Efforts to advertise Calgary cannabis expo go up in smoke
The federal government plans to legalize recreational use of marijuana next year and trade shows are popping up across the country but many are having a hard time getting the word out.
The Cannabis and Hemp Expo is coming to Calgary in May and some of the big broadcasters are saying no to its ads saying they can’t run them because it’s still illegal to promote pot in Canada.
It's the first year for the event and organizers say they’ve tried to buy ad time on major networks like CTV and Rogers, but the name they chose and their logo has brought up legal concerns.
The issues stem from the use of the word ‘cannabis’ and the depiction of a pot leaf in the logo.
Rogers Communications did not respond to CTV’s questions about why they couldn't air the ads but Bell Media released a statement saying …
"CTV attempted to work with the client to ensure their creative conformed with statutes pertaining to promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of a drug…however the client chose not to move forward with the campaign."
Canwest Productions Inc. says there won't be any pot at the expo but exhibitors include licensed producers dispensaries and head shops.
“We understand to a point. I mean, nobody wants to portray illegal activity or anything but that’s not the case. We’re a legitimate business, promoting a legitimate trade show and we are not doing anything illegal,” said Terra Connors, from Canwest Productions Inc.
Broadcasters that break laws around advertising cannabis could face fines between $250,000 and $5 million.
The Cannabis and Hemp Expo is on at the Big Four Building on May 6 and 7. Click HERE for more information.
(With files from Brad MacLeod)