“Obviously, this outcome saddens us deeply, as the holding of an educational event on cannabis was more than necessary in Quebec. Once again, we will be forced to turn to other welcoming Canadian provinces to produce large-scale projects. »
The event was originally scheduled to be held in May 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic had put a hold on the festival.
“You will understand that our fight is far from over and that we do not intend to turn a blind eye to the harm caused by the MSSS. For too long, this ministry has harmed the cannabis industry in Quebec and has acted inappropriately. It is high time that all this stopped and we take comfort in the thought that at least the CanFest project in Quebec will serve to expose the many flaws in the regulation of cannabis in the province. »
In its justifications, the MSSS argued article 52 of the Quebec law on cannabis, which does not however prohibit the holding of an educational festival, the CanFest team having obviously had their entire system legally validated: “It is prohibited to associate with a sports, cultural or social facility, with a facility maintained by a health or social services establishment or with a research center a name, logo, distinctive sign, design, image or a slogan associated with cannabis, a cannabis brand, the Société québécoise du cannabis or a cannabis producer.
Anyone who contravenes the provisions of the first paragraph or the second paragraph commits an offense and is liable to a fine of $5,000 to $500,000. In the event of a repeat offence, these amounts are doubled. »
Quebec is also the only province with Manitoba to prohibit the self-cultivation of cannabis.
The CanFest will therefore turn into an evening “unrelated to cannabis” and with the support of the BlocPot.