Hopes for Glitzy Canadian Cannabis Packaging and Logos Go Up in Smoke
While marijuana merchants in Canada look to blaze past their competitors and aim for high esteem among their end-users, they must do so devoid of any standout packaging on their goods and are permitted to place only fairly mild logos on the products.
Due to the possible ramifications for our industry, Promo Marketing has gone gaga over ganja (coverage that is), looking at Canada’s perception of its marketing in June and July. Since the Oct. 17 implementation, consumers have no doubt enjoyed opportunities to purchase legally that for which they have long advocated, but their buddies in bud, if you will, are facing restrictions on their enterprises. The matter is divisive: Some can say that businesses should consider themselves fortunate even to have the chance to sell weed, and others can say is an example of the trouble with putting limitations on sales approaches.
— mg retailer (@mgretailer) October 30, 2018
Marijuana advocates have argued that generic packaging of their substances will keep anyone from standing out. In other words, they are stressing that, just like end-users have a choice on what sort of cannabis they want, they should also be able to feel drawn to a product because of its packaging’s eye appeal.
Since Canada holds the title as the world’s largest legally sold cannabis market, peddlers definitely want to build their renown and will want to retain relevance as other countries—with the U.S. chief among them—ponder minimal or full-scale legalization. For now, however, federal representatives have bluntly stated that marketers must remain essentially uniform, putting the clamps on extravagant logo depictions, too.
In a comprehensive look at the overall situation, MG Retailer notes that, “Simply put, the brand is allowed to promote its own image but not its cannabis products, while still complying with restrictions for imaging and packaging.”
In our spring and summer examinations of the matter, we also touched on promotional products’ presence in the discussions, and the MG Retailer piece notes that promotions of the various proprietors’ cannabis offerings must stray from advocating “a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”
Therefore, a substance long seen by its proponents as a stress-reducer and even a reliable medical ally must appear advertised as standard as, say, a loaf of bread or anything else whose inherent qualities are supposed to be enough to attract end-users.
“By enforcing policies that essentially make all packaging look the same, Canada is taking away companies’ ability to market themselves and compete with one another,” said Nick Kovacevich, co-founder and CEO of KushCo Holdings Inc., the parent company of a cannabis-related packaging solutions manufacturer for the American market. “Cannabis is being treated like a commodity. The almost laser-like focus on flower also means that companies can’t be as creative as they might like in coming up with new ideas for cannabis delivery such as wines and different kinds of edibles.”
Such beverages and edibles are not even legal in the country yet, so perhaps Kovacevich is engaging in undue worry there, but his beginning point makes apparent that many pro-cannabis people refuse to roll with the punches that the federal government has issued. As November dawns, one wonders when the smoke might clear between the two sides. Since each is pretty resolute in its stance, those with an interest in seeing what sort of resolution will come should figure to remain on high alert for some time.