British Columbia

Cannabis Day organizers must 'cease and desist,' says City of Vancouver

Organizers of an annual Canada Day marijuana festival in Vancouver say the event will continue, despite the city's request that they 'cease and desist' any promotion.

City says organizers do not have a permit to set up tents on July 1 at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Thousands of people show up at the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 1 every year to celebrate 'Cannabis Day.' (CBC)

The City of Vancouver has told organizers of an annual Canada Day marijuana festival to 'cease and desist' any marketing or promotion because they have not obtained a permit.

'Cannabis Day' is held every year on July 1 in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Thousands of people usually show up to support marijuana legalization and peruse the smorgasbord of pot products — like candies, cookies, lemonade, and free joints — offered by cannabis vendors in pop-up tents.

Local marijuana activists at Cannabis Culture Headquarters, run by Marc and Jodie Emery, have been organizing this year's event for months.

But on Tuesday night, Jodie Emery tweeted a letter they received from the city telling them to stop.

"The City of Vancouver does not support or approve this event at this location as planned and the City notes that it would violate a number of Civic Bylaws," reads the letter, signed by Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston.

"The event as advertised involves the erection of structures; including stages and tents, as well as commercial vending. An event of this nature must be appropriately permitted by the City. Please cease and desist any advertising of the above noted event."

The letter goes on to say that should the organizers wish to move forward with the event, they must obtain a permit to use the space. That requires proof of insurance, payment for any costs incurred by the city for things like policing and sanitation, a site plan, and letters to nearby businesses notifying them of the event.

Jodie Emery has since tweeted "Our #CannabisDay protest will continue. More to come."

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