The rules around how recreational marijuana can be marketed was one of the issues discussed at the Canadian Cannabis Summit in Calgary.
Some in the industry fear the rules will present a challenge for cannabis companies, given that ads on Facebook and Google are prohibited, and dispensaries can’t be listed on a Google map.
But Crystal DeCnodder, the summit’s co-founder, 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.”
Held on June 7 and 8, the summit 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.”
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.
Opposition from industry
The rules are already triggering opposition from some in the marijuana industry.
Lindsay Blackett, head of the Canadian Cannabis Chamber, says the recommendations 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.
On Thursday, Canada’s senate passed the federal government’s bill to legalize cannabis.
Bill C-45 will now move back to the House of Commons.
MPs will decide whether to accept, reject or change the proposals before sending the bill back to the Senate for another vote.
With files from Reid Southwick