11/27/2014 02:02 EST | Updated 01/27/2015 05:59 EST

Health Canada tells medical pot growers to avoid puffing up health claims in ads

TORONTO - Health Canada has ordered the country's medical marijuana growers to stop advertising their products with treatment claims and promotional images.

The federal department issued letters this week to licensed pot producers, warning them to overhaul their advertising and marketing content on websites and social media by Jan. 12.

Health Canada says failure to comply could lead to suspension or revocation of the company's commercial licence.

Individualized letters were sent to 20 of Canada's 22 licensed growers, spelling out what each company needs to change to comply with rules governing advertising of medical cannabis.

Those rules prohibit companies from advertising "any food, drug, cosmetic or device to the general public as a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states."

Health Canada says producers should provide limited information to prospective clients, including the brand name, proper or common name of the strain, price per gram, cannabinoid content, and the company’s contact details.

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