How do you market Cannabis for Christmas?

Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry and shop. Christmas is a busy time of year for retail companies, counting on the holiday season to turn a profit and some cannabis companies are also taking advantage of the busy retail season. To continue our, “Oh Cannabis” series, we’re going to talk about the holiday season and how it relates to cannabis marketing. As we will discuss in another post on marketing and cannabis, “Weeding out the Confusion about Cannabis Marketing” there are strict advertising and marketing regulations when it comes to selling pot. (Companies are getting creative with branding and Health Canada is issuing warnings.)

What are Cannabis companies marketing for Christmas?

Marketing companies have jumped on the advent calendar bandwagon over the past few years with everything from candy to toys and movie tie-ins. While the calendar market was once dominated by chocolates, allergies in children and parents not wanting to add to the sugar overload of the season have prompted other offerings, and many are opting for less traditional calendars.

Traditionally, these calendars are marketed to children, excited to open a window each day to reveal a prize or treat counting down to the day when Santa will finally arrive. What about advent calendars for adults? Cannabis companies in BC, are getting creative filling advent calendars with cannabis. Already a bestseller for the past couple of years, the issue may not be the product but the method of delivery, itself.

For the second year in a row, CannaCalendar is selling cannabis for Christmas, offering 25 days of different strains of marijuana in their calendars.

A spokesperson for the company, Bobbi Hopeful, told CTV news, the “packaging is still hilarious but not new, and the compartments are filled with different strains than previous versions.” According to Hopeful and the same CTV article, “They sold out like crazy last year and our elves are working hard to stuff each calendar with 25 half-gram samples.”

The issue with this may be in the marketing. According to the Cannabis Act section on packaging and labelling, cannabis products must not contain images, graphics or sell a certain kind of lifestyle. No graphics, nothing colourful. Nothing that will appeal to minors. Fun packaging in a calendar that usually counts down the days when Santa will arrive is clearly at odds with this rule. Another strict rule under the Cannabis Act is that companies marketing may not appeal to youth or children under any circumstances. While marketing rules and laws may differ from province to province, (why it’s important to learn what they are in your area of hire someone who does), Mark Haden, BC University professor of public health, agrees this is a problem.

In the same CTV article Haden said, “It’s reasonable to assume that advent calendars will be opened by children. That is not a good idea.”

He also expressed concerns about brightly coloured packaging appealing to minors, which is in direct conflict with the advertising and marketing regulations under the Cannabis Act.


Cannabis companies may have to be creative in their marketing with an emerging market and so many restrictions but they can’t violate Health Canada and federal law and expect to get away with it for long. That’s why it’s important to use an expert SEO or digital marketing team familiar with the dynamics of digital cannabis marketing.


What you give or get for Christmas is up to you. If you’re a cannabis company you may just want to be sure your marketing efforts aren’t going to land you a hefty fine (up to five million dollars) or prison time. One thing we can all agree on, no one wants that for Christmas.


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