As Canada moves toward legalization, nearly every aspect of the industry is in flux. Obviously, these changes will impact any business that comes into contact with actual cannabis. That includes growers, distributors, and dispensaries. But all these legal changes are also impacting a much wider range of retailers, not just those that sell weed. Now, a new marijuana law limits how retailers sell products considered to be cannabis accessories. And this law looks like it will affect everyone from dispensaries to convenience stores.
New Law Impacts A Wide Range of Retailers
The law in question has to do with how marijuana accessories are sold. In particular, “accessories” includes things like rolling papers, bongs, pipes, vaporizers, multi-tools, and anything else typically used to smoke weed.
According to reports coming out of Canada, there was initially some confusion about how selling accessories would be regulated.
For example, some business owners thought that restrictions on selling accessories would only apply to cannabis retailers. Under that assumption, other stores would be allowed to freely sell things like rolling papers or a one-hitter.
But now, it looks like that isn’t the case. Instead, Health Canada has clarified that the rules will impact every single business trying to sell marijuana accessories.
That means that everything from dispensaries to corner stores, gas stations, convenience stores, or any other shop selling cannabis accessories will have to follow a new set of retail laws.
Under the new rules, no stores will be allowed to sell an accessory product to people younger than 18. Similarly, vending machines or any sort of self-serve retail will not be allowed.
Taking all this a step further, the new law will also prohibit stores from displaying marijuana accessories in a way that makes them easily visible to people under the age of 18.
Even more, there will be laws restricting the types of branding and advertising that can be used to promote accessories. For example, Health Canada will ban ads that link cannabis accessories to “lifestyle” imaging.
Similarly, companies will be limited in the types of endorsements or public testimonials they can use to promote accessory products.
New Marijuana Law Limits How Retailers Sell Cannabis Accessories
These new rules will reportedly go into effect later this fall when national legalization finally becomes official. As of now, the deadline for all these legal changes is October 17.
Obviously, rules about selling accessories could impact a broad swath of companies and businesses. In many cases, this includes retailers outside the cannabis industry.
Basically, anybody who carries a product that Health Canada considers a cannabis accessory will have to follow these new rules. It’s unclear if this will harm sales of such products. Similarly, it’s unclear if this will harm the earnings of stores that aren’t actual dispensaries.
At this point, it seems more likely that the laws will become more of a regulatory burden than anything else. In particular, these laws will introduce additional requirements that non-weed shops will have to comply with.
And, of course, new laws also carry the possibility of something new to get in trouble for. But, it sounds like convenience stores will still be allowed to sell accessory products as long as they follow all new laws.