Without question, Toronto’s favourite Degrassi-alum does not shy away from conflict. Good for him, because he may be picking a fight with a force most growers and licensed producers would have warned him to stay away from: Health Canada.
Last week, Drake inked a deal with licensed producer Canopy Growth, under which he became 60% owner of the new adult-use cannabis brand More Life Growth, named for his 2017 mixtape More Life.
(As analysts pointed out, the deal helped Canopy find use for a dormant licensed processing site it purchased several years back.)
Word immediately followed that, eager to get involved in the cannabis industry, Drake’s Dream Crew company had filed an application to trademark Health Canada’s cannabis-leaf stop-sign warning symbol in the United States.
According to MarketWatch, “The image included with the trademark filing appears to be an exact replica” of the warning label required by Health Canada for all products containing THC.
Health Canada debuted the symbol, which it trademarked in Canada, in March 2018 as part of its original draft packaging regulations. Shortly thereafter, Conservative Senator Denise Batters rallied against the symbol during a Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee meeting.
“When I saw that symbol, I immediately thought, ‘That really looks like the Team Canada hockey logo,’” Batters told the committee, brandishing a picture of the Team Canada logo. “I guess you could have just put instead of ‘Canada here, ‘Cannabis.’”
Eventually Batters gave up her opposition. Now Drake’s Dream Crew has filed paperwork saying it intends to reproduce the image on apparel (shoes, hats, and suits), but Health Canada is unamused.
A spokesperson said, “It can be an infringement of Crown copyright to reproduce the symbol for commercial products,” which sounds like a prelude to the type of costly legal beef even the battle-hardened might want to avoid.