Article by Kyle Duggan, iPolitics
While Canadian medical marijuana companies are cheering on the Liberals’ marijuana task force report‘s take on how to usher in legalized recreational pot — saying that it got almost everything right — there’s some industry trepidation over treating the product too much like tobacco.
Among the report’s recommendations is one that would require recreational cannabis producers to sell their product in plain packaging, similar to the requirement the Liberal government wants to introduce for the tobacco industry.
Aurora Cannabis Executive Vice President Cam Battley says it’s the one thing in the report that he’s concerned about.
“We have made a lot of progress as a society with respect to our attitudes around cannabis, and to lump cannabis in with tobacco is not well supported scientifically and I think it may not be the best public policy,” he said.
Battley said cannabis packaging should instead be dealt with along the lines of alcohol marketing.
“It’s well demonstrated that cannabis is a more benign substance than tobacco,” he said. “If we want to move people over from the illegal market to the legal, regulated and legitimate market, it would be very helpful to provide people with information about your brands, about your products.”
But Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. — Canada’s largest publicly-traded marijuana producer — says enacting a plain packaging rule probably would just mean an absence of “funky stylized branding.”
“Plain packaging doesn’t mean ziplock baggies,” he said. “That’s my current primary competitor.