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The Law Firm at the Forefront of the Cannabis Industry - Jonathan Sherman Interviewed by Lift & Co.

Partner Jonathan Sherman was interviewed by Lift & Co. for a piece titled "Meet Cassels Brock, The Law Firm at the Forefront of the Cannabis Industry."

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Colorado’s Cannabis Industry Open to Publicly-Traded Companies and Investors

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1090 (the “Bill”) on Wednesday May 29, 2019, which opened up Colorado’s cannabis industry to outside investors for the first time.

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Alison Hayman and Marco Ciarlariello Discuss the Marketing & Branding of Cannabis

Alison Hayman and Marco Ciarlariello have been quoted in the article “After Six Months of Legal Cannabis, What Have We Learned so Far,” published by The Message, a publication devoted to Canadian marketing.

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Advertising & Marketing Cannabis in Canada

The Federal Cannabis Act (the “Act”) establishes restrictions and exceptions for those looking to advertise and market Cannabis in Canada.

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A Joint Effort: Nova Scotia Court Certifies Canada’s First Ever Cannabis Product Liability Class Action

With the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada, product liability litigation was almost certain to follow. Recently, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court certified the first ever Canadian product liability class action against a licensed cannabis producer in Downton v Organigram Inc. This certification decision signals that Canadian cannabis producers will not be immune to the emerging trend seen in the United States, where the decriminalization of cannabis in certain states has spurred the growth of product liability class actions in the industry. The Downton decision does provide some hints as to how the Canadian plaintiffs’ bar will frame and approach such actions and how cannabis producers can implement strategies to avoid and mitigate the risk of litigation arising from their products.

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Incoming U.S. Attorney General indicates he will not “go after” marijuana companies in Senate Confirmation Hearings

During the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Attorney General nominee William P. Barr touched upon his position on cannabis, offering, to the relief of cannabis companies, a markedly different approach than his predecessor, former U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions. 

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Chuck Rich Quoted in The Globe and Mail on Big Banks & Cannabis in the Wake of PharmHouse Deal

Chuck Rich has been quoted in the article "PharmHouse Debt Deal Shows Industry Maturing," published by The Globe and Mail.

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Chuck Rich Looks at Canada's Big Banks and the Cannabis Industry with Business Insider

Chuck Rich has been quoted in the article "Canada's Largest Banks are Writing Large Checks to Support Pot Companies, Betting Weed can Mean Big Business," published by Business Insider.

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Frank Robinson Discusses Concerns over Ontario's Limit on Pot Retail Licenses with Pot Network

Frank Robinson has been quoted in a story titled "Concerns Arise as Ontario Limits Pot Retail Licenses to 25 in New Lottery System," published by Pot Network.

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Frank Robinson Speaks to BNN Bloomberg on Franchise’s Potential Role in Ontario Retail for Cannabis

Frank Robinson was interviewed on BNN Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Markets for a segment titled “Why franchising could be the answer to cannabis retail in Ontario."

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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 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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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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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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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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California Senate Passes Bill Aiming to Create State-Chartered Banks for Cannabis Businesses

On May 30, 2018, the California Senate passed a bill aiming to establish state-chartered banks for cannabis businesses. The change in law would allow cannabis businesses in California to access more traditional banking services which are often restricted due to federal legislation in the United States that places heavily burdensome obligations on federally-insured financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, that provide services to cannabis businesses. The bill, SB-930, is now headed to the California Assembly for legislative approval.

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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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Apr 18, 2018
TAGS: In the News
U.S. Politicians Signal Major Shift in Recent Cannabis Policy

Last week, John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced that he was joining the board of Acreage Holdings, a major U.S. cannabis cultivator and distributor. Later that week, President Donald Trump promised the Senator from Colorado that, despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ position on marijuana, federal prosecutors would not target the marijuana industry in Colorado.

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Jan 4, 2018
TAGS: In the News
Legalization of Cannabis in United States Takes Step Backward

Days after recreational cannabis legalization in California, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of the “Cole memo,” moving to change the country’s policy on non-interference with cannabis-friendly state laws. In his one-page memo addressed to all United States’ attorneys, Sessions announced that “previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately.”

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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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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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Liquor Control Board to Distribute Cannabis in Quebec

On September 29, 2017, government sources confirmed to Radio-Canada that Quebec's liquor board, the Société des alcools du Québec or Quebec Alcohol Corporation (SAQ), will oversee the distribution of recreational cannabis in the province following legalization in July 2018. Sources also confirmed that the legal age to purchase cannabis in Quebec will be set at 18, aligning it with both the mandatory minimum age proposed by the Government of Canada in Bill C-45 and with the province’s minimum drinking age. 

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