Bill may call for plain pack­ag­ing


Grow­ers on the cusp of Canada’s nascent mar­i­juana in­dus­try are brac­ing for Thurs­day’s long-awaited Lib­eral leg­is­la­tion on le­gal pot, which sources say is ex­pected to re­quire the newly un­shack­led drug to be sold only in plain, brand-free pack­ag­ing.

The prospect of plain pack­ag­ing, which to­bacco man­u­fac­tur­ers are also op­pos­ing, has pot pro­duc­ers warn­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that they won’t be able to com­pete with the black mar­ket with­out some form of brand­ing.

Health Min­is­ter Jane Philpott spoke to a Se­nate com­mit­tee Wed­nes­day about re­quir­ing plain pack­ages for to­bacco prod­ucts — a mea­sure that was also rec­om­mended by the fed­er­ally ap­pointed task force on mar­i­juana.

In an in­ter­view, Philpott would nei­ther con­firm nor deny that the new bill would re­quire plain pack­ag­ing for le­gal mar­i­juana, of­fer­ing only that there are in­deed public health lessons to be drawn from the ex­pe­ri­ence with to­bacco.

Prior to the bill’s in­tro­duc­tion, a num­ber of prom­i­nent pro­duc­ers lob­bied the gov­ern­ment to re­sist the no­tion of plain pot pack­ag­ing.

Pot pro­duc­ers warn they won’t be able to com­pete with the black mar­ket with­out brand­ing.

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