At least two of Canada’s largest television broadcasters have denied ad buys by the Cannabis and Hemp Expo set to be held in Calgary, Ontario in May, CTV News Calgary reports. The rejections from Bell Media, which owns CTV, and Rogers Communications are due to laws that outlaw cannabis advertising in Canada; the logo for the expo also contains a hemp leaf and the word “cannabis.”
“CTV attempted to work with the client to ensure their creative conformed with statutes pertaining to promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of a drug…however the client chose not to move forward with the campaign,” Bell Media said in a statement.
Terra Connors, a representative for Canwest Production, who puts on the event, said there won’t be any actual cannabis at the expo but it counts licensed producers, dispensaries, and headshops among the exhibitors.
“We understand to a point. I mean, nobody wants to portray illegal activity or anything but that’s not the case,” Connors said in the report. “We’re a legitimate business, promoting a legitimate trade show and we are not doing anything illegal.”
Broadcasters who break the cannabis advertising laws could be hit with fines between $250,000 and $5 million.