Written by Ranjeev S. Dhillon and Dominique T. Hussey
Bennett Jones and Global Public Affairs hosted a sold-out panel discussion on cannabis legalization and regulation on June 20 in Vancouver at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Dominique Hussey, Bennett Jones Partner and Head of IP Litigation, moderated the panel that included some of the most knowledgeable and insightful Canadians in the cannabis industry. Panel members were:
- The Honourable Anne McLellan, Bennett Jones Senior Advisor and Chair of the Federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation
- The Honourable Darrell Dexter, Vice Chair of Global Public Affairs and former Premier of Nova Scotia
- Ranjeev Dhillon, Bennett Jones Partner and Key Contact for the Bennett Jones' Cannabis Practice
The Hon. Anne McLellan discussed what's next in the legislative process given the current status of the Cannabis Act, the safety and testing of cannabis, the priority of protecting children and youth and the role of public education in getting Canadians prepared for the non-medicinal adult-use market.
The Hon. Darrell Dexter provided an in-depth provincial perspective. He spoke about how provinces could approach legalization, options for retail models, the timing of the July 2018 deadline and how stakeholders in the cannabis industry can make sure their voice is heard by the provinces.
Ranjeev Dhillon looked at the scope of the cannabis industry and the business opportunities, the ability to supply the anticipated demand, the size of companies from licensed producers to micro or craft growers and potential issues with marketing and advertising.
A lively Q&A session followed, including a discussion on Canada’s international obligations and inter-provincial matters, with stakeholders coming from a wide range of sectors—including cannabis cultivation, financial services, government, consulting, bioscience and medical cannabis dispensaries.
One key takeaway from the event is that given the many opportunities and the status of the proposed legislation, the time is now for stakeholders to have their concerns heard.