The legalization of cannabis in Canada on October 17, 2018, with Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act) has significant implications for the Canadian economy. Entrepreneurial opportunities are in a growth stage for both producers and supporting industries. CIBC analysts estimated in a 2018 report that legal cannabis sales in the country could reach $6.5 billion in retail sales by 2020. If this is true, cannabis sales would exceed sales of spirits, approaching the size of the wine market. Clients seeking to navigate this rapidly developing industry can benefit from Alexander Holburn’s strategic legal counsel.

Businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the Canadian cannabis market must contend with a high degree of regulatory complexity. The federal and provincial governments have developed regimes for every stage—from production through to marketing and sales. In British Columbia, non-medical marijuana use falls under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA). At this early stage, many regimes are continuing to evolve. Our cannabis lawyers have extensive and ongoing experience navigating this highly regulated industry.

Our clients benefit from our firm’s comprehensive services across a wide breadth of business, regulatory, and financial legal matters. We assist clients ranging from small start-ups to publicly listed producers, cultivators, and extractors operating on a global scale. We can also assist clients with financings, M&A, and listings on stock exchanges.

The influx of investment capital into Canada has given companies operating in this country a first-mover advantage. Many have global aspirations and there is room for substantial growth. New Frontier Data, a market research and data analysis firm, expects the combined North American cannabis market to reach more than $16 billion in 2019. At the same time, many foreign-owned companies are seeking to enter or grow their presence in the Canadian market, increasing competition. Our knowledgeable lawyers can help clients to establish their business in Canada and to pursue growth opportunities.

Alexander Holburn is well known for forming cohesive teams to provide clients with efficient services. We focus on providing real value, an approach that begins with understanding each client’s business, needs, and objectives.