Health Canada has recently sent out a statement regarding the growing number of medical cannabis producers licensed by the federal government who are engaging in promotional activities all around the country. This is particularly in regard to the promotion of cannabis through sponsorship of music festivals and other events in anticipation of cannabis legalization.

In the past few months, many Canadians have been increasingly surrounded by logos of recreational and medical cannabis brands at a variety of summer events around the country. This includes the sponsorship of nation-wide concert series as well as promoting cannabis products through various musical artists.

In their statement, Health Canada notes that all kinds of event and corporate sponsorship are prohibited, and it expects all cannabis producers to follow current laws and regulations as well as adhere to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.

Prior to the legalization of cannabis, the advertising of the drug is subject to prohibitions in the Narcotic Control Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in addition to the Food and Drugs Act. The government is reviewing the actions of current licensed producers to bring them into compliance and/or prevent further non-compliance.

The advertising restrictions aren’t expected to ease after the implementation of the Cannabis Act. Come October 17, there will be further prohibitions against the promotion of cannabis that may appeal to youth, includes false, misleading or deceptive information, is through sponsorship of people, events or buildings, or presents a product in a manner associated with a specific way of life (eg. glamour, recreation, risk, excitement, etc.).

Presently, advertisement of cannabis carries penalties of maximum $5 million on indictment or a maximum fine of $250,000 for a first offence or $500,000 for every subsequent offence, with a possibility of imprisonment.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading Canadian regulatory and Health Canada consultants for Natural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other personal care products.