The Norton Rose Fulbright cannabis law team has a deep understanding of the existing and emerging cannabis industry, enabling us to provide our clients with relevant, practical, strategic advice. We have long recognized the opportunities that have arisen from the legalization in Canada of cannabis for medical purposes, and more recently, for recreational purposes both in Canada and internationally. We have a proven track record in providing corporate, commercial, regulatory, intellectual property and employment and labour advice to the cannabis industry.
Our clients are key industry players across the value chain, including producers, distributors, investors, research and development organizations and technology providers. We have extensive experience in providing strategic guidance to companies at the preliminary licensing stage through to the construction of facilities, distribution of products, and expansion and diversification of their cannabis-related portfolios.
Our areas of work include
- Advertising and marketing: Navigating the advertising and marketing restrictions, including interpretation and application of federal and provincial cannabis legislation and the impact of privacy and data protection on the distribution of cannabis in both the medical and adult-use markets.
- Commercialization: We help our clients with agreements that bring innovations and products to market, from licensing arrangements to distribution and supply. We have significant experience related to cross-border licensing for cannabis-related products and technology. We also advise medical cannabis clients on reimbursement strategies for public and private coverage of medical cannabis.
- Corporate and commercial: We have vast experience advising on equity and debt financings, private placements, initial public offerings, corporate governance, electronic commerce and internet agreements, equity compensation plans and tax planning as well as on strategic partnerships, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions within the industry (domestic and cross-border).
- Employment and labour: We provide employers with advice related to managing worker use of medically authorized cannabis and the risks associated with the legalization of cannabis, including advising on workplace policies, drug and alcohol testing, and human rights obligations.
- Intellectual property: We advise on patent applications relating to a wide variety of cannabis-related innovations, including covering the systems and procedures associated with planting, growing, harvesting, processing, and delivery mechanisms. We are also experienced in drafting and negotiating licences for cannabis-related intellectual property, as well as providing strategic advice for branding cannabis products and services, including managing and securing branding portfolios, and all aspects of social media and domain names.
- Litigation: Our firm has deep experience in the defense of securities, product liability, privacy and consumer class actions, as well as regulatory investigations and proceedings on behalf of corporations, their officers and directors in industries including cannabis. Working closely with our counterparts in the United States, we have particular expertise representing cannabis clients facing parallel class actions in both jurisdictions.
- Regulatory: Our in-depth knowledge of Health Canada and our interactions with the agency across many product classes – pharmaceuticals, tobacco, food and beverage, medical devices and cosmetics – enables us to provide valuable insights to our cannabis clients about the regulator and its approach to licensing and compliance. We advise clients of all sizes on the regulation of cannabis, including obtaining licenses to produce and import, and developing compliance programs and standard operating procedures.