Under the current cannabis framework, organizations are prohibited from cannabis sponsorship that (directly or indirectly) promotes the cannabis brand (Section 21/22 of the Act). This means that there are strict limitations on how cannabis companies can sponsor other organizations and events (for example, logo placements, banners, etc., are disallowed, leaving little upside for the sponsor). This is due to the government’s concern with:
protecting young people (i.e., avoiding making cannabis appealing to young people, especially through glamour and recreational branding);
deterring illicit activities;
reducing the burden on the criminal justice system; and
increasing public awareness for health, and providing access to quality-controlled cannabis.
The government is currently consulting on the regulatory framework for cannabis (mostly focused on edibles, extracts and topicals), and has asked for “additional comments to share regarding the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis in Canada.” The BC Alliance is interested in the arts, culture and heritage sector’s thoughts on the current restrictions around cannabis sponsorship. Are they appropriate, or too restrictive? Is there room to develop a more relaxed framework that still addresses the government’s concerns? Let us know! Submissions could include:
the potential alignment for cannabis sponsorship with your organization;
the impact that the additional revenues would have on your mission;
the impact on culture/health/community/tradition;
any steps you would take to address the government’ concerns;
whether you would be interested in working with the government over the next couple years to formulate a thoughtful policy framework and updated legislation/regulation for cannabis arts sponsorship.
The time is now to make your voice heard! Send your thoughts to BC Alliance executive director Brenda Leadlay (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please submit your feedback by February 20.