Cannes Lions

Pass The Bill

RETHINK, Montreal / LEAF FORWARD / 2019


1 Bronze Cannes Lions
2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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On October 17th, 2018, Canada officially became the second ever nation to legalize recreational cannabis in the world. As the country’s largest cannabis incubator, Leaf Forward teaches businesses how to grow in a changing landscape—that’s why they wanted to celebrate this historic occasion, not just with their clients, but with the entire nation. With no particular financial resources allocated to a campaign, they needed a big idea on a small budget.


Leaf Forward is a cannabis business incubator that helps companies grow within the industry. The company wanted to celebrate legalization with the whole country, so we created a smokable version of the legalization bill. Introducing, Pass The Bill: all 90,659 words of the legal document, printed on ultra-thin rice paper using safe, smokable, non-toxic ink, and packaged like official legislation.


In discovering through social listening that Canadians were frequently talking about Bill C-45 and not just "legalization," Leaf Forward took an approach that would use the physical document to celebrate this monumental day.

The business learned that the majority of Canadians supported legalization so we didn't want to limit our target. Pass the Bill spoke to all Canadian citizens - male and female, urban and suburban, from the west coast to the east coast and everywhere in between. Beyond everyday Canadians, there were also several leaders of the cannabis movement that we wanted to congratulate.

When the government successfully passed the bill on October 17th, we knew that Canadians were going to hit the streets and their social channels to celebrate. We set out to get people talking about Leaf Forward on a day when the whole country was listening.


First, we reformatted the bill and made it super tiny. We then fed ultra thin rice rolling papers through food-safe printers, to transfer the bill to a smokable format. The papers were then packaged in a document-inspired design, with a cannabis-inspired version of the Canadian crest, and a wax seal. We launched the idea on social, with a kickoff video on October 17th—legalization day. We sent our rolling papers to influencers and leaders of the cannabis movement, who quickly shared the idea with their followers. Next, we made the papers available to the public with POP displays in cannabis culture stores. The Canadian government passed the bill, and now Canadians could, too.


Pass the bill put Leaf Forward on the map for cannabis enthusiasts, business people, and influencers across the country. The initiative made headlines across the globe and was shared across the country. In fact, some of the world’s most influential cannabis publications praised the campaign, including and High Times. It was also featured as one of Ad Age’s top 5 creative brand ideas. In the end, we created a celebratory initiative that was recognized and valued by industry professionals, activists, enthusiasts, designers, advertisers, and everyday Canadians.