February 09, 2018
Manitoba and Québec’s pending ban on home cultivation of cannabis plants for recreational use could result in paramountcy arguments in court, Torys partner Andrew Bernstein has told the Winnipeg Free Press and its dedicated cannabis news site Leaf News.
While the scheduled mid-year legalization of cannabis would allow personal cultivation of up to four plants for recreational use, Manitoba and Québec are set to stamp out non-medical home cultivation.
The article, which also appeared on page 3 of the Winnipeg Free Press, reports the Department of Justice could argue against provincial bans in court under the doctrine of paramountcy, which gives precedence to federal law.
Andrew told Leaf News the federal government wouldn’t necessarily argue against provincial bans in court.
"I think more likely the Department of Justice lawyers who wrote this said, 'Here's an argument that would be open for the federal government to make,' I don't think they've gone as far as saying, 'We would make it, and we would succeed,'” Andrew said.
Nonetheless, Andrew said anyone affected by the pending provincial bans had the potential to pursue a paramountcy argument in court.
Torys lawyers have written extensively about the impending legalization of cannabis. You can read their articles on our dedicated cannabis trends page.
You can learn more about Torys’ litigation work by visiting its practice page.