Skip to content

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

Store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled smoking sandwich
The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)

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 branding 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 pictures on Budway’s social media and at its 1024 Clark Drive store.

The shop’s logo also uses colour patterns and arrow motifs similar to that of Subway’s, said McHaffie.

People commenting on the shop’s social media posts made the link between Budway and Subway, the company argued.

Matovu had not mounted a defence against the Subway franchise’s lawsuit. As of publishing this article, photos of the sandwich mascot and logo are still up on Budway’s Instagram.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.