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Canada’s proposal shocks tobacco firm, who says can’t understand legalizing marijuana

Canada’s proposal shocks tobacco firm, who says can’t understand legalizing marijuana

PuffPuffPost Team
Eric Gagnon, head of corporate and regulatory affairs for ImperialTobacco Canada, speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (File image via Canadian Press)

There was a big furor when Health Canada proposed plain packaging for marijuana companies. However, the trend is catching up with the tobacco industry to feel a similar burn.

Eric Gagnon, head of corporate and regulatory affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada is being vociferous when he said his company can’t understand the government’s decision to legalize marijuana while imposing ‘extreme measures’ on tobacco products.

Gagnon says Health Canada’s proposed plain packaging regulations for cigarettes are confusing and warns it may have to go to court if changes aren’t made.

Gagnon says he is ‘shocked and confused’ by the proposed regulations.

Health Canada published its draft regulations last week and opened a 75-day consultation period for people to provide written submissions on its proposed changes to cigarette packages, which aim to make them drab and unattractive.

One of the regulations Gagnon tackles is a proposal to ax flip-top packaging and return to slide and shell packs because he says it would take two years to build new machines to change the packaging format.

Gagnon says Imperial Tobacco will raise its concerns during the consultation period and hopes they’re considered — otherwise it may have to go to court.

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Health Canada seems to follow a similar route on tobacco just when it mandated that legalized marijuana on Oct. 17 must have plain packaging.

plain - Canada’s proposal shocks tobacco firm, who says can’t understand legalizing marijuana
Sample of the plain packaging as proposed in Ontario

Seeds and fresh/dried marijuana will be widely available, however, edibles, whic requiring more packaging, are not expected to be sold until 2019 at the earliest. Edibles are expected to be some of the most popular products.

(The Puff Puff Post made changes to this Canadian Press story)

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