Woman with a cloud of vapor, smiling

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, hundreds, if not thousands, of companies are jumping on the marijuana bandwagon. Because of this gold rush the government has introduced the “Cannabis Act,” which governs the marketing and sales of cannabis within Canada. The implications of these new branding and marketing regulations are yet to be seen, however we’re going to examine them in this article.

To give you a sense of the scale of this cannabis gold rush, more than 1,500 trademark applications for cannabis and cannabis-related products have been filed, and that number is certain to grow as legalization rolls out.

Key Elements of the Act

Things that are prohibited:

  • The use of real or fictional people, characters or animals
  • Branding or packaging that connotes “glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring”
  • Promoting cannabis in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive

Things that are mandatory for cannabis companies:

  • Cannabis products have to be packaged in a manner that is tamper-evident and child-resistant
  • Packaging must be opaque
  • Labelling in French and English

How This Affects Companies

Because of the stringent regulations, companies are taking a fresh look at their marketing. Many are looking at how they can help squash the stigmas that years of prohibition and propaganda have placed on the industry.

Plus, companies are discovering the wide breadth of demographics who are interested in cannabis, thus making marketing efforts even tougher because there are so many people to appeal too. Marketing cannabis becomes even trickier when you consider that the branding and promotion of the products can’t have any elements that one could consider appealing for children.

It’s important to note that, even with the introduction of legal cannabis, online mail order marijuana companies will continue to thrive and grow. This is because of a number of reasons, the important ones being the different product varieties they offer, as well as the significant price difference between the expensive government run dispensaries and the online operations.

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