Marketing and branding cannabis and its derivatives in Canada presents significant challenges. The federal government built the marketing restrictions in the federal Cannabis Act on the restrictions developed for the tobacco industry.
These restrictions are among the most severe in Canada on marketing and branding in a legal industry. The success of the cannabis industry requires a reasonable loosening of this approach to permit effective competition with the illegal market.
The government’s approach to tobacco identified three types of promotional activity:
Government outright banned lifestyle promotion and permitted the other two types in limited circumstances. The Supreme Court of Canada considered these tobacco marketing restrictions in two free-speech-related Charter of Rights cases: in 1995 and…