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On October 17, 2018, Canada officially brought into force the legalization of recreational cannabis following the 2016 Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The Canadian cannabis market has developed into a fast-evolving and expanding sector that is predicted to exceed C$23-billion. The talks about legalization and the opportunities it entails have been an ongoing conversation since it was initially proposed, and these discussions will continue as we navigate our clients through the newly legalized industry.

Blakes has vast experience supporting clients entering new and developing areas in Canada. Combined with our expertise in the agribusiness and life sciences sectors, our Cannabis lawyers are well-positioned to advise producers, retailers, financiers, technology providers and others servicing medical marijuana and recreational opportunities (including with respect to hemp and edibles and concentrates) in the cannabis market. We also advise clients in other sectors whose businesses are impacted by the legalization of cannabis. 

With respect to the pending changes to cannabis laws in Canada, our Cannabis lawyers work closely with the Blakes Public & Political Law team. With decades of experience, the team includes highly regarded lawyers who regularly represent both public entities and private companies dealing with the public sector. Our team also includes counsel who previously served as federal, provincial and municipal public officials in several jurisdictions. Blakes lawyers possess leading expertise regarding government and public-sector issues, including within the industry, and maintain solid working relationships with an extensive network of government advocacy professionals and government contacts, enabling us to efficiently solve challenging issues as they arise.

Our Cannabis 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 fast-moving and evolving cannabis market in Canada. The group is comprised of lawyers who have experience in the legalities of cannabis, including with respect to hemp, medical marijuana, edibles and concentrates, vaping, cannabidiol (CBD) and cultivation, among others. Our lawyers are able to advise on financing, public offerings, M&A, regulatory, advertising, labelling and marketing, licensing and regulation, antitrust, legislative process, lobbying compliance, real estate issues, environmental concerns, channel distribution, tax, international trade, anti-money laundering, outsourcing, class actions, employment law and workplace issues, information technology, and intellectual property matters related to plant breeders’ rights, patents, trade-marks, copyright, industrial designs, and trade secrets.

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