Sixteen of Canada's Licensed Cannabis Producers, representing approximately 90% of the current legal medical cannabis market, together with the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council and Cannabis Canada Association, announced today that they have engaged Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) to develop guidelines on the branding and promotion of cannabis. ASC, the national, independent, not-for-profit self-regulatory body will contribute its expertise in creating self-regulatory advertising guidelines.
With the legalization of adult consumer use of cannabis anticipated in summer 2018, Licensed Producers want to partner with federal, provincial and territorial governments on promotional and branding principles that protect young people and the safety of all Canadians, while also ensuring legal producers are able to compete effectively with the black market. Deloitte estimates Canada's illegal recreational cannabis market to be between $5-8 billion. As the federal government moves to legalize cannabis for responsible adult consumption, it is critical that Licensed Producers can push back against Canada's thriving illegal market, while educating adult consumers about various product strains, responsible use as well as how to differentiate between high and low-quality cannabis product.
The agreement to develop guidelines builds on the advocacy efforts of participating Licensed Producers, and their respective Associations, urging the government to ensure that cannabis regulations include allowances for responsible branding and promotion as tools required to combat the illegal market. All licensed producers agree on the need for adult-focused branding - such as coloured lettering and logos for cannabis products. They are aligned that these elements should not appeal to those under a province's designated legal age.
The development of branding and promotional guidelines is underpinned by the principle that legal, licensed, cannabis companies – whether they be small, medium or large producers - must be allowed to explain to consumers why the products they develop are better and safer, than those offered by the illegal market.
Licensed Producers participating in this include:
- Aurora Cannabis;
- CannTrust Inc;
- Canopy Growth (representing its portfolio of companies, including Tweed and Mettrum;
- Cronos Group (representing its portfolio of companies, including Peace Naturals and In The Zone);
- Emblem Cannabis;
- Emerald Health Botanicals Inc.;
- The Green Organic Dutchman Ltd.;
- The Hydropothecary Corporation;
- Molecular Science Corporation;
- OrganiGram Inc.;
- Supreme Pharmaceuticals;
- Tilray; and,
Read this article in the National Post to learn more.