Cannabis Advertising Future Sits in Senate
As the summer approaches the Canadian Senate is about to take the third reading of Bill C-45.
There were a few amendments to the Cannabis Act that were discussed and voted on with one that caught our interest, the promotion and advertising of cannabis to the public. One major consistent concern with legalization is not to make it appealing to youths. Back in the spring the government set forward the packaging do and don’ts. For a further detail on that, read more about it here.
With the line by line reading conservative Senator Judith Seidman put forward an Amendment to stop any promotion that would be considered retail or brand forward advertising that would most directly affect such lifestyle brands like TokyoSmoke, MadMen and Flower and Freedom.
Similar to restricted rules as Tobacco, the Senator got support with a margin of 34-28.
We are all too familiar with the marketing techniques used by alcohol and tobacco companies to maximize consumption of their products — and consequently their profits.
The reality may be that t-shirts, hats, branding clothing and accessories will all be restricted.
Other language t discussed in the Act is “telecommunications” its definition and if it entails mobile devices. As Josh Kolm mentions in his article.
…proposed removing the exception that would allow the promotion of cannabis products through telecommunications (“telecommunications” was largely interpreted to mean digital platforms, although the committee heard that it could also include telephone). Senator Siedman cited the fact that current age verification methods online are ineffective, that there are difficulties around regulating content on social media for her proposal, as well as the task force recommendation for the prohibition of marketing and advertising.
*At the time this article is published we are still waiting on the legislation to what is allowed or not. The final reading of the Bill will take place later in the second week of June where we find out exactly what the wording will be in with clauses.
Meanwhile, customized mobile passes remain compliant for any cannabis-related business that wants a loyalty program, mobile coupons or any real time notifications to their clientbase.
Talk to me, I’ll work with you to develop a mobile marketing strategy that works!
*UPDATE June 8, 2018: On June 7th the third reading from the Senate took place and voted for cannabis legalization on Bill C-45 by a margin of 56-30. With over 40+ amendments in place, it now heads to the House of Commons to await the Royal Assent. The Cannabis Act can easily go through within a few days, if passed the way it is; otherwise, we’re looking at a few weeks. If you consider the amount of amendments there’ll be a back and forth while their all considered delaying the Bill to move forward. It can still take up to 3 months after that before it becomes law and stores open for business.
*UPDATE: June 12 Bill C-45 was read at the House of Commons. Many amendments were rejected including the additional ones about promotion. However, that may mean that provinces will take the lead about branding and retails advertising. Although its all speculative, provinces like B.C. will have legislation limiting what retail stores can do. More to come.
The earliest I expect doors to open for business would be late September – early October mark.