Paper – Canada: Five Years After Cannabis Legalization, Is It Time to Ease Restrictions on Promotion?



In the spring of 2024, the federal government is expected to report on its legislative review of the Cannabis Act (2018). One of the most contentious issues is whether to relax restrictions on cannabis promotion. This commentary describes the tension between the public health aims of legalization and the secondary aim of displacing the illicit market. We maintain that among jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis, Canada stands out as having the stated primary objective of safeguarding public health, and its restrictions on promotion are evidence-based and innovative. These measures must be preserved, even in the face of growing industry pressure to loosen them.

PubMed Disclaimer

Cited by


    1. Asquith K. 2021. Branding Cannabis in Canada: Challenges for the Cannabis Act’s Promotion Restrictions. Canadian Journal of Communication 46(1): 79–98. doi:10.22230/cjc.2021v46n1a3903.
    1. Babor T.F., Casswell S., Graham K., Huckle T., Livingston M., E. Österberg. et al. 2023. Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
    1. Barry R.A., Glantz S. 2016. A Public Health Framework for Legalized Retail Marijuana Based on the US Experience: Avoiding a New Tobacco Industry. PLoS Medicine 13(9): e1002131. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002131. – PMC – PubMed
    1. Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA). 2017, November 6. A Public Health Approach to the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Cannabis: Position Statement. Retrieved June 6, 2023. <…>.
    1. Cannabis Council of Canada. 2021, October 19. Not Done Yet Report Card. Retrieved May 22, 2023. <….>.

MeSH terms

LinkOut – more resources


Primary Sponsor

Get Connected

Karma Koala Podcast

Top Marijuana Blog