Governments are taking a “conservative” strategy to hashish advertising and marketing, however might have to take a web page out of the alcohol ebook

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The current marketing approach could not effectively fight the illegal market, according to investigators.

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Angela Stelmakowich Glasses filled with cannabis nuggets The provisions of the federal law on cannabis contain fairly strict rules for advertising related to cannabis. /. Photo from iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Murray and Jared Wesley, political scientists at the university’s faculty of philosophy, examined government branding elements such as logos, e-commerce platforms and storefronts and compared these core elements to each provincial liquor brand, paying particular attention to colors, fonts and styles, and other stylistic components . In addition, interviews were conducted with senior officials in all provinces and territories.

The provisions of the federal law on cannabis contain fairly strict rules for advertising related to cannabis, cannabis accessories and cannabis services that influence and can influence attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding the thing or service. The rules apply to those who manufacture, sell or distribute cannabis and related accessories and services, among others.

Unless authorized under the Cannabis Act, it’s a no-no to advertise in various ways. This includes a way that could appeal to young people, through a testimonial or endorsement, and through the presentation of the brand or one of its elements, so that the brand is associated with glamor, relaxation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.

Only one branded element – subject to certain size requirements – can be displayed on an object, and that branded element cannot be displayed more than once, according to government information.

Unless authorized under the Cannabis Act, it's a no-no to advertise in various ways.  /. Unless authorized under the Cannabis Act, it’s a no-no to advertise in various ways. /. Photo by Alina Rosanova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At the point of sale, a person authorized to sell cannabis can advertise there “if the advertisement only states its availability, price, or availability and price”.

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And since it is alcohol that “has reason to believe that the advertisement may associate the cannabis, cannabis accessory or service with an alcoholic beverage”, this is prohibited.

By April 2019, just six months after Canada legalized recreational herbs, Health Canada had received 117 complaints about cannabis promotions, according to Marijuana Business Daily. The Federal Ministry responded with four warning letters and three compliance letters as well as more than 40 telephone calls to “promote compliance”, the publication reported at the time.

Regarding the U of A study, investigators found that, with the exception of Nova Scotia and BC, the provinces seemed to distance themselves from their alcohol and gaming brands by not adding “cannabis” to their official names.

“They all built brands that were knowledgeable and sincere, but not particularly exciting or attractive, to get people to think about buying the product,” says Murray in the article. “It seemed like the provinces were saying, ‘We’re here, but we don’t really want to sell cannabis.'”

In the long term it is expected that In the long term it is expected that “cannabis marketing equates to alcohol and gambling”. /. Photo by AlexLMX / iStock / Getty Images Plus

He suggested that the approach contradicted the stated federal goal of eliminating the illegal weed market. “A big part of the reason for legalization was to put an end to the illegal market. However, unless you offer something more competitive, it’s really difficult to pull sales off a person’s current drug dealer,” he argues.

The apparent lack of buy-in from a marketing practice perspective generally seemed to apply regardless of the provincial party in power, Wesley suggested.

Fortunately, the potential ambivalence did not extend to civil servants. “They were very conscious of their decisions about how to organize internally to achieve the most complex political innovation of a generation,” he says.

Murray notes, “It would be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle if you really pushed everyone into using cannabis from day one.” what some of the consequences might be, good and bad. “

In the long term, however, he assumes that “cannabis marketing will be equated with alcohol and gambling”.

The Canadian Marketing Association offers a guide of information to help ensure compliance with cannabis laws. It includes activities such as packaging and selling non-cannabis items such as promotional items.

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