Cannabis Advertising Guidelines

Cannabis Guidelines

The information contained here is being provided for general information purposes only. The information in the attachments below does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting their own legal counsel regarding any of the information contained herein including, but not limited to, legislative interpretation or specific legal issues. COMMB does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information provided. Moreover, the information in the Guidelines that refers to third party information, including but not limited to government legislation, should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. Stated simply, readers should consult their legal counsel before undertaking or accepting any advertising to ensure legal obligations and interpretations are accurate.

 

The Cannabis Act includes a number of prohibitions relating to the promotion of cannabis, cannabis accessories and services related to cannabis, as well as prohibitions relating to the sale of products with attributes, functions, labels, packages that could be appealing to young people.

 

Overview

The prohibitions regarding promotion contained in Subdivision A of Division 2 of Part 1 of the Cannabis Act (sections 16 to 24) are intended to protect public health and public safety, including:

  • Protecting the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis;
  • Protecting young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis.

 

WHAT PROMOTIONS ARE PROHIBITED?

General prohibitions on the promotion of cannabis

Unless authorized under the Cannabis Act, it is prohibited to promote cannabis or a cannabis accessory or any service related to cannabis, including:

  • by communicating information about its price or distribution;
  • by doing so in a manner that there are reasonable grounds to believe could be appealing to young persons;
  • by means of a testimonial or endorsement, however displayed or communicated;
  • by means of the depiction of a person, character or animal, whether real or fictional; or
  • by presenting it or any of its brand elements in a manner that associates it or the brand element with, or evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring. [Subsection 17(1)]

 

WHAT PROMOTIONS ARE PERMITTED?

Limited promotion of cannabis and cannabis accessories and services related to cannabis can be permitted under the Cannabis Act in specific circumstances, subject to the applicable prohibitions listed above and any other applicable prohibitions.

 

6 Q’s to consider:

When proposing to undertake any type of promotion pertaining to cannabis there are 6 questions you should consider.

  • Is this considered promotion as promotion is defined in the Act?
  • Is this promotion considered informational promotion or brand preference promotion?
  • Is it communicated in a permitted way?
  • Is it factual?
  • Does it contravene the other prohibitions in the Act?
  • Do other legislative frameworks apply?

 

The documents below are for general information purposes only, readers are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting their own legal counsel regarding any of the information contained herein.

LINKS:

Promotion Prohibitions under the Cannabis Act

Canada’s Public Health Approach to the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis

Face Sheet: The Cannabis Act