April 25, 2017
The release of Canada’s draft framework to legalize recreational marijuana raises questions concerning the business aspects of cannabis such as “pricing, marketing, distribution and allowable products,” as well as the criminal and regulatory consequences of violating the new proposed rules. The Lawyer’s Daily featured partner Eileen McMahon, intellectual property and drug regulatory expert, to weigh in on the discussion. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Eileen McMahon, chair of the IP and food and drug regulatory practices group of Toronto's Torys, said she will be looking at whether a significant regulatory burden will be imposed on those engaged in producing, selling, delivering, shipping, possessing, transporting and destroying cannabis for recreational use. "Will those who are already licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes be in a better place than new entrants to the market?" she queried.
Moreover, will companies who are already licensed producers be grandfathered for producing, selling, delivering, shipping, possessing, transporting and destroying cannabis for recreational use? "Will the current licence application process be changed — will it become easier to get a licence or not?" said McMahon.
She will also look for what measures the government imposes to ensure safety and quality control of product. And how will the government enforce the laws? "For example, if recreational users are entitled to keep four plants at home to grow cannabis for recreational use, what enforcement measures will be put in place to monitor compliance?" asked McMahon. McMahon will in addition examine the interface between federal and provincial laws. "Will there be clarity on licensed producers' ability to directly market to consumers, through means other than shipping, for example, storefronts, or will that issue be left to the provinces to decide?" she said.
As for edible cannabis, McMahon said, "we're curious to see how the government proposes to regulate ... and whether the products will be regulated as a food or drug, or have a unique regulatory class."
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