Proposal would give municipalities input into advertising rules for legal marijuana. File photo

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

A B.C. city wants the province to give municipalities more of a say over marijuana advertising regulations.

A Langley Township “Cannabis Advertising” motion endorsed at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention (UBCM) in Whistler was the idea of Coun. Bob Long, who said the goal is to prevent the flood of promotional activity that took place in Washington State when marijuana laws there were loosened.

“You had ads all over tourist magazines, you had people on corners dancing with signs (to promote pot sales),” Long said.

“It should be the same as cigarettes. The goal is to keep it away from kids.”

The Long measure also has the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

“I sent it everywhere,” he said.

The motion was originally introduced as a late resolution at the 2017 UBCM convention, but there was no vote because it did not meet “the criteria to be admitted for debate as an emergency resolution,” a UBCM document states.

The policy resolution said while local governments have limited powers and jurisdiction in regard to advertising and promotion of recreational cannabis products “this (legalizing marijuana) substantially impacts other matters of concern to local governments in Canada.”

It calls on the UBCM and FCM to work with the federal, provincial and territorial governments “to co-ordinate public policy and regulations such that the enactments governing advertising and promotion of tobacco products be employed to apply similarly to advertising and promotion of recreational cannabis products.”

The UBCM resolutions committee said it was the first time the membership has considered a resolution calling on federal, provincial and territorial governments to regulate advertising and promotion of recreational cannabis in a manner similar to the regulation of tobacco advertising and promotion.

It noted the federal government has already outlined restrictions for packaging and promotion of non-medical cannabis to ensure it is not “marketed in a way that is appealing to youth.”

READ MORE: B.C. marijuana rules say where you can’t smoke or vape

The UBCM represents over 160 local governments in B.C. and presents their concerns to senior levels of government through making annual presentations, involvement in intergovernmental committees and regular meetings with ministers.

The FCM advocacy group is a lobby group of mayors, councillors and other elected municipal officials that represents over 2,000 Canadian municipalities.

A second Township motion seeking more local authority over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was not endorsed by delegates to the Whistler convention.

The UBCM resolutions committee noted members endorsed a previous resolution a few years ago that said any applications to expand the amount of oil transported by pipeline must undergo the highest degree of environmental assessment and “meaningful public consultation, including direct engagement with affected municipalities, regional authorities and British Columbia First Nations.”



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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