Forced to cancel her main event last week, the organizer of Quebec City's first cannabis show is now accusing the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) of having signed the death warrant for comedy shows and of music that she was still trying to deliver this weekend.
“Horrified, disgusted and angry”, the CanEmpire team denounces the government’s hypocrisy in this file.
“The censorship that surrounds cannabis is aberrant. The actions of the government are completely unacceptable from start to finish,” explains President Awa Diagne.
Despite the withdrawal of any reference to cannabis, the Ministry of Health would have again threatened the Center des congrès de Québec, which was to host the shows still scheduled for Saturday.
The Congress Center has therefore chosen to cancel the activity 48 hours before the event. The show with comedian Jérémy Demay, followed by musical performances by Souldia and Alaclair Ensemble will not take place.
Ticket holders will be automatically refunded. CanEmpire speaks of “abusive methods” which will have serious financial consequences for their organization.
“It is not a way to act with a company to defame it, to go and convince its partners to terminate its agreement and refuse to speak to us. We do not understand the relentlessness, ”adds Awa Diagne.
CanEmpire insists that there was no promotion of cannabis in the event, only information to participants through an educational component.
“Our real fight officially starts today, enough is enough! Our patience has reached its limits,” reads a message posted online.
Without wanting to give details, the president simply specified that the debate with the government could continue in court. His team still has projects in mind, but in other Canadian provinces.
The very first edition of CanFest was to take place on May 28 at the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère (CCH). The visit of an agent from the MSSS, however, changed everything since the warnings caused the CCH to terminate the contract binding it to CanFest.
Last week, the organizer claimed to have received no notice of non-compliance because nothing was deemed illegal.
"We didn't agree with the laws governing cannabis, but we decided to follow them for our event, to move things forward intelligently. Despite everything, we end up with the same result as if we had announced a party to smoke cannabis”, concludes Awa Diagne.
It is prohibited to associate with a sports, cultural or social facility, with a facility maintained by a health or social services institution or with a research center a name, logo, distinctive sign, design, image or a slogan associated with cannabis, a brand of cannabis, 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.