Cannabis firms use summer concerts to market their brands before legalization

With cannabis legalization set for Oct. 17, many Canadian cannabis companies are hurrying up to advertise their products at concerts taking place this summer.

The companies are taking advantage of this opening because after Oct. 17 this type of advertising will be prohibited. Just like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis companies will have firm restrictions on advertising and marketing.

Health Canada has confirmed that the Cannabis Act prohibits promotion through sponsorship of people, events or buildings. Any testimonials or endorsements and using the depictions of persons, celebrities, characters or animals are also not allowed.

Recently, British rock band Jethro Tull and rap superstar Kendrick Lamar had banners with the Tweed logo all over the stage.

Tweed is the recreational cannabis brand of Canopy Growth.

It has been announced that Aurora Cannabis, an Alberta-based cannabis company, is hosting a ticket contest to Kings of Leon, The Cult and Sam Roberts at various locations.

Matt Maurer, vice chairman of law firm Torkin Manes, said there were no restrictions placed on marketing before legalization.

“Certainly, there’s something to be said for building brand recognition between now and October, so that when you do have to pull back from these types of advertisements, you’ve already built up a whole bunch of brand recognition and goodwill.”

Advertising at 250 summer events

Amy Wasserman, Tweed’s marketing director, said that they will be advertising at approximately 250 events this summer.

“We’re at basically every Pride event across the country, and we’ll be at the Calgary Stampede for our Western friends. We have about 250 events that we’ve committed to throughout the summer.”

While Health Canada said advertising of cannabis will be prohibited, licensed producers will still be allowed to provide basic information to prospective clients.