Give Canadian cannabis producers more packaging and labelling flexibility

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While efforts to legalize recreational cannabis nationally have stalled in the  United States ,  New  Zealand ,  Mexico  and  Israel , Canada’s legal market continues to evolve. Health Canada has recently been receiving suggestions  for revising its cannabis product regulations. Now it must decide what changes to make. Cannabis industry needs to step up as Canada prepares to review the effects of legalization Canadian government gets ‘C’ average in the legalization report card We ranked Canada’s cannabis-friendly provinces from worst to best One priority should be  giving producers more packaging and labelling flexibility . This could help businesses build their reputations and help consumers find suitable products. It would also better support federal cannabis policy, as existing rules inadvertently encourage higher potency while sidelining  other aspects of quality . Restrictive rules Current packaging regulations  restrict each cannabis container to a single non-fluorescent colour. It cannot have any photos or images beyond one small brand logo. Labelling is likewise limited. The producer and product name must appear, along with the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) levels. Other  cannabinoids and terpenes  can optionally be reported, but little else. No stories about how the plants were grown, no suggestions regarding the product’s uses or effects. The result is mostly generic-looking packages. That’s intentional: governments don’t want non-users being tempted by the stuff. But there are some unintended side-effects. Negative effects For one thing, the plainness makes it harder for producers to distinguish themselves from competitors and  establish brand reputations . They consequently have less incentive to improve product quality and more reason to compete by lowering prices instead. By contrast, retailers can design their stores to stand out.  Displaying artwork, painting everything purple , or  mimicking Scandinavian spas  can attract customers who like the ambience. Minimalist labels meanwhile cause problems for consumers by…

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