Canadian Ad Policy Impedes Doctors, Medical Marijuana Growers Say

Licensed medical marijuana producers say federal advertising rules pertaining to the drug are impeding their ability to adequately inform doctors and patients of treatment options.

In November, Health Canada issued warning letters to 20 licensed producers about their advertising practices, telling them they had until Jan 12, 2015, to come into compliance with prohibitions against the advertising of cannabis laid out in the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, the Food and Drugs Act and the Narcotic Control Regulations.

This means that, generally, producers’ websites can only list brand names, strain names, price, cannabinoid content and contact information. They can’t tout each strain’s reported benefits or post photos of the drugs. All companies came into compliance by Monday, the deadline day.

Brent Zettl, the CEO of Prairie Plant Systems Inc., the parent company of CanniMed Ltd. – both of which were on the list – said his company scrubbed a number of prohibited items from the two websites. They include passages containing anecdotal evidence, a reference to “reliability” and some photos of the products, Mr. Zettl said. What remains on the clinical-looking CanniMed site is a generic, textbook description of the company’s cannabis products and photos of doctors in white lab coats and product packaging – not the product itself.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.