Canadian Senate Votes to Not Allow Marijuana Promotional Products
The legalization of recreational marijuana has spread through multiple U.S. states, and is right around the corner for our neighbors up north. In Canada, however, the Senate has made a firm decision on an issue that's still being debated in states that have legal weed, like California: Can cannabis companies give out marijuana promotional products?
The answer in Canada is no.
According to iPolitics, Canada's senators voted 34-28 to pass an amendment to delete sections of the country's cannabis legalization bill that allowed advertising and promotion by cannabis companies with items like T-shirts, hats, smartphone cases and more.
"To think that these products won't develop a cachet among teenagers is delusional," Sen. Judith Seidman, who put forth the amendment, said. "We've seen this story before with tobacco."
Senators opposed to the bill said it stifles freedom of commercial expression, and put faith in Health Canada's regulations to limit inappropriate advertising.
In the U.S., the issue of advertising cannabis products is still ongoing, as states have differing statuses on legality. The ongoing theme, however, is the concern that advertising cannabis products the way companies do for, say, cereal, would be appealing to children.
It's related to the debate over tobacco products, like Sen. Seidman mentioned. Tobacco companies used to use mascots like Joe Camel until 1997 following the result of Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
For a country just beginning its legal cannabis campaign, the majority of senators seem to want to nip the issue in the bud before it becomes a problem down the road. But the decision is undoubtedly a blow for promotional products companies, who may have been in line for significant added business from Canadian marijuana companies.