Our Cannabis / Marijuana regulation practice grew as a complement to our extensive criminal and regulatory practice as our credentials, notable experience and skill at handling complex and sophisticated criminal and regulatory matters naturally placed us on the forefront of the new legal framework for regulating Cannabis / Marijuana in Canada. We are equally comfortable providing advice and representation to business organizations on regulatory compliance matters as we are in providing forceful and effective representation for individuals and entities charged with Cannabis / Marijuana related criminal and regulatory offences.

Regulation, Compliance, Licensing, Inspections, Investigations, Enforcement Hearings and Audits

For commercial entities, we litigate and advise on the following regulatory/compliance issues:

  • Implementation of compliance programs designed to reduce the risk of enforcement action for record keeping and reporting requirements under applicable legislation and regulations such as the federal Cannabis Tracking System and the provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, as well as production practices, safety and security
  • Review of Ministerial Orders pursuant to Section 79 of the Cannabis Act and judicial review of the failure to amend, terminate or cancel Orders
  • Appeals/Judicial Review of the Refusal, Amendment, Suspension and Revocation of Licenses
  • Inspections conducted by designates under Section 84 of the Cannabis Act and demands for samples, information and documents made under Section 85 of the Cannabis Act
  • Inspections, investigations, enforcement hearings and other processes conducted by the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act   
  • Applications for Return of seized Cannabis or chemical/non-chemical property pursuant to Section 103 of the Cannabis Act and Section 490 of the Criminal Code and applicable provincial regulations
  • Municipal regulation of business licensing, land use, and consumption
  • Audits and investigations by the Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act, and by provincial taxation authorities
  • Investigations and enforcement action taken under the Securities Act and Competition Act  

Cannabis / Marijuana Related Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions

We defend individuals and organizations facing the full gamut of criminal and regulatory charges, including:

  • Unlawful possession related offences under the Cannabis Act such as possession over the limit contrary to Section 8(1)(a); possession of illicit (black market cannabis) contrary to Section 8(1)(b)possession of cannabis plants over the limit contrary to Sections 8(1)(d)-(e); unlawful possession by young persons contrary to Section 8(1)(c)
  • illegal distribution offences contrary to Section 9 of the Cannabis Act
  • Unlawful sale contrary to Section 10 of the Cannabis Act 
  • Importation and exportation contrary to Section 11 of the Cannabis Act
  • Illegal Production contrary to Section 12 of the Cannabis Act
  • Using or involving a young person to distribute, sell or import cannabis contrary to Section 14 of the Cannabis Act
  • Unlawful promotion, inducement, and packaging/labelling contrary to theCannabis Act, such as unauthorized promotion of cannabis accessories or services related to cannabis contrary to Section 17false misleading or deceptive promotion contrary to Section 18offering of unlawful inducements contrary to Section 24unauthorized packaging, labelling, etc contrary to Section 25
  • Cannabis related driving offences under the Criminal Code including impaired driving and more serious offences such as impaired operation of a conveyance causing bodily harm and causing death contrary to Sections 320.14(1)-(3); blood concentration offences contrary to Section 320.14(1)(c); impairment based on drugs mixed with alcohol contrary to Section 320.14(1)(d); refusal to provide samples of breath, saliva, or blood pursuant to demand  contrary to Section 320.15 of the Criminal Code
  • Director/officer criminal liability for acts committed by organizations pursuant to Section 121 and Section 46 of the Cannabis Act
  • Criminal offences under the Securities Act, Competition Act, Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, and related and complementary provincial and federal legislation

In defending our clients on Cannabis related offences we mount constitutional challenges to the as yet untested provisions of the Cannabis Act, challenge the use of inspection powers under the Cannabis Act in furtherance of criminal investigations based on the doctrine of abuse of process, challenge search warrants issued under Section 87(1) of theCannabis Act, and raise every other issue, advance every argument and ask every question which, in our professional judgment, will benefit our client.

We bring the same around the clock responsiveness, accessibility, commitment and intensity to our Cannabis related cases as we do to our other practice areas.