Ottawa Public Health Wants Cannabis Packaging to Feature Graphic Warnings Similar to Cigarettes

Public health officials in Ottawa, Canada are seeking to put graphic warning labels on cannabis packaging, similar to those on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Full story after the jump.

Regulators in Ottawa, Canada are seeking to put graphic warning labels on cannabis product packaging that are similar to those on cigarettes, the CBC reports. The recommendation from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) comes as the federal government is seeking recommendations to Health Canada to update cannabis rules.  

Under the OPH proposal, cannabis products packaging would “include graphic health warnings, similar to cigarette packages.” Cigarette packaging in Canada includes images of severe health problems caused by smoking. Cannabis packaging in Canada is required to be plain, with only a standardized cannabis symbol and warning message, and product information.     

“Research on cannabis shows that plain packaging and health warnings reduces brand appeal and increases health knowledge among youth and young adults.” — OPH in its submissions to Health Canada via CBC 

OPH also wants to ban words on cannabis products that could appeal to children, like “candies,” and seeks to prohibit companies from using “shapes, sprinkles, and colors” for edibles, which could also appeal to children. 

As Health Canada seeks to update the rules, the Competition Bureau, Canada’s competition watchdog, has recommended that the nation loosen some if its rules, including allowing higher THC limits in edibles, and easing packaging restrictions, the CBC reports. The group is also recommending that regulators review the licensing process and related regulatory compliance costs to ensure that they are minimally intrusive to competition.  

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