Ever After to be guinea pig for cannabis at music festivals
Published Monday, May 6, 2019 5:41PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 5:11PM EDT
A local festival is leading the way where cannabis meets music.
Ever After Music Festival announced that it would allow pot onto festival grounds: up to 10 grams into the festival in pre-rolled form, as well as up to 28 grams per person camping.
Campers can have cannabis in whatever form they wish, including loose leaf weed, but can only bring it into the festival if it's rolled.
Gabriel Mattacchione is the president of Beyond Oz Productions, the company that runs Ever After.
He says that he believes the festival is the first in the area to allow cannabis onto its grounds, and that they’re treating it like cigarettes while they learn from that experience.
“It will have to be smoked and treated as tobacco so only in designated smoking areas where food and drink are not allowed,” he says.
He says Bingemans has always been supportive of their decisions as a festival, saying the venue is “very comfortable” with how they’re going to be operating with regards to cannabis.
Still, some are skeptical about how the festival will keep tabs on the numbers.
“I don’t think that the rules will be kept for designated areas to smoke certain things, because I think people will be all over the place,” says Frances Santiago, a Kitchener resident.
Mattacchione acknowledges that the festival is acting as a guinea pig for allowing cannabis into its grounds, saying it’s an equally exciting and scary task. He says the company is working closely with city partners, including police, to make sure that the festival adheres to the law.
In the past, police have laid Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges. They say they will continue to do that if warranted.
“We will enforce the CDSA like we would at any other event or venue. Those found contravening the Act could face charges,” says Const. Andre Johnson.
In 2019, police will have to enforce these rules for one third longer—the festival recently got the okay to run for an extra day, extending through Thursday from its previous run time of Friday to Sunday.
This year it will run from June 6 until June 9.