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The Canadian cannabis market has developed into a fast-evolving and expanding sector that is predicted to exceed C$4.3-billion by 2024. Cannabis 2.0, the second wave of cannabis legalization brought into effect in late 2019, set in motion the legalization of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals. This led to greater market opportunities, including additional and varied product offerings, and increased complexity in the regulatory landscape that governs the industry. Legislative updates and the opportunities they entail will continue to materialize as we navigate our clients through the ever-changing industry.

Blakes has vast experience supporting clients entering new and developing areas in Canada. In 2014, our medical marijuana lawyers started advising clients in the sector. Since then, we have acted as primary legal counsel and trusted advisor to a number of clients providing a steady stream of ongoing advice across all practice areas. Our Cannabis regulatory lawyers are part of a national and multidisciplinary group with cannabis-specific experience and expertise, geared to providing clients with the full range of services required to navigate the continually evolving cannabis market in Canada.

The group is comprised of lawyers who have experience in all aspects of the legalities of cannabis, including with respect to hemp, medical marijuana, edibles and concentrates, vaping, cannabidiol (CBD) and cultivation.

Combined with our expertise in the agribusiness and life sciences sectors, our Cannabis lawyers are well-positioned to advise producers, retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, financiers, technology providers and others servicing medical marijuana and recreational opportunities in the cannabis market. We also advise employers in other sectors whose businesses are impacted by the legalization of cannabis. 

Awards & Recognition
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Legal 500 Canada

Recent Experience

Capital Markets

  • A U.S. institutional purchaser and certain of its affiliates or related funds on their purchase of US$360-million aggregate principal amount of senior secured convertible notes of HEXO Corp.

  • Cronos Group Inc. in connection with the C$2.4-billion strategic equity investment in Cronos Group by Altria Group, Inc.

  • The initial purchasers for Aphria Inc.’s US$350-million private placement of 5.25 per cent convertible senior notes.

  • Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp. on its US$350-million initial public offering as a newly organized special purpose acquisition corporation.

  • Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. in connection with the initial public offering of North America’s first marijuana exchang​e-traded fund, Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF.

  • BMO Capital Markets Corp. and a syndicate of initial purchasers on a private placement offering by Aurora Cannabis Inc. of US$345-million of 5.5 per cent convertible senior notes due 2024.

  • Tilray, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed cannabis producer, in connection with its US$202-million initial public offering of common shares.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Tilray, Inc. on its merger with Aphria Inc.​

  • Tilray, Inc. on its C$419-million acquisition of FHF Holdings Inc. (d.b.a. Manitoba Harvest) from Compass Group Diversified Holdings, LLC and other shareholders of Manitoba Harvest.

Financial Services

  • A major Canadian bank on the financing of a licensed producer of medical marijuana, including regulatory landscape, industry risks and financing considerations specific to the cannabis industry.


  • Seven Leaf Med. in connection with its successful licence application under the ACMPR for its production facility on Akwesasne Mohawk Nation territory.

Marketing & Regulatory

  • Various licensed producers of medical marijuana on regulatory matters (including security requirements, pesticides, use of online portals for medical documents, patient registration issues), marketing (including the sale of ancillary products as well as cannabis) and advertising (including use of social media).

  • Various clients in the health-care industry on initiatives and programs with patients or physicians, health-care compliance (including interactions with physicians and clinics), clinical trials, privacy, anti-spam, antitrust, as well as consumer complaint, recall and product liability matters.

Restructuring & Insolvency

  • ATB Financial, as the pre-filing senior secured lender and interim debtor-in-possession lender, in relation to Invictus MD Strategies Corp., Greener Pastures MD Ltd., and Acreage Pharms Ltd. in their restructuring efforts under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.