Proposed pot swag ban makes it harder to compete with illicit pot: producers

Licensed marijuana producers say a proposed ban on the use of cannabis brand elements on t-shirts and other swag will make it harder to stamp out the black market after legalization.

The Senate has adopted an amendment to Bill C-45, which is still being finalized, that would prohibit the use of cannabis brand elements on promotional items that are not marijuana or marijuana accessories.

The executive director of the industry association Cannabis Council of Canada Allan Rewak says the amendment prohibiting the use of brand elements on non-marijuana promotional items is ``unwarranted'' and could have unintended consequences beyond swag, such as barring the use of company logos on retail signage and promotional flyers.

Licensed producer Tantalus Labs' managing director Dan Sutton adds that non-cannabis accessories, such as caps with the producer's branding are a useful tool in differentiating their products from the illicit marijuana already being purchased.

Senator Judith Seidman who put forth the amendment says items such as t-shirts and caps with marijuana company logos will undoubtedly appeal to kids and youth, and this amendment closes the marketing loophole.

The bill will come to a final vote in the Senate on Thursday before going back to the House of Commons for approval.