This week, Health Canada issued letters to medical marijuana providers warning them to stray away from sexed-up advertising that make their products look and sound appealing. The new set of regulations is set to take effect on January 12 and will threaten to take away licensing for noncompliant marijuana distributors.
Health Canada is Canada’s federal department responsible for overseeing public health concerns, and has recently taken a firm stance on what can and cannot be used in marketing marijuana products. The department reached out to 20 distributors in personalized letters warning of the tightened regulations. The strict guidelines dictate how products are displayed on websites, social media, and even restrict linking to third-party sites and services.
Health Canada says, “The information provided by licensed producers to the public should be limited to basic information for prospective clients such as the brand name, proper or common name of the strain, the price per gram, the cannabinoid content, and the company’s contact information.”
This comes in stark contrast of some Canadian marijuana producers’ lofty goals. We recently took a look at what may be deemed as Canada’s luxury marijuana brand, Hydropothecary, which will likely suffer from these type of restrictions in marketing language. However, dispensary owners are remaining optimistic.
Marc Wayne, CEO of Bedrocan Canada said, “We welcome the clarity and enforcement … and the level playing field.” Ottawa lawyer Trina Fraser says that the words treats, relieves, and prevents may be out-of-bounds when describing medicinal properties of different strains. With little information about how the strains work available to the public, distributors may turn to a one-on-one consultative experience that guides medical patients to the right strain.
Currently there are only 22 licensed medical marijuana providers in Canada, but around 1,000 are in line behind them. Though Health Canada hasn’t yet limited the number of cannabis producers for the country, they will likely continue to tighten regulations in an effort to raise standards for providers.
Photo Credit: Rock & Roll Canada