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Cannabis firms use creative marketing tactics to skirt strict regulations

TORONTO — At a gallery in Toronto’s west end, people sip champagne, dine on canapes and listen to a panel discussion on mindfulness; the product they are here to fete is nowhere to be found, but brand elements are peppered everywhere, including mugs held by the panellists.

“Did you ever think that you would be at a cannabis brand launch?” said Linda Burlison, director of digital marketing and commercialization for licensed producer MedReleaf at the launch of its newest recreational brand, AltaVie last week.

“Fifty years from now, you can tell your kids, your grandchildren, that you were right there at that very moment that was at the cusp of when prohibition ended in Canada.”

It may be mere months before adults will be able to walk into a store and score legal weed, but the strict rules for marketing and advertising mean it is far from a free for all. While deep-pocketed producers ink contracts with celebrities, other marijuana companies are exploring creative tactics to generate brand buzz, such as the use of augmented reality, branded mindfulness sessions, mobile promotional campaigns and cannabis-flavoured products — minus the active drugs (for now). [Read more @ Financial Post]

 

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