In an effort to structure how marijuana advertising should be handled moving into the era of legalization within Canada, sixteen of the cannabis industry’s leading producers have come together to design a national standard. The sixteen companies, including the likes of MedReleaf, Canopy Growth, and Aphria, have partnered with Advertising Standards Canada in order to find a way to overcome concerns and set a clear path forward for cannabis companies in the advertising space.
The industry has been quite vocal on their objection to a report issued by a federal task force that recommended marijuana products be sold in plain, generic packaging and be restricted on branding, similarly to how big tobacco is forced to operate. The objection stems from the idea that every cannabis company should be able to express themselves and set their products apart from the competition through their unique branding. The argument against the branding claims that “such restriction are necessary to ensure that users are aware of health risks associated with the substance.”
Roottie.com had a chance to speak with Darren Karasiuk, VP of Strategy for MedRelead Corp. in regards to the developing advertising guidelines and he shared the following statement – “The Federal Government has been clear that one of their primary objectives with legalization of cannabis is to stamp out the black market. We applaud this goal and believe the most effective ways to get rid of the black market is through effective, adult-focused branding and promotion. Adult-focused branding and promotion – the same as what is used in the alcohol industry – will help us inform consumer decision making, and effectively compete against an unregulated black market. We’re proud to be a part of this initiative with Advertising Standards Canada and are encouraged by the solidarity shown by the group in developing guidelines that align with public policy objectives.”
Currently, the federal government has their own guidelines for alcohol distributors and retailers, and the alcohol industry is not held to the restrictions that are being proposed for cannabis.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.