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Health Canada Says No to Trailer Park Buds

It looks like another one of the Trailer Park Boys’ schemes has gone up in smoke. Not really – it’s just fun to imagine the fictional characters trying to start a cannabis business (a legitimate one, at least).

In reality, Health Canada took issue with Organigram’s new brand Trailer Park Buds, prompting them to implement a long-term rebranding strategy. Their products are still on the market, but their logo will be different going forward.

The brand, a partnership between Organigram and Trailer Park Productions, was originally unveiled in May 2018, and introduced as “a cannabis brand with a wink that speaks to consumers who appreciate a sense of humour and don’t take themselves too seriously.” They intended to launch by the end of 2018, but ended up launching in April 2020 after a long wait from fans, offering 28g quantities of Itodaso Indica and Two Birds Sativa. They hit a snag when Health Canada raised their eyebrows at the logo and brand name, which both bear a striking resemblance to the popular show.

It’s not clear which triggered the conversation, but there are a few regulations in Sections 17 to 24 of the Cannabis Act that, one could argue, were broken. Health Canada could have considered it a celebrity testimonial, or a depiction of a fictional character for promotional purposes, but most likely the logo and name were deemed to “evoke a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

They are definitely not glamorous, but the Trailer Park Boys are Canadian counter-culture and cannabis culture icons, with a cannabis accessory line, cannabis-related mobile game, and cannabis leaves adorning much of their merchandise, so it would seem only natural that they would hope to extend into the cannabis retail business. Unfortunately, due to Health Canada’s regulations, their star-power is working against them.