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Why Franchising Could be the Answer to Retailing Cannabis in Ontario

People across Canada this week will walk into stores and legally purchase marijuana. But not in Ontario. A recent and radical restructuring of the cannabis retail regime from public to private, though welcome by many, has left the largest market for cannabis consumption in Canada the least prepared.

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Cannabis in Canada: The State of the Law

October 17, 2018, marks a historic day in the evolution of cannabis regulations both domestically and abroad. As the first state in the G20 to regulate recreational cannabis, Canada has become the international leader in the development of sensible and progressive policies governing the cultivation, processing, sale and possession of cannabis.

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Oct 16, 2018
TAGS: In the News
Ontario Human Rights Commission Posts Q and A on Cannabis and the Human Rights Code

With legalization on Ontario’s doorstep, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has issued a new policy discussing the impact of legal cannabis on human rights issues in the province. The policy document correctly notes that the legalization of cannabis does not change how employers must respond to impairment and addiction at work but it does highlight the rights of employees with scent sensitivities to be protected from cannabis smoke or vapours in the workplace, which is an area of concern that we expect our clients will hear more about as recreational cannabis use becomes more common. 

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Canadian Securities Regulators Issue Guidance Regarding Cannabis-Related Disclosures

On October 10, 2018, Staff of the Canadian Securities Administrators published a notice (the Notice) summarizing the results of a review conducted by the securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Québec of the disclosure of 70 reporting issuers in the cannabis industry. This review included reporting issuers with varying levels of involvement in the industry and with operations in different countries.

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Ontario Unveils Plans for Retail Cannabis Sales

On Thursday, September 27, 2018, the Government of Ontario introduced new legislation to regulate the sale and recreational use of cannabis. The proposed legislation provides a full-framework for the regulation of cannabis retail following its legalization.

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Frank Robinson Looks at Franchise as a Possible Model for Cannabis in Ontario with Bloomberg

Frank Robinson has been quoted in an article titled "Ontario's Pot Restrictions Have Producers Seeking Workarounds" published by Bloomberg.

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Frank Robinson Discusses New Ontario Cannabis Retail Regulations with Investing News Network

Frank Robinson has been quoted in an article on Investing News Network titled "Cannabis Market Reacts to Ontario Retail Restrictions."

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Is Franchising the Answer for Cannabis Retail in Ontario?

Doug Ford’s radical restructuring of Ontario’s recreational cannabis retail regime was welcomed by anyone doubting the prior plan’s ability to spur and maintain a vibrant and competitive industry capable of satisfying demand and stamping out the black market. A slow out of the gate provincial pot monopoly would have been an anachronism destined to miss the mark, leaving consumers underserviced and disinterested, and shutting out a more capable and dynamic force for growth in the private sector.

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Franchise and Retail in the Cannabis Industry

As a proven model for the distribution of products and services across a broad range of trade channels, franchising has become an essential source of economic activity in Canada and around the world. Consumers are reliant on franchised businesses to access a vast array of branded products and services, while the franchised businesses that offer them work to establish and entrench the consumer experience and quality standards associated with their offerings.

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Jul 26, 2018
TAGS: In the News
The Ontario Government Announces Indefinite Postponement of New Smoking and Vaping Legislation

Ontario’s provincial government recently announced that the coming into force of the new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) has been postponed indefinitely to allow time for the new government to re-examine the regulation of vaping.

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Chuck Rich & Jonathan Sherman in the Financial Post: Debt Financing May Finally be on the Horizon for Cannabis Companies

Chuck Rich and Jonathan Sherman have been quoted in the Financial Post’s article titled “Canopy’s $500 Million Raise Means Debt May Finally be on the Horizon for Cannabis Companies,” published on June 22, 2018.

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Bill C-45 Passes in the Senate, Making Cannabis Legal in Canada. What Does This Mean for Employers?

By way of a 52-29 vote, the Canadian Senate has now passed the federal government’s bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada. It is now up to the federal government to set a date for formal legalization, with provincial governments receiving an eight to twelve week period to prepare for the sale of the drug within their province. The Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent within a matter of days.

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British Columbia Introduces Regulatory Framework for Cannabis

On April 26, 2018 the Government of British Columbia announced the introduction of its proposed regulatory framework for recreational cannabis. The province’s proposed framework includes Bill 30, the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30), which itself includes consequential amendments to other statutes including the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Police Act, the Community Safety Act, and the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, among others, Bill 31, the Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31), and Bill 17, the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 17). Collectively, Bills 17, 30, and 31, if passed, would establish a comprehensive legislative framework for regulating the licensing, distribution, purchase, sale, consumption, and enforcement of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia.

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Cannabis in Canada: The State of the Law Today

UPDATE: As of April 13, 2018, every province and territory in Canada had tabled legislation outlining their plans for regulating cannabis. Our primer has been updated to include proposed legislation details from across the country.

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Federal Government Releases its Proposed Approach to Cannabis Regulations

On November 21, 2017, Health Canada released its proposed approach to the regulation of cannabis in anticipation of legalization in July 2018. The proposal addressed seven broad areas relating to cannabis activities: (i) licensing and permitting; (ii) security and security clearances; (iii) cannabis tracking; (iv) cannabis products; (v) packaging and labelling; (vi) cannabis for medical purposes and (vii) health products and cosmetics with cannabis. 

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Quebec Introduces the Quebec Cannabis Regulation Act

On November 16, 2017, the Government of Quebec released its proposed cannabis legislation, Bill 157, an act to constitute the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (the SQC), to enact the Cannabis Regulation Act and to amend various highway safety-related provisions (the Act). The Act elaborates on the Quebec Government’s plan to establish the SQC, a subsidiary of the Société des alcools du Québec, as the sole distributor of cannabis in the province. If passed, the Act will lay the foundations for a stricter cannabis regime as compared with other provinces.

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Manitoba Announces Distribution and Retail Model for Cannabis in the Province

On November 7, 2017 the Premier of Manitoba announced the proposed model of cannabis distribution throughout the province when the Federal Cannabis Act comes into force on July 1, 2018. Unlike the Ontario and Quebec models, whereby the liquor control bodies in each province have been designated as distributors and retailers of cannabis, the model in Manitoba is considered a hybrid retail and distribution, carving out roles for both the public and private sector.

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Ontario Introduces the Ontario Cannabis Act, 2017

On November 1, 2017, the Government of Ontario released its proposed cannabis legislation, Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act (the Act). The substance of this bill is Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017, but the bill also details amendments to related legislation in the form of a new Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 and amended Highway Traffic Act. If passed, the Act would regulate the use and distribution of recreational cannabis in Ontario upon the enacting of the federal Cannabis Act in July 2018.

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Standing Committee on Health Approves Amendments to Bill C-45 Regarding Cannabis Edibles and Concentrates

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017 the Standing Committee on Health (the HESA) approved a number of amendments to Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act (the Act).Two specific amendments will likely have a considerable impact on the recreational cannabis market:  

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Federal Government Introduces its Cannabis Tax Proposal; Alberta Unveils Proposed Provincial Framework

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017 the Government of Canada unveiled its proposal for a federal excise tax on the sale of cannabis. Under the proposal, a $1 tax would be levied on prices up to and including $10 per gram and a 10% tax would be levied on prices over $10 per gram. The proposal is for the tax revenues to be evenly split between the Federal and Provincial Governments.

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