Vancouver police avert unsanctioned Sunset Beach 420 event, seize cannabis products

Cannabis event snuffed out

A planned cannabis celebration this weekend at Sunset Beach, the usual location for such events on April 20, didn't proceed, as Vancouver police moved against the "unpermitted event."

Fencing and police patrols were set up in advance of the "420" gathering, which the Vancouver parks board announced was unsanctioned by the city and was poised to operate without a permit.

While in the past the popular Sunset Beach "protest" was run by 420 Vancouver, this year a group called Collective advertised an event on Facebook at the beach featuring vendors and concerts. But the event failed to materialize.

People who arrived at the beach found police handing out notices.

"The Vancouver Police Department has clearly communicated to event organizers that the right to assemble and protest will be supported," read the notices as per a photo the VPD shared on social media.

That said, the police state in the notice, laws will be enforced around the sale and possession of cannabis.

"If you are considering selling cannabis at this event, we encourage you to communicate with the police officers present to ensure you are in compliance with the law," the notice states, which notes vendors would need to be licensed and the cannabis legally sourced.

Videos posted on social media appear to show police monitoring people as they clean up speakers and similar gear on the beach. On the Facebook event page, attendees posted questions about where to go, while organizers did not appear to release a statement.

On the personal Facebook page of one person listed as an event organizer, a response has been promised, but not posted as of Monday morning (April 22).

As the Sunset Beach location was abandoned, people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where another group was holding an event (as it often does).

There, police were also busy, posting on social media that they were confiscating items.

"Moments ago, our officers seized cannabis products from a 420 vendor who refused to stop illegally selling outside the Vancouver Art Gallery," reads one post.

In a since-deleted tweet, the VPD also posted that they had at least one drone in the sky monitoring the crowd, along with the pro-Palestinian protest happening on the other side of the art gallery and another march. They were also ticketing "420 protesters" who stopped vehicles around the protest.

V.I.A. has reached out to the VPD for more details and will update this story if more information is available.

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