Canada Passes Adult-Use Legalization Bill With Tight Advertising Restrictions

The legislation also mandates that cannabis packaging provide information

The Senate passed Canada’s cannabis legalization bill 52-29 June 19, and as industry stakeholders prepare for the launch of a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks, they will be paying close attention to the regulatory framework established by this legislation, including strict advertising restrictions.

The Senate and House of Commons battled over Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, for months, with the July 1 launch of adult-use sales postponed after the Senate requested more time to review the legislation. One of the main issues in contention was advertising, including corporate merchandise. Ultimately, the Liberal government rejected 13 of the Senate’s proposed 46 amendments, including a provision that would have banned cannabis businesses’ distribution of branded “swag,” such as T-shirts and hats that bear a company logo.

Now that the final bill has passed, specific regulations will be released in the coming weeks that outline advertising and other guidelines based on the law. “The law includes language about what you can and can’t do from a promotional perspective, but it’s fairly high-level, and so we anticipate that there will be regulations published sometime in the next couple of weeks that provide a clearer guidance around what activity can and can’t take place,” said Rebecca Brown, founder of Crowns, a Canada-based cannabis advertising agency.


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