Canada’s top medical cannabis brand tries fashionable marketing idea

Tweed, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smiths Falls-based Canopy Growth and an international medical marijuana brand, is taking a new tack to raise awareness in a very restrictive marketing environment – collaborating with some of Canada’s top clothing designers for its first runway show.

It will be presented at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, March 9-11.

“It’s our way of getting out into communities we admire and supporting the creative class in Canada, while at the same time increasing our visibility to that crowd,” Canopy spokesman Jordan Sinclair said.

Currently, advertising medical cannabis in Canada is covered by restrictions in the Food and Drugs Act and Narcotic Control Regulations.

Proposed restrictions in the Cannabis Act, which is before the Senate, go much further for recreational marijuana.

The bill would ban the promotion of cannabis, accessories and services using price, endorsements from real people, fictional characters and anything appealing to young people.

Promotions would also not be allowed to associate cannabis with “glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

Canopy addressed branding in a regulatory filing on Feb. 14, saying, “the company believes Bill C-45 will be more lenient (than tobacco advertising restrictions) and allow some form of brand differentiation … the legislation does not prescribe specific limitations other than details on overly promotional language or targeting youth.”

Canopy had 69,000 medical cannabis patients as of Dec. 31, 2017, and recorded third-quarter revenue of 21.7 million Canadian dollars ($16.7 million).

Canopy’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WEED.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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