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Arts, Culture and The Cannabis Act

Has Canada’s public health approach to adult-use legalization excluded the opportunity for much-needed financial support to the arts and culture sector?

The Trudeau government’s campaign to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis reached a major milestone this week when Bill C-45 (The Cannabis Act) received Royal Assent. While the Bill restricts many of the cannabis industry’s business activities, the provisions contained in section 21 that limit sponsorship will be of particular concern to Canada’s Arts and Culture communities. These restrictions will effectively prohibit the ability of licensed producers and other players in the sector from sponsoring festivals and other events, thereby cutting off a potential new source of revenue for the Arts and Culture sector.

Though more details on the functioning of the new adult-use cannabis regime will be available when the final regulatory package is published on June 27, we do know that Bill C-45 will come into force on October 17, 2018. This four-month transition period creates a legal grey zone with respect to the cannabis industry’s ability to promote its products and engage in sponsoring arts and cultural events. Therefore, the Arts and Culture Industry would be well advised to seek professional legal advice before soliciting or accepting sponsorships from the cannabis industry in order to better understand the risks associated with doing so during the transition period.

Global’s cannabisCONNECT and Cultural Industries practice groups are well-positioned to help you navigate Canada’s new adult-use cannabis framework and its associated regulations. More specifically, we are also well-positioned to assist you with any advocacy efforts aimed at relaxing the provisions contained in section 21 of the legislation.


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