Ranjeev Dhillon, Dominique Hussey and Aaron Sonshine are featured in The American Lawyer’s look at what’s hot in Canada. ALM looks at how Canadian lawyers are helping clients prepare for the legalization and regulation of cannabis in July 1, 2018. The story “Cannabis in Canada” says:
Bennett Jones was one of the first national Canadian firms to step into the cannabis space back in 2014. “We got involved because we saw an opportunity—although it’s been fast-forwarded that there would be access on the medical side to cannabis, and that it could potentially become a practice area,” said Ranjeev Dhillon, a partner in the firm’s cannabis practice.
Since then, Bennett Jones’ team, which includes the head of its IP litigation practice Dominique Hussey and corporate and securities partner Aaron Sonshine, has worked with clients across various sectors on a range of initial ventures during the cannabis sector’s infancy. “A lot of the current executives in the cannabis space are former mining executives so [there is a] similar mindset—high risk, high reward and investors willing essentially to gamble at the time on early stage investments with the potential for a big return,” says Sonshine.
The cannabis space is likely to evolve rapidly, he says. Under the current law, licensed producers in Canada will be limited to producing the dried bud of the marijuana plant and some oils. Marijuana edibles—food or drinks that are infused with cannabis—will be illegal, although that could change, Sonshine says.
“We’re advising clients not only on the law as it exists today but on future opportunities and how they can prepare for the eventual opening, or so we think, of the Canadian market towards things like edibles,” Sonshine says.