As Canada gears up to go full weed-legal this summer, it has imposed new cannabis packaging rules, and some businesses are none too happy with the new restrictions. Health cautions and large THC warning symbols, similar to those on tobacco products, will be mandatory.
“These are excellent regulations…” Aurora Cannabis Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley told VICE Money recently. Oh, so wait, maybe they’re not so bad? No, let him finish. “… for maintaining the black market in Canada. I’m a bit surprised the government doesn’t get it yet. This will give a clear advantage to black market products.”
Health Canada will require cannabis products to be packaged in “a single, uniform-coloured container or bag that will display a standardize cannabis symbol in red, white and black,” according to VICE. The warning symbol will bear the same shape and color as a stop sign. Cannabis companies can put their own logo on their products but the logo cannot be bigger than the warning symbol.
All weed packages will also feature one of six health warnings in both English and French, with statements such as “WARNING: Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Using cannabis during pregnancy may harm your baby and result in low birth weight.”
In Canada, beer and hard alcohol are required to carry no such warnings, which are reserved for tobacco and cannabis products.
“Why aren’t health warnings displayed on alcohol and beer?” Battley asked. “I’m very confident that these requirements are going to evolve after legalization and eventually the treatment of alcohol and cannabis will be harmonized.”
The new rules will go into effect this year. Recreational cannabis companies will have to comply as soon as their products go on sale, which is expected to happen this August or September. Medical cannabis businesses will have six months to adjust to the new requirements.
Photo via Flickr user WeedPornDaily