Health Canada attacks marijuana advertising—Is the industry going up in smoke?
Health Minister Rona Ambrose has ordered that the act of illegally advertising marijuana be stopped—immediately. In a statement, she said, “Today I directed Health Canada to create a task force to crack down on illegal marijuana advertising. This task force will ensure that those who engage in such illegal activities are stopped, and should these illegal activities continue, promptly referred to law enforcement.”
Could her demand actually harm the marijuana industry? And if so, to what extant?
For now, the current law states that only regulated parties (i.e. licensed producers) are able to advertise basic, non-promotional information.
Originally reported by our sister brand Business Review Canada, to accommodate Ambrose, Health Canada has released a statement that it will start monitoring marijuana advertising instead of its typical practice, which has been to wait for specific complaints.
Ambrose’s comments have sparked further friction amongst Conservatives and Liberals, with her stance being that Liberals are being “irresponsible.” Liberals countered with the belief that the Conservatives’ approach to marijuana is an “unmitigated failure.”
Though this dispute is nothing new—and will most likely only continue to grow—Canadian weed isn’t going anywhere. Not if the Liberals have anything to do with it.
In Canada, medical marijuana can be obtained with a prescription from a healthcare practitioner. Since becoming legal, marijuana dispensaries have flourished—even though there are laws against pot being sold online or in storefronts.
Furthermore, marijuana advocate Jodie Emery said the government’s opposition to advertising marijuana was based on “an ideological . . . rather than a scientifically health-based approach.” Emery believes that having a strict ban on advertising marijuana does a disservice to Canadian who want to educate themselves on the drug.
Is she right? Should Canadians be presented with all marijuana facts before ultimately making a decision of what goes into their body?
In the end, this looks like a typical case of Conservative against Liberal. And while both parties may have strong arguments (for two very different reasons), it doesn’t seem that either group has plans of backing down anytime soon.
[Source: CTV News]