Cannabis festival sparks police probe - for not having the right music licence

Organisers of a cannabis festival in Redcar which attracted 700 visitors are being investigated by police - for not having the right music licence.

Campers at an event organised by Teesside Cannabis Club in Redcar enjoyed a weekend of food and music

Campers at an event organised by Teesside Cannabis Club enjoyed a weekend of food, music and - although the organisers did not encourage it - smoking the class B drug.

Alcohol was banned at the event and Cleveland Police made no arrests, but officers from the Licensing Support Unit went to Redcar Rugby Club to make inquiries about a potential anomaly with the licence.

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Club founder and event organiser John Holliday, speaking on Thursday after he was interviewed by police over the licensing issue, said there had been no arrests at any of the organisation’s 200 events.

He said the club was told three days before the event that the correct music licence might not in place, but he decided not to cancel.

The previous two camps, which he said have an educational role as well as being fun, were correctly licensed, and the issue might be that the stage where bands played was in a different position from before.

Mr Halliday said it was “crazy”, adding: “There were no arrests and no anti-social behaviour.

“We don’t encourage anyone to break the law or take drugs and there was no blatant use of it. It was just people chilling out and we encourage a nice, positive atmosphere and a happy vibe.”

He said the club has a good relationship with Cleveland Police and they were in talks for months before the event.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “This event took place without any reports to police of cannabis being consumed from members of the public or the organisers of the event.

“Had any allegations of offences been made then officers would have dealt with those offences appropriately.

“Officers from the Licensing Support Unit attended the event with regard to potential licensing offences which are still under investigation.

“Cleveland Police does not tolerate illegal drug use and will always act upon reports of controlled drug misuse.”