The Complicated Case of Cannabis

What's New The Complicated Case of Cannabis

What to Know About Selling, Marketing and Merchandising.

Take a deep breath, because on October 17th cannabis is set to become officially legal in Canada. It’s been years in the making, and we’ve seen the highs (couldn’t help it) and lows of legalization in some jurisdictions down south. Now it’s our turn, and with the changing law, we’re going to see more effects than just bloodshot eyes and a boom for growers. The legalization of cannabis has the potential to affect retailers of all sorts, with the prohibition on the sales of paraphernalia also being lifted.

That’s where everyday retailers and Curve come into play. We’ve got our eye on the emerging market and are tracking the trends as they develop. There’s a significant opportunity with marijuana paraphernalia like pipes, vaporizers, bongs, lighters and more. With that in mind, we have vendor and supplier relationships, and will have select options available in October.

We wish we could say it was all good news, though. The truth is, it’s a bit complicated. One hand there’s still a stigma against the product. What was long the territory of independent headshops only (now cutely named “Mom and Pot shops” in an effort to distinguish from the large companies moving in), accessories are going mainstream. But has the mainstream adjusted, or will they have negative perceptions of retailers stocking marijuana products? Only time will tell, but every retailer needs to carefully consider their demographic and reputation before jumping in.

On the other hand, there are regulatory concerns all retailers and manufacturers must consider and abide by. The Government of Canada says that all packaging, labeling and merchandising must:

  • minimize its appeal to children and youth
  • protect against accidental consumption
  • provide consumers with information they need to make informed decisions before using cannabis
  • not use a testimonial or an endorsement or depict a person, character or animal, whether real or fictional
  • not evoke a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring

Easy, right? Yeah, not so much. And with so much still to be determined in real-world application come October and beyond, cannabis can seem confusing. We’re working hard with our suppliers and manufacturers to ensure regulatory compliance, but we’re also encouraging all retailers – both our partners and otherwise – to dig in and do some research. Weed recommend it (OK, last pot pun – we promise).

Sources and Additional Reading:
Cannabis in Canada – What the Industry Needs to Know from the Government of Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/industry.html
http://strategyonline.ca/2018/07/19/health-canada-expresses-concern-with-cannabis-sponsorship/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=health-canada-expresses-concern-with-cannabis-sponsorship&_u=zfFa2c1WoC0%3d
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/cannabis-seeds-edmonton-legalization-1.4801830
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/london-ontario-headshop-marijuana-competition-1.4384565
https://www.theleafnews.com/dearherb/dear-herb-im-confused—-are-head-shops-legal-or-not-482849293.html