14 episodes

Cannabis Law in Canada features long-form interviews between Toronto cannabis lawyer Russell Bennett and cannabis legal and industry experts, who reveal the real-world impacts of the former prohibition and current legalization, including the federal Cannabis Act, other federal cannabis-related laws, various provincial cannabis distribution laws and municipal by-laws that make up the complex legal fabric of what it means to be legalized in Canada.

Cannabis Law in Canada Russell Bennett, Cannabis Lawyer, cannabislaw.ca

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Cannabis Law in Canada features long-form interviews between Toronto cannabis lawyer Russell Bennett and cannabis legal and industry experts, who reveal the real-world impacts of the former prohibition and current legalization, including the federal Cannabis Act, other federal cannabis-related laws, various provincial cannabis distribution laws and municipal by-laws that make up the complex legal fabric of what it means to be legalized in Canada.

    Ruth Chun - International Corporate, Commercial and Cannabis Lawyer, Chun Law Professional Corporation

    Ruth Chun - International Corporate, Commercial and Cannabis Lawyer, Chun Law Professional Corporation

    Ruth Chun is a corporate commercial lawyer focused on providing legal advice to various companies from start-up to exit.

    Ms. Chun acted as general counsel for cannabis company Newstrike Brands Ltd., raising over $150 million in financing, from the RTO transaction with Up Cannabis Inc. and sale to HEXO Corp. for $263 million. She continues to act for highly regulated industries including psychedelics and renewable energy transactions.

    Ms. Chun is a sought-after speaker and is regularly called upon as a conference presenter and lecturer at several universities. She is an independent director and chair of the board of directors of Entheon Biomedical Corp. (CSE: ENBI), Healing Maps and is on the Advisory Board for the Osgoode Certificate in Cannabis Law & Regulations. She also chairs the board of directors for the non-profit organization Sexual Assault and Violence Information Services of Halton and is a director of Milton Baptist Church. She is a past chairman of Rio Tinto’s pension fund for Rössing Uranium Mine and past trustee of the Alexander Forbes group of funds. In 2019 she was a finalist for the Canadian General Counsel Awards.

    Ms. Chun received an Honours BA (Trinity College) and MA from the University of Toronto and Juris Doctor from Queens University, and is admitted to legal practice in Ontario, New York and Namibia.

    Ms. Chun is also a contributing editor to the legal textbook Canada's Cannabis Act: Annotation & Commentary, for the forthcoming 4th edition, 2022-2023.

    I hope you enjoy our conversation.

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, listen to our other episodes at https://cannabislaw.ca/pages/russell-bennett-podcast

    If you're looking for a good text book on Canadian cannabis law, read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    If you need a cannabis lawyer, ask Russell for more information at https://cannabislaw.ca

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Robert Laurie, Ad Lucem Law Corporation

    Robert Laurie, Ad Lucem Law Corporation

    Robert W.E. Laurie founded Ad Lucem Law Corporation in 2013. Robert is an international lawyer qualified in England and called to the British Columbia Bar. Robert’s legal practice focuses on commercial business, government, regulatory issues, plus charter and constitutional legalities surrounding cannabis and psychedelic plant medicines.

    Robert has eighteen years of policy development and legal practice in corporate, commercial, and administrative law, plus licensing, regulatory, and constitutional charter experience concerning medical access to cannabis and psilocybin. As a lawyer in Canada, Robert works to reform drug laws. As a consultant, he devises regulatory, government policy, and business solutions for companies operating globally in the regulated food, cannabis, and psychedelic industries. Robert is Special Advisor to Gateway Proven Strategies (GPS Global), a Denver-based cannabis management consultancy firm operating globally. Robert serves as a board advisor to MAPS Canada, the Last Prisoner Project, and SPORE Denver. In addition, he is a legal advisor to the Heroic Hearts Project, a founder of the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, and a director of the Ecuador Amazon Restoration Project.

    Robert has been working and advocating tirelessly as a lawyer to improve medical patient access to cannabis, psychedelics, and sacred plant medicines and facilitate drug laws to better society. Robert advised Dr. Bruce Tobin and the TheraPsil Alliance litigation team (first Section 56 CDSA medical exemption for psilocybin in Canada). He was one of the Decriminalize Nature Canada Petition drafters, part of a national campaign to decriminalize restricted plant medicines and fungi in Canada. His goal is to help provide more options for doctors and treatments for anxiety, depression, addiction, and PTSD. Robert is an acclaimed international speaker, presenting at conferences and events on the laws surrounding cannabis, psychedelic, and entheogenic medicines in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

    I hope you enjoy our conversation.

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, listen to our other episodes at https://cannabislaw.ca/pages/russell-bennett-podcast

    If you're looking for a good text book on Canadian cannabis law, read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    If you need a cannabis lawyer, ask Russell for more information at https://cannabislaw.ca

    Last, please sign Russell's petition for automatic cannabis expungements, which is due on April 19, 2022.

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Keachea Dixon - International Attorney

    Keachea Dixon - International Attorney

    Keachea Dixon is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of New York, the Province of Ontario, and the island of Jamaica.

    Keachea’s law practice focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses with various issues in Commercial law, Cannabis law, Entertainment law, Real Estate law, Wills & Estates law, Intellectual Property law, and Technology Law.

    Keachea is a co-founder and Vice President of International Business Affairs for Cannabiziac, a global member-based company helping new and existing businesses and professionals with education, training, networking events, mentorship, and advocacy in the global cannabis industry.

    She also teaches for Cannabiziac’s Builder Incubator Program about the international cannabis market including topics like prohibition, decriminalization, plant touching, ancillary operations, and global trends. 

    Keachea is an active speaker, delivering valuable information at conferences around the world from Perth, Australia to San Juan, Puerto Rico to Toronto, Canada.

    Keachea is admitted to the Federal Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, has a Master of Law Degree in Intellectual Property, Technology & Commerce from University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly known as Franklin Pierce Law Centre), is a certified mediator in the area of IP, Technology & Commerce, and was a NGO representative at the United Nations Department of Public Information.  Focusing on International Development, Keachea was a partner at Gordon Dixon & Company, and was in-house counsel for Dilieu Technology LLC, an IT solutions company.

    Keachea has counselled startup companies in the following industries: cannabis, fashion, film, music, marketing, publishing and technology. Ms. Dixon’s professional motto is “transforming lives one client at a time through the strategic use of justice”.

    I hope you enjoy our conversation.

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, listen to our other episodes at https://cannabislaw.ca/pages/russell-bennett-podcast

    If you're looking for a good text book on Canadian cannabis law, read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    If you need a cannabis lawyer, ask Russell for more information at https://cannabislaw.ca

    Last, please sign Russell's petition for automatic cannabis expungements.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    David Brown - Stratcann.com

    David Brown - Stratcann.com

    Generally speaking, David Brown writes about cannabis policy and industry stuff and lives in British Columbia. He likes plants. And his beard.

    More specifically, David Brown is a cannabis policy analyst, regulatory affairs specialist and content manager with Stratcann.com, a Canadian cannabis industry news and information publication. David has worked in the cannabis industry for 10 years, first as a co-founder of LIFT Cannabis, which was a former news site for the medical cannabis industry.

    After a few years building LIFT, David joined Health Canada in the lead up to legalization with the regulation team working on writing the regulations that became law on October 17, 2018. David then worked on the 2.0 Cannabis Regulations, and eventually moved to Health Canada’s stakeholder engagement team doing outreach to provinces and municipalities, and in BC to First Nations, RCMP and schools about legalization. David left Health Canada in 2020 to form Stratcann to write stories about cannabis and the industry.

    I hope you enjoy our conversation.

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, listen to our other episodes at https://cannabislaw.ca/pages/russell-bennett-podcast

    If you're looking for a good text book on Canadian cannabis law, read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    If you need a cannabis lawyer, ask Russell for more information at https://cannabislaw.ca

    Last, please sign Russell's petition for automatic cannabis expungements.

    • 1 hr 46 min
    Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP

    Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP

    Nathaniel B. Erskine-Smith, MP ("Nate") is a Canadian politician and member of the Liberal Party, he is a Member of Parliament, representing Beaches-East York.

    Nate became the youngest MP to be elected in the Greater Toronto Area on October 19, 2015, after a successful grassroots open nomination in December 2014. He successfully retained his seat both in the 2019 federal election and in the 2021 federal election.

    Prior to entering politics, Nate was a lawyer at a Toronto commercial litigation firm,  and volunteered to do legal work for a range of clients and causes, which included fighting public interest matters in court, and research for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

    Nate hosts a weekly podcast series, Uncommons: Canadian Politics with Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, in which he seeks out experts from his work and travels in Ottawa and Toronto to discuss on topics in the news and general matters of interest to the public.

    Nate is the co-chair of the federal government's All-Party Cannabis Caucus, and has introduced Private Member Bills regarding the decriminalization of all illicit drugs, including the former Bill C-22, which created an evidence-based diversion framework to ensure that police and prosecutors only proceed with criminal charges if it is inadequate to issue a warning or to refer individuals in need to health care services, which came out of his views that problematic substance use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal justice one.

    In 2019, Nate seconded a bill introduced by NDP MP Murray Rankin for national cannabis record expungement, writing an op-ed for NOW Magazine to discuss his support for MP Rankin's bill, stating that only expungements would address the injustice of cannabis criminalization. We talk about his efforts in this recording.

    I hope you enjoy!

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, head to cannabislaw.ca.
    For the latest on Canadian cannabis law, buy and read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    • 50 min
    Elizabeth Dipchand and Dan Pollack - Dipchand LLP

    Elizabeth Dipchand and Dan Pollack - Dipchand LLP

    Elizabeth Dipchand and Dan Pollack practise IP, corporate law and litigation at Dipchand LLP, a boutique law firm in Toronto.

    Elizabeth is the type of person who is driven to find intelligent solutions to problems that are not readily evident to others. As such, she regularly advises corporations on in-depth identification, acquisition, maintenance, management & leveraging and protection & enforcement of intellectual property and intangible assets. She enjoys speaking about these dynamic issues both publicly and privately, and now, on our podcast!

    In her litigation practice, Elizabeth represents clients in a variety of industries including, cannabis, pharma, SAS, wireless communications and mining with a variety of issues including misleading advertising, grey-goods/anti-counterfeit, and commercial litigation matters related to IP and intangible assets. Her solicitor practice features licensing, contract, and transactions, where she develops long-term legal strategies to leverage SMEs and larger corporations’ intellectual capital to assist in their growth. Clients regularly rely on her to coordinate their intellectual capital management and enforcement strategies worldwide.

    Elizabeth sits on the Board of Directors for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, and is a founding member of The Big Push, a women driven collective accelerating women-founded start-ups. She sits on the Board of Directors of G(irls)20, an organization dedicated to the advancement through leadership of girls and women globally, and for years has had the privilege of serving as a judge for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, Women of Influence’s premier national awards program. As well, Elizabeth sits on the Board of Directors for the Shaw Festival Theater, promoting the theatre's strong tradition of rebellious rabble rousing.

    Dan focuses his practice on one primary objective: to help creators and start-ups share their work with the world. His deep understanding of the complex legal issues that creatives and start-ups confront stems from 15+ years of cross-border experience at leading Canadian and US law firms, his own private practice, acting as General Counsel for an international image licensing agency, and as Legal Counsel for the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. Dan works with creators and creative agencies to protect and maximize their work value. Additionally, Dan serves as legal counsel for the two leading associations of professional image creators in Canada. Dan advises both emerging and established clients on various issues in his extensive private practice, including copyright acquisition, enforcement, litigation strategy, contracts, licensing agreements, and releases. He also regularly advises his clients on legal issues relating to marketing, social media, litigation, privacy, and corporate law.  In addition to creatives, Dan also advises start-ups and emerging companies that rely heavily on intellectual capital. His clients depend on his experienced generalist approach to their typically specialized issues to create a solid legal foundation upon which to grow. When Dan isn’t using his professional skills to help the creative community, he’s at home flipping through a collection of vinyl records that stands at 650 and counting!

    For more insightful conversations related to cannabis law, head to cannabislaw.ca.
    For the latest on Canadian cannabis law, buy and read Canada's Cannabis Act.

    • 1 hr 26 min

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