Cannabis Companies irked over rules around Marijuana Marketing

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 14, 2018.

Some in the cannabis industry fear that rules around how recreational marijuana can be marketed will present a big challenge for cannabis companies and dispensaries.

They claimed that recreational marijuana marketing will face a major challenge as ads on Facebook and Google, according to the rules which were discussed at the Canadian Cannabis Summit in Calgary, are prohibited and dispensaries can't be listed on a Google map.

Other rules will prevent cannabis companies from marketing their brands on swag — like T-shirts — in addition to other proposed advertising restrictions similar to the rules for tobacco.

Lindsay Blackett, head of the Canadian Cannabis Chamber, says the recommendations outlined during the cannabis summit are short-sighted.

"It makes one wonder, if the goal is to get rid of organized crime and to keep it out of the hands of young people and make sure there is a regulated product, how do all of these things help with that goal?" he said.

But the summit's co-founder Crystal DeCnodder doesn't think starting off with tighter rules is necessarily a bad thing.

"Our government, our governing bodies would rather do it as safely as possible because we don't want to normalize cannabis use for people who are under 18," she said. "I think there will be a relaxation on what we can say and perhaps if it becomes federally legal in the U.S., companies where Facebook is hosted or is like, home to, maybe those will relax."

The Canadian Cannabis Summit, which was held on June 7 and 8, was described as the "first in Western Canada to bring together medical and therapeutic professionals, policy makers and law enforcement, investment and business strategists, innovation, technology and community leaders."

On Thursday, Canada's senate passed the federal government's Bill C-45 bill by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention to legalize cannabis which will now move back to the House of Commons.

MPs will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the proposals before sending the bill back to the Senate for another vote.  

If passed, Bill C-45 would legalize the sale, use, possession, and limited cultivation of marijuana for adults 18 and older. The individuals can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.

While a total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products, individuals, under the new law, could grow up to four plants at home for personal use.

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