Earlier this month, the Senate passed Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, a result which came after a long period of deliberation.
We now have a set date for legalization: October 17, 2018. So now that the finish line is in sight, what do the following few months look like for new and existing cannabis companies?
The new law will allow possession of dried cannabis by people aged 18 (19 in BC) or older in a public place of up to 30 grams. The new law will also govern the number of cannabis plants an individual can cultivate, as well as set out guidelines for production and medicinal purposes.
Since the federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government will be heavily involved in creating laws and regulations, it is important to dig deeper into the legal side of the cannabis industry.
Curious to know more ahead of cannabis legalization in Canada, we stopped by Coal Harbour Law to speak with Nathan Lidder.
How did you start practicing cannabis law?
“My litigation background is a criminal defence lawyer. In particular, possession and trafficking cases involving cannabis. I was able to gain a vast amount of knowledge about different cannabis strains, products, and the medicinal qualities.
“Once the federal Liberals were elected I knew the landscape with respect to cannabis was about to fundamentally shift. The transition to the business side of cannabis and consulting felt natural.”
What are the main pieces of legislation that will govern legal cannabis in Canada?
“Federally, Canada will be governed by The Cannabis Act by way of Bill C-45. This Act will cover a wide area including; Personal cultivation, medicinal purposes, production, offences, and penalties.
“The Cannabis Act will leave some important responsibilities to the Provinces including setting the minimum purchasing age and regulating the distribution and retail sale of cannabis. In BC, the NDP has introduced Bill 31 – 2018 Cannabis Distribution Act and Bill 30 – 2018 Cannabis Control Licensing Act.”
What type of clients normally seek your help and advice?
“I see individuals, corporations, dispensary owners, growers, cultivators, seed to sale companies, CBD companies, and vape companies. I see a number of experienced clients but also an increasing amount of new entrepreneurs looking to understand and enter the cannabis industry.”
What are you most excited about in the cannabis industry?
“Firstly, I expect the laws and regulations with respect to edible cannabis products to tabled in 2019. Secondly, I am looking forward to seeing Canadian entrepreneurship flourish. We are going to see so many different products and innovation.”
Nathan is the founding lawyer at Coal Harbour Law and provides legal and strategic advice to clients in the cannabis industry. He looks forward to engaging with clients with all levels of interest in the cannabis industry and cannabis law.
Lawyers at the firm pride themselves on seeking out the best and most practical way to assist their clients’ needs. Find out more at Coal Harbour Law.