The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)

Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway’s branding

The Budway store's mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled sandwich smoking a joint

The owner of a Vancouver pot shop, Budway, has been ordered to destroy all of its signage after being sued by the Subway franchise for trademark infringement.

According to a federal court decision issued June 10, William Matovu is to pay $40,000 for copying Subway’s brand in its marketing and tarnishing the franchise’s reputation as a result.

The store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled sandwich smoking a joint.

The mental linkage between the dispensary’s mascot sandwich and Subway is “inescapable,” said Justice Nicholas McHaffie in his ruling.

“It’s the way, bud” appears below the mascot in a picture posted to Budway’s social media and in a poster at its 1024 Clark Drive store.

Budway’s logo also uses colour patterns and arrow motifs similar to Subway’s, McHaffie said.

People commenting on the shop’s social media posts also made the link between the Budway shop and Subway, according to the ruling.

As of publishing this article, five days after the ruling was made, photos of the sandwich mascot and logo are still up on Budway’s Instagram.

Matovu had not mounted a defence against the Subway franchise’s lawsuit.

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