Canadian group offers marijuana advertising-marketing guidelines

A group representing 17 of Canada’s licensed marijuana cultivators proposed guidelines to govern the advertising and marketing of legalized cannabis products, accessories and services.

If endorsed by the federal government, the proposed guidelines would come into effect after the legalization of recreational marijuana, which is scheduled to occur in July.

The group, the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Branding, developed the recommended guidelines with Canadian Medical Cannabis Council and the Cannabis Canada Association, working closely with Advertising Standards Canada, the national, independent, advertising self-regulatory body.

Under the proposed guidelines:

  • LPs could promote brand preference only through marketing and would not attempt to influence nonconsumers to become consumers.
  • Marketing would not target people younger than 18 or those below the legal age designated by a province or territory.
  • All advertising messages would contain language about responsible use of cannabis.
  • To facilitate compliance, LPs could voluntarily submit their advertising messages to Advertising Standards Canada for preclearance.
  • Packaging and labelling rules are spelled out in Bill C-45, the federal act to legalize cannabis.

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