Show all postsFiltered by tag: Medical marijuana\Cannabis

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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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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TMX Provides Update on Clearing Securities of Issuers with Cannabis-Related Activities in the United States

On November 24, 2017, the TMX Group (TMX) issued a news release updating the ongoing engagement that the CDS, which is owned and operated by the TMX, has with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to address the clearing of trades of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United States. While little substantive developments were announced, the TMX emphasized that the final decisions will be based on each exchange’s role in assessing listing requirements, particularly analyzing an issuer’s compliance with applicable laws. This announcement comes just over a month after the TMX and CSA issued substantially different standards that each entity will apply to assess listed cannabis companies with activities in the United States (as summarized in our blog post dated October 17, 2017).

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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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Canadian Securities Regulators Provide Guidance on Issuers Engaging in Cannabis Related Business Activities in the US

On October 16, 2017, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange (collectively, the Exchanges) issued notices providing guidance to those companies with business activities related to the cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana in the United States (the Subject Entities). In particular, the Exchanges’ notices provide that the Subject Entities could be subject to an in-depth review based on their continuous disclosure records, which could result in de-listing on the applicable Exchange. In contrast, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the CSA) took a more lenient approach in its Staff Notice issued on October 16, 2017, addressed to issuers engaging in cannabis related activities in the US.

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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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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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Strategies for Issuers with Cannabis-Related Activities in the U.S.

On August 17, 2017, the TMX Group issued a statement announcing that it has engaged with the Canadian Securities Administrators regarding the clearing of securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities (including assets and operations) in the U.S. Although the TMX Group’s general position on companies engaging in such activities has been a source of speculation and uncertainty for some time, the announcement highlighted specific uncertainty about whether the TMX Group, which is the parent company of The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited ("CDS"), might make the securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the U.S. ineligible for clearing and settlement through CDSX. Although no such action has been taken or articulated, such action could materially impede the ability to trade in the securities of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the U.S. and thus have a chilling effect on the listing and financing of such issuers.

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LCBO to Control Retail and Online Cannabis Sales in Ontario

Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General, Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance and Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced Ontario’s planned approach to the federal legalization of cannabis as proposed by Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, this morning. Bill C-45 left significant discretion to the provinces for determining the appropriate distribution, sale and retailing of cannabis.

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An Overview of Q2 2017 Healthcare Deal Activity in Canada

A look at the current healthcare landscape in Canada, including financing, mergers & acquisitions, notable transactions and big announcements.

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Ontario Conducts Public Consultation on Cannabis Legalization

On April 13, 2017, the Government of Canada released Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, which, as discussed in a prior blog post, deferred significant discretion to the provinces with respect to the distribution, sale and retailing of cannabis.

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Cameron Mingay Discusses Potential Marijuana Supply Crunch with Bloomberg

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada slated to occur within the next 12 months, a looming concern is whether Canada's supply will meet its demand. In a recent Bloomberg article, Cameron Mingay discusses practical realities associated with ramping up legal marijuana production in Canada.

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Alternative Financing Options in the Cannabis Industry

The recent developments in Canadian cannabis policy and legislation have sparked significant investment in licensed cannabis producers. Until recently, equity financing has been the primary form of financing, with Canadian cannabis companies raising approximately $1 billion over the past twelve months.

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