The Competition Bureau Canada has made recommendations to increase competition and support a more competitive legal cannabis industry.
The recommendations are intended to support Health Canada and the Expert Panel in the legislative review of the Cannabis Act.
The regulator, which reviewed the competitive dynamics of Canadian cannabis industry, urged the government to consider three of five barriers to competition.
These barriers, which affect business productivity, innovation and consumer choice, pose challenges for cannabis producers to enter and expand in the industry, according to the watchdog.
One such barrier is restrictions on cannabis promotion, packaging and labelling.
Under the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations, all cannabis products require plain packaging and labelling with restrictions on logos, colours, and branding as well as specific display formats including font type and size.
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According to the Bureau, these prohibitions make it difficult to educate consumers, differentiate businesses and products, and develop and maintain brand loyalty, thus affecting the ability of cannabis producers to compete in the industry.
The Competition Bureau Canada has recommended Health Canada to review and consider easing restrictions and help create a more level playing field for legal cannabis producers.
It also noted that less restrictive rules will facilitate non-price aspects of competition while empowering consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Competition Bureau Canada also called for review on the cannabis licensing process and other related regulatory compliance costs and adjust delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limits on edible cannabis products.
Recently, Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin proposed Assembly Bill 1207 in the California State Assembly to prevent cannabis product packaging from appealing to children.