Canada is supposed to legalize marijuana later this summer. But for now, lawmakers are still working to finalize the details. Now, marijuana marketing is the latest detail to come under scrutiny. As the Senate passes an amendment limiting cannabis branding on free swag, some are wondering if the country will be able to finish the legalization process in time for its summer deadline.
No Weed Swag in Canada?
Canadian lawmakers are hammering out details related to Bill C-45. That’s the bill that is scheduled to legalize cannabis in Canada.
Last Friday, the Senate adopted a new amendment to the bill. The amendment was introduced by Conservative Senator Judith Seidman and aims to limit the ways that marijuana companies are allowed to market.
Before her amendment, Bill C-45 restricted the promotion and marketing of marijuana. But it did not limit a cannabis company from branding non-marijuana products or goods. That essentially meant that weed companies could still brand all sorts of stuff like shirts, hats, backpacks, and whatever else as long as it wasn’t actually weed.
But now, Seidman’s amendment would ratchet up the restrictions on how cannabis companies can market. In particular, the new amendment gets rid of the exception from branding non-marijuana products.
The Senate adopted her amendment on Friday. Sen. Seidman’s anti-weed swag amendment was one of 40 amendments the Senate adopted last week.
From here, lawmakers will continue ironing out details related to Bill C-45. They are supposed to have a final vote on the legalization bill on June 7. Canada has already bumped back its legalization timeline but is still shooting to complete the process in July.
Amendment Limiting Cannabis Branding On Free Swag Protects Young Consumers
According to local news source Ottawa Citizen, Sen. Seidman said her amendment was designed to keep companies from preying on young consumers. In particular, she said that if weed companies are allowed to brand swag it would let them “market to our kids by stealth.”
Lawmakers who are critical of legalization often cite concerns over how it will affect young people, especially teenagers. But so far, all of the available data illustrates that legalization does not produce any significant impact on teen cannabis consumption.
In fact, the most recent data from 2017 revealed that teen weed use in the U.S. has hit a new 20-year low. And that in the era of rapidly-expanding legalization.