Business Law, Law Practice, Litigation

Smoke is Clearing on Recreational Cannabis Use

Jun 14th, 2018

By Morris Szwimer

My partners and I attended the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo in Toronto last week on the heels of the Senate’s June 7th historic affirmative vote regarding the Canadian government’s marijuana legislation Bill C-45.

Although dozens of amendments were proposed and must now be addressed in the House of Commons, the legalization of recreational marijuana appears close to becoming a reality in Canada.

It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by many knowledgeable individuals, investors, growers and professionals who discussed how Canada is looked upon as a world leader in passing this progressive legislation and as well as the opportunities emerging from this new industry.

This legislation will permit the sale and use of dry cannabis buds and oils in the short term with edible products expected to be legalized for commercial sale within a year of the bill finally coming into force.

The Senate’s social affairs committee passed an amendment to the bill that would leave rules on home cultivation of the product up to the provinces i.e. the Quebec government would determine whether to allow or prohibit home growing of cannabis. The Quebec government has previously indicated that it wants to completely ban home cultivation.

The federal  bill, once passed into law, will also provide opportunities for participants to obtain various different licenses other than traditional ones i.e. growing and cultivation licenses.

It is also likely with the passage of the law that Canada’s banking institutions, previously reluctant to service the country’s cannabis industry, will begin to get involved. In the interim, we have secured relationships with various private equity firms and individuals who are interested in assisting clients embarking into this exciting domain.

Finally, even if you are not directly involved in this industry, how you manage your employees will be affected by the legalized use of recreational marijuana. It is important to draft comprehensive employment policies and to understand the circumstances under which drug testing may be justified in the work place and what grounds would be considered reasonable for submitting employees to such tests.

Needless to say, Spiegel Sohmer is here to assist in walking you through this burgeoning industry.

Please contact us for any questions you may have.