The lawsuit seeks to elevate Quebec’s far-reaching ban on hashish on merchandise

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Provincial rules prohibit the sale of cannabis products from t-shirts to books.

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Angela Stelmakowich FILE: A woman smokes marijuana on Parliament Hill on April 20 in Ottawa, Ontario, April 20, 2017. / FILE: A woman smokes marijuana on Parliament Hill on April 20 in Ottawa, Ontario, April 20, 2017. / Photo by LARS HAGBERG / AFP / Getty Images

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Although recreational cannabis was legalized more than two years ago, Christopher Mennillo, co-owner of Prohibition smoking accessories stores, said he couldn’t sell weed-themed goods. “After 35 years of selling a product, we didn’t expect legalization to make it illegal,” Mennillo, whose company filed the lawsuit, told The Canadian Press.

It is certainly not free for everyone at the federal level. Advertising bans under the Cannabis Act mean that weed-related brands need to be careful about how their products and services are advertised, and there are numerous restrictions. For a first offense, failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $ 250,000 and / or a prison term of up to six months.

According to Retailer.ca, “a bottle opener, water bottle or hat is acceptable to put on your branded element, but youth-related items such as backpacks and guitars are prohibited.”

In Ontario, cannabis and cannabis accessories are the only product that can appear in-store. But items like clothing and other products can be good to go “online or in other non-cannabis retail stores,” reports Retailer.ca.

In Quebec, Société québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) retail stores can “sell supplies, specialist publications on cannabis or other products set by state regulations,” according to information from the provincial government. Companies that sell cannabis accessories must “adhere to the rules for tobacco accessories provided for in the Tobacco Control Act for retail sales, including those on display and labeled.”

“You can’t sell a T-shirt with 420 on it.” /. Photo by JASON CONNOLLY / AFP / Getty Images

Entrepreneurs are prohibited from selling, giving or delivering an item if it has “a name, logo, distinctive shape, design, image or slogan that is linked to cannabis, a cannabis brand, the SQDC or a Cannabis producers is associated. For example, it is forbidden to sell a T-shirt or an ashtray with a cannabis leaf on it, ”reports the provincial government.

Mennillo said he has no problem with advertising restrictions but believes Quebec’s blanket ban is going overboard. “You can’t sell a 420 t-shirt,” he told the Canadian press, adding that he also had to stop selling candles, books and magazines with weed images.

The provincial lawyer told the court that the ban is aimed at reducing the harmful effects of cannabis use on the public, in line with restrictions on tobacco advertising.

But Charles Gravel argued that there is no ban on wearing shirts advocating cannabis use. “Right now, someone who walks on the street with a shirt with a cannabis leaf that says ‘smoke more,’ ‘smoke every day,’ ‘wake up and bake’, whatever, that person is not offending,” said Gravel According to the Canadian press.

With reference to the central goal of protecting minors, it is more important than the private interests of retailers to ensure that young people are not encouraged to try cannabis, not even through the experience of weed-adorned goods.

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