Finnish beverages company, YSUB, is aiming to raise awareness of strict cannabis laws in place in the EU and the Nordic/Scandinavian countries with a striking advertising campaign.
YSUB is the first Nordic beverages company to embrace the cannabis derivative, CBD. However, the product cannot currently be bought in stores or online in Finland due to current legislation.
But rather than being deterred, YSUB has decided to advertise their Herbal Lemon Zen Drink with CBD while stating that it is “not for sale… yet”.
According to the company, the campaign has been set up to fight the stigma around legal cannabis, and highlight the discrepancies caused by unclear legislation in Finland.
YSUB’s “Not for sale” ad campaign has been put on 54 billboards around the country’s capital city, Helsinki.
Petri Nyländen, Founder of YSUB, said: “We have the CBD beverage ready, but for regulatory reasons, we cannot sell it in Finland or other Nordic countries.
“With this campaign, we wanted to spark the discussion and bring awareness around CBD and legal cannabis in general.
“The use of CBD and hemp as wellness products, and the recreational use of cannabis are two completely different things. This is what we try to emphasize.”
In addition to complicated and, some say, outdated legislation, advertising through traditional internet methods, such as Google and Facebook are also still restricted for CBD products.
Facebook, Nyländen added, banned their ad account as they used a CBD hashtag in some of their posts.
As they cannot advertise on social media, they decided to get creative and put their ads onto the billboards across Helsinki.
Besides, YSUB is calling for common-sense legislation that would provide both consumer protection and clear rules for businesses.
Veli-Pekka Pello, a lawyer and co-founder of YSUB, added: “It’s hard to navigate when the rules differ from country to country.
“The EU single market should treat all businesses and consumers as equal. When it comes to CBD this is not the case.”
According to the Finnish laws, producing, importing, transporting, selling, possessing or using cannabis is strictly illegal.
While a campaign was set up to push the government to decriminalise the drug in 2019, there is no update on the matter.