Matt Maurer was quoted by StratCann

The Ontario Cannabis store has launched a “Buy Legal” public education campaign to inform consumers about the difference between legal and illegal cannabis. 

In a company press release, the OCS connects the campaign to a study from April 2022 that showed that illegal cannabis products had significantly less THC than advertised and contained high levels of pesticides not authorized for use on cannabis.

However, not all of the industry is happy with the campaign. Matt Maurer, the co-chair of the Cannabis Law Group and a litigator with Torkin Manes LLP, says he believes the video itself breaks federal marketing regulations. 

“I will preface this with whether I think it is a violation is quite different from my personal opinion on whether it should be a violation,” Maurer tells StratCann. “I do think it is a violation of the Federal (Cannabis) Act. Section 17 of the Act prohibits promotion completely, unless the promotion is otherwise permitted under the Act. Here, I don’t see any exceptions or exemptions under the Act where the ad would qualify.”

Maurer says the main issue, from his perspective, is it’s not an age-gated video. 

“If it was age-gated, then it could arguably be an “informational promotion” but it is not age-gated. If you watch the advertisement and imagine that it was put out on television (also non-age gated) by a large chain like High Tide or Tokyo Smoke, you would almost certainly feel that it was offside. ‘The mystery of easy, convenient cannabis.’ ‘Hundreds of legal stores, with click and collect’.”

“The key issue for the legality of the ad in my opinion is whether or not the advertisement is to push the concept of buying legal in general vs. buying legal from the OCS,” he continues.

Read the whole article here.


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