Organizers cancel Cannabis Cruise after health unit issues notice

The Macassa Bay on the Detroit River. Photo courtesy Border City Entertainment/Facebook.

A spokeswoman for Windsor River Cruises says the city’s first Cannabis Cruise is cancelled.

Jessilin Deschamp, the office manager, said the decision came after the Windsor Essex County Health Unit issued a release Tuesday announcing it may feature activities “that are not in compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.”

Deschamp said the notice caught organizers off-guard since they were in contact with health officials and were trying to work out the details when the warning came out.

“They took it upon themselves to make a statement, and post a newsletter about this event on their website before I could even address this issue with our clients, our followers, and the people that are attending this event,” she said.

She told her understanding of the act was that smoking was prohibited in enclosed spaces, and since they allowed smoking on the deck of the Macassa Bay for a decade without issue, organizers figured the cruise was legal.

“I did look into this. I did not take this lightly,” said Deschamp.

The cruise on September 20 sold out in just two days, and a second cruise was in the works for September 26 because of high demand.

Deschamp said she just wanted to allow residents the opportunity to enjoy their newfound freedom in a safe space, and give local business the chance to promote themselves.

All 160 ticket holders will be refunded.

“We sold the majority of our tickets online, so those people will be very easy to get ahold of. That’s just a matter of looking up their email on my manifest, refunding their tickets online, and that money will go right back into their banks,” she said. “Anybody who bought a ticket through any one of our vendors; they just need to come down to the office with their ticket, and I will refund them.”

An official at the health unit could not comment about the Macassa Bay specifically but said it responds to 100 per cent of the complaints it receives about prohibited smoking.

Manager of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Eric Nadalin also told health officials had been in contact with organizers of the cruise since mid-last week, and decided to issue the release Tuesday to clarify legal information in some news reports.

– With files from Mark Brown