Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Cannabis radio advertising is a blurry and trepidatious world in Canada with cannabis becoming legal last year. Many cannabis business owners are unsure of where they can advertise, and what they can say. AGLC regulations have been established, but varying interpretations have lead some business owners to shut down their advertising aspirations before they even get started. Is anyone open for business?
There are varying degrees of advertising tolerance among radio stations - some advertise both recreational and medicinal. Some only work with medical clinics. Others have clamped down completely on advertising. So why does it appear to be so inconsistent?
Different radio advertising companies in Calgary have different degrees of risk tolerance. Some feel that the grey area cannabis falls into makes it a no-fly zone, they'd rather be safe than sorry. Others embrace the grey area, knowing that interpretation is key in new and vague laws, and have invested money into retaining legal council to guide them through the process to minimize the risk of being on the wrong side of the law.
The fact is, there are clear guidelines we know we can follow to ensure Cannabis advertising guidelines are followed, so you can get your message out to Calgarians and engage with the people who want or need your cannabis products.
Here are some basic rules you can follow when advertising cannabis in Calgary and Alberta. Do not:
1. Advertise to anyone under the age of 18
2. Advertise price or availability (except at point of sale)
3. Use testimonials
4. Depict persons, characters, animals, mascots, etc,
5. Associate the product or brand with, or evoke positive or negative emotion about, or image of, a way of life, such as glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk, or daring
So what CAN you advertise? At the time of writing this article, our understanding is that you can advertise facts about your store hours, a unique aspect of your service such as shorter wait times, or for medical clinics, you can advertise that you have doctors available to diagnose ailments or disorders, HOWEVER you can not make claims directly tied to any benefits or healing properties of cannabis.
Contact our team to get a fuller understanding of advertising cannabis on the radio or through digital display channels, and we'll work with you to explore what creative messages you can reach your audience with. Any and all creative we supply is rigorously reviewed for AGLC compliance before going to air, and you always have the opportunity to review on your end before proceeding to reach your audience with your advertising message.