Legalization Moves Forward While Packing Moves Back


The Canadian government’s marijuana legalization bill faced a crucial Senate vote yesterday.

As Bill C-45 faced its second reading, some pointed out how doomed it would be if the upper house of parliament didn’t give it enough support. Rare for a bill like this, but still possible.

And yet, regardless of the temperature of the Canadian Senate toward the Cannabis Bill, manifestations of legalization continue to roll out. Like new packaging for cannabis.

Health Canada conducted a public cannabis consultation, including a poll of about 3,668 Canadians and multiple roundtables held across Canada.

They summarized the findings and its proposals for the regulation of recreational cannabis and that includes recommendations on how cannabis will be packaged. Among the notable (and completely understated) features, are:


  • No graphics

  • One of 14 health warnings featured

  • A single, uniform colour (opaque or translucent) for the packaging and label

  • Fonts that are small and uniform in colour

  • A single, small brand element (logo, etc.) in uniform colour

  • Tamper-evident, child-resistant design


It’s the No Frills of cannabis packaging. And experts have voiced concern over the inconsistency of the pro-pot politicians saying they want to squeeze out the black market, yet they have come up with packaging that prevents just that.

The stop sign with THC featured in the design seems to be getting a heavy dose of vitriol from critics.

Critics of the packaging rules warn that they are so restrictive—in some ways, more than packaging rules for tobacco—that the government is steering into a canal of problematic policy.

Even so, Health Canada is against having a transition period for recreational cannabis products, meaning all products must meet the new packaging and labelling requirements immediately.

March 23, 2018

by Alana Armstrong

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Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.


  • Dianna Donnelly

    I love the new packaging. Compared to what legal patients receive, this is a step up for the environment. I mean, let’s get real. Cannabis doesn’t need naked women, bright logos, or fancy promises on the label. Cannabis sells itself!

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