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This Week in Cannabis: Top Stories From Across Canada From Feb. 8-14

A 70-year-old Ontario man was barred from the USA for 1976 possession charge, Quebec doesn’t invite any opposition to its commission on raising the legal age for cannabis consumption to 21, Vancouver Parks Board tries to ban sales and relocate the city’s 4/20 festivities, Canada’s 420-friendly gold course is slated to open this spring, Bhang Chocolates pops-up in Toronto, and more top headlines from across Canada.

We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada.

Pensioner Barred from USA for 1976 Possession Bust

Bev Camp, of London, Ontario—a 70-year-old locally known as “the Dancing Cowboy”—had all but forgotten a cannabis possession charge he caught in British Columbia in 1976 —until he tried to cross into the US to visit old friends in Florida. He’d had no previous problems crossing the border by land, but when he attempted to enter the US by plane, he was stopped by customs, who asked him about his 1976 possession charge, and barred him from entering the United States.

While all with a possession conviction will soon be eligible for a pardon, they will have to apply themselves, and pardons do not erase or expunge criminal records. For that reason, pardons will make little difference at the border. Speaking to the CBC, a US Customs and Border Patrol representative said, “Possession and/or admission to the use of marijuana by an alien may result in the refusal of admission.” Camp said, “Truth be told, after this experience, I have no desire to go near a US border. I’m too traumatized by it. I won’t even dream about it again.”

No Opponents Invited to Quebec’s Government Commission on Raising Cannabis Age

Liberal health critic André Fortin called Quebec’s conservative CAQ government commission into raising the age for cannabis from 18 to 21 “a phony exercise, a sideshow… this consultation is fake.” Few experts are coming to the commission hearings—in part because, government documents reveal, ruling conservative party the CAQ only invited groups they knew in advance supported the plan to raise the age. The CAQ blamed the Liberals for discouraging experts from coming, while the Quebec Provincial Police Association said they could not attend because they had been informed of the hearing at the last minute and did not have time to prepare. Fortin stressed because Health Minister Lionel Carmant has said he wants the bill adopted by early March, there is little time for discussion of amending the proposed bill. Carmant, a pediatric neurosurgeon, claimed no substances were as dangerous to the brains of young people as cannabis. He also said regardless of the testimony before the commission, his government will move ahead with its plan to raise the age for cannabis to 21.

Vancouver Parks Board Bans Cannabis Sales at 4/20, Will Evict Celebrations

Vancouver’s Parks Board passed a two-part motion regarding the future of the city’s 4/20 festivities. The first part of the motion bans the sale of cannabis products at the event in 2019, while the second part calls on Vancouver’s city council to relocate the event outside of the city’s parks system. “We do not allow smoking in parks [and] we will never, ever permit this event,” said commissioner Tricia Barker. “The city has got to find another place that is going to be appropriate.” However, the parks board couldn’t decide how park rangers should handle the motion. Some members want park rangers to enforce the ban on sales, but board member John Irwin—who voted against the motion—said law enforcement should be up to police.

As for where the event will be held next ear, Barker has no idea where it should be relocated, except that she wants to make sure it won’t be in a park. Activist Dana Larsen said now that cannabis is legal, bylaws should be amended to allow organizers to get permits for cannabis at their events. He said of the Parks Board, “They are choosing not to do that because they don’t like cannabis and that’s the root of the argument. There’s discrimination against cannabis users here.”

To Do List

Bhang Pop-Up

TORONTO, ON — 180 Smoke hosts this two-day informational pop-up event on Feb. 15 and 16 from noon to 6 p.m. at 393 Queen St. West, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 3391 Bloor St. West in Etobicoke. Pop by for an introduction to the ins and outs of cannabis edibles and sample non-cannabis infused Bhang chocolate.

ValenDabs Day

CALGARY, AB – Swing by the Calgary Cannabis Club on Feb. 16 from 4:20 pm to celebrate your deep, sweet lovin’ for the good green grass with a hearty hit of concentrates. The post-Valentine’s Day event promises a variety of games and activities, and maybe even a few romantic surprises.

Mary Jane Brunch

VANCOUVER, BC – Hear from experts have real talk on what sex is like with Cannabis lubes, and share tips and tools at this brunch event taking place at Hervana on Feb. 23. Mary Jane Mimosas, granola, Tarot reading and, ’grammable flower walls are included in the ticket price that ranges from $35 to $40.

Find more cannabis events in Canada. Check out our monthly round up.


Nick Jikomes on the Science of Cannabis

PODCAST — This week on our Leafly Canada podcast, Leafly’s principal research scientist joins Sarah and Ian to talk about the effects of CBD and the role of terpenes in cannabis.

Extraction 101

PODCAST — Hosts Kayla and Chris speak to Vitalis co-founders Joel Sherlock and James Seabrook about how the process of extraction works, different extraction methods, and the importance of full-spectrum oils.

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image
Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.

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