P.E.I. gears up for tourism season with government-sponsored info sessions for cannabis in hospitality industry

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Prince Edward Island’s government is sponsoring cannabis information seminars as the province’s first tourism season since cannabis legalization approaches.  Tourism P.E.I. has asked a lawyer in the province to figure out what hotels and other hospitality-industry businesses should be considered moving forward.

The most recent seminars–called Cannabis and the Tourism Operator–took place Tuesday in the PEI communities of Mill River and Summerside, respectively. The seminar will be held four more times on the island to prepare local businesses for the busy summer season. Seminars in Montague and Charlottetown are scheduled for Thursday.

As federal and provincial laws are, thus far, untested in court, they are open to interpretation, lawyer Jessica Gillis told the CBC earlier this week, but it also leaves room for ambiguity.

“It’s important for tourism operators to be familiar with [the rules], to get the idea themselves of how they can control it, how they can limit it, how they can allow it,” said Gillis, who says the Island has mostly left hospitality businesses to decide how and where cannabis can be used on their property.

Gillis also stresses the importance of clearly communicating rules to guests–and that guests should take the initiative to ask what the rules entail before partaking.

“There is no real, standalone, right to use cannabis. It’s just no longer illegal,” Gillis said.

“My interpretation is one thing and I know some would certainly agree with me, but I’m sure others will read it and have a different interpretation,” she explained. “That’s where we’ll wait for the court to step in and regulate around how narrowly or broadly to interpret particular provisions.”

P.E.I. has been touted by many for its potential in canna-tourism since legalization came into force, but only time will measure its success come tourism time.

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