March 19, 2018 4:55 pm
Updated: March 19, 2018 5:00 pm

Angela Kokott: Cannabis in marketing grey area as feds move towards legalization


It’s still not clear when Canadians will be able to buy recreational marijuana. However, one thing is clear: cannabis will be an island unto itself when it comes to marketing.

Health Canada spent 60 days consulting Canadians on how cannabis should be marketed. On March 19, it released a report that concluded cannabis must be sold in plain packaging that clearly states the risks and harms of cannabis use. The goal is to minimize its appeal to children and youth.

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Why is cannabis being treated differently than tobacco?

Why are cigarette companies allowed to market their product with distinctive labelling that still contains health warnings?

The argument for plain packaging for tobacco has been made in the past, but nothing has changed.

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I believe this is Ottawa’s chance to get things right from the get-go: keep the packaging simple with the appropriate warnings. However, it’s highly unfair that tobacco companies don’t have to play by the same rules.

This may be the government’s chance to level the “marketing” playing field and legislate that both cannabis and tobacco products be sold in plain packages.


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