Canadians will be surrounded by the logos of new recreational cannabis brands at a variety of fun events this summer as pot purveyors are exploiting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to market their products before government restrictions fully kick in.
At recent concerts by both classic rockers Jethro Tull and rap superstar Kendrick Lamar, banners bearing the Tweed logo were everywhere at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. Tweed is the recreational brand of Canopy Growth, a marijuana company based in Smiths Falls, Ont.
Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis is inviting music fans to enter a ticket contest to see free shows by Kings of Leon, The Cult and Sam Roberts, among others, at venues across the country.
And then there’s Up Cannabis and members of the Tragically Hip, which recently staged a music and lifestyle event for media in the countryside outside of Toronto, where bassist Gord Sinclair unveiled Up’s new strains of cannabis — named for the band’s songs.
“Fifty Mission Cap, or 50 MC, as we’re calling it,” Sinclair said. “[It] will get you flying high quickly, then it levels off.”
But once the Cannabis Act comes into force on Oct. 17, this type of promotion will be prohibited. The government is placing strict regulations on how cannabis can be advertised or marketed — just as it does with alcohol and tobacco products.
Building brand recognition
“It’s a very strange time right now,” said lawyer Matt Maurer, who runs the cannabis practice at Bay Street law firm Torkin Manes and works with several licensed producers.
At the moment, he said there’s nothing prohibiting companies from firing up their marketing machines.