Cannabis liberator Kirk Tousaw socks it to the federal government for taking all the fun out of the biz

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      By now, people in Canada's cannabis industry are used to the idea that Justin Trudeau wants to stifle any pizzazz around the plant.

      But that doesn't mean they have to like the government's requirement for the drabbest, dullest packaging that we're ever going to see for a product sold in Canada.

      In June, the Georgia Straight  reported that there will be strict rules around logos, colours, and branding of cannabis when it becomes legal on October 17.

      The regulation requires no "brand element" anywhere. Not on the interior or on the exterior surface of any container.

      The feds think this is a good thing.

      Kirk Tousaw, a B.C. lawyer who helped win landmark victories for cannabis users in the courts, has a radically different point of view—he accuses Ottawa of "sucking the fun out" of cannabis.

      It's worth paying attention to Tousaw's other comment in his tweet about commercial speech protections. They're guaranteed under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which deals with freedom of expression.

      Tousaw has been retained by Canopy Growth Corporation as a consultant, according to a June news release from the company.

      The tweet by Tousaw suggests that some in the cannabis industry are already thinking about launching a charter challenge against the dreary packaging rules.

      One of the landmark rulings on constitutionally protected freedom of commercial expression involved a case brought before the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989.

      The court determined that Irwin Toy Ltd. had a constitutional right under section 2(b) to advertise its products to children under the age of 13.

      However, a majority also concluded that legislation restricting this constitutional right was a reasonable limit that could be justified in a free and democratic society.


      After this article appeared, Kirk Tousaw emphasized that he was speaking on his own behalf and didn't indicate an industry pushback.