N.S. premier, health minister deflect criticism of cannabis marketing
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 11:44PM ADT
Nova Scotia's premier and health minister are responding to complaints over how marijuana is being marketed.
A Dalhousie University clinical psychologist says using the words the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation is using to market cannabis is sending the wrong message -- but the government disagrees.
The signs -- and words -- in question are: enhance, centre, unwind and relax.
“They present an unduly favourable view of cannabis and they put that favourable view front and centre,” said Dr. Simon Sherry, a clinical psychologist who says the signs "glamourize" cannabis use.”
So much so that he was compelled to report them to the federal health minister, but the premier says he’s not concerned.
“We believe we’re within compliance but he has the right to exercise his complaint and they'll rule on the complaint,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
The provincial health minister also weighed in, and while Randy Delorey wouldn't give his opinion on the signs, he said he wasn’t concerned.
“Clinically speaking, I really do rely on feedback and information from the clinicians in how we would frame something of a health perspective like that,” Delorey said. “I haven't received any concerns brought to my attention from health officials.”
Thursday, Statistics Canada released a national cannabis survey which reported that Nova Scotia has the highest percentage of cannabis users of any province.
The survey asked if people had used cannabis within the past three months.
Nationwide, 16 per cent of Canadians aged 15-and-over reported they had.
But cannabis users in the Maritimes bucked that trend as 21 per cent of Nova Scotians, 17.3 per cent of New Brunswickers, and 19.2 per cent of Prince Edward Islanders have used cannabis or cannabis products within that time frame.
Doctors Nova Scotia says they’ve agreed and disagreed with some of what the province is doing before legalization, but say they are pleased that it will be sold in a government monopoly with restrictions around its sale.
For now -- the words used by the NSLC won’t be changing.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.