Health Minister Rona Ambrose has ordered a crackdown on groups that illegally advertise marijuana, and has reiterated the Conservative party’s pledge to keep storefront dispensaries illegal in an press release issued on Saturday.
“The law is quite clear that dispensaries, whether they are online or a store-front, are illegal and they should not be allowed to advertise these illegal services.” stated Ambrose “I have directed Health Canada to take a more proactive approach to compliance in order to protect the health and safety of Canadians.”
Health Canada will proactively monitor all forms of marijuana advertising and promotion – the more traditional advertising routes print, radio and television, along with websites – of various business including dispensaries, and will issue compliance letters in cases where violations are identified.
Continued violations may be referred to law enforcement. The department will also be more active in working with businesses to ensure that they are aware of the rules around advertising marijuana for medical purposes.
Businesses and individual Canadians will be provided with an opportunity to file complaints about illegal advertising for follow-up.
Information will be made available on the Health Canada website on advertising activities being investigated and actions that have been taken.
Prior, Health Canada has acted mostly on the basis of complaints filed with the department. Under the current law, only regulated parties – such as licensed producers – are allowed to advertise basic, non promotional information as as long as they do not violate applicable advertising prohibitions.
A copy of the press release can be found here.