Health Canada has issued warnings to five cannabis companies regarding promotional activities since July, the Ottowa Citizen reports. Tweed told the Citizen that it had cancelled some of its promotional activities based on advice from Health Canada, but Aurora did not confirm if it was one of the five firms warned.

And even if cannabis companies aren’t explicitly promoting their products elsewhere, social media and brand websites seem like a grey area. Users are typically asked to confirm they are of legal age when they visit marijuana websites, but on social media, anyone can see the content that can link a brand to the sale of cannabis—even without spelling it out.

Instagram is another way that marijuana distributors can link their companies to a certain lifestyle, even without specifically advertising weed itself. Tokyo Smoke, a luxury Canadian cannabis brand, is one example. The Guardian wrote that “Tokyo Smoke promotes cannabis by combining ambiguity and aesthetic.” There’s no hard line on whether attributes of “glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring,” can be drawn from cool Instagram photos, even more so when there’s no direct association with cannabis (although the implied, or indirect associations, remain).

Sponsorships and partnerships, even without the express purpose of promoting marijuana, is also good PR by association. For instance, Aurora sponsored the Toronto International Film Festival 2018, where its pop-up space “House of Aurora” garnered plenty of attention. Companies have also brought on celebrity investors to focus on the stock, rather that the cannabis product or brand, to skirt regulations. Gene Simmons was appointed the “chief evangelist officer” and investor of Vancouver-based producer Invictus MD, for instance. And by partnering with Snoop Dogg to create a line of marijuana products—Snoop isn’t an endorser—Canopy Growth’s stocks still soared.

Canada’s time as a country that fully legalized marijuana has just begun, and whether these creative marketing tactics that sidestep promotional prohibitions last remains to be seen. There is a price to pay if they don’t: Licensed producers can be fined up to C$5 million ($3.8 million) and imprisoned up to two years. But industries like tobacco and Viagra have thrived before, even with similarly strict promotional regulations.

And so early on in Canada’s perceived role as a cannabis country, companies might want to strike while the iron is hot. “I think companies are going to take a lot of risks, and ask for forgiveness later,” David Sutton, president of biotechnology company Nanosphere, told the Ottowa Citizen.

“You have to look at the opportunity cost. If you toe the line, you may be 100% compliant (with the law) but you may be 0% profitable,” he said.

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