Major changes to cannabis laws in Canada are here, as Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (the Cannabis Act) received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. The Cannabis Act legalizes access to and use of adult use/recreational cannabis.  With the Cannabis Act now in force, Canadian businesses that may be impacted should be cognizant of the resulting legal implications.

The legalized recreational cannabis market will have a significant impact on the Canadian economy. The end of recreational cannabis prohibition brings with it new opportunities for your business, regulatory complexities, and at present, a degree of complexity as the federal and provincial governments have developed regimes governing the production, sale and distribution of recreational use cannabis (for example, the Ontario government passed Bill 36, the Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018).

Anchored by our experience advising clients in highly regulated industries and our deep expertise in capital markets, M&A, venture capital and investment transactions, lawyers in Osler’s Cannabis Group advise licensed producers, investors, innovators and other industry participants on the full range of legal issues impacting this burgeoning industry. Osler is ideally positioned to advise on the legal and regulatory framework that will govern cannabis-related businesses.

As one of Canada’s leading business law firms, we have deep expertise in the core areas of law impacted by the legalization of recreational cannabis. We understand not only the legislation, but the commercial, cultural and political dynamics at play. We will keep this page updated as key events unfold so check back regularly.

External resources

Government of Canada: Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis

Government of Canada

Learn about the current status of cannabis (marijuana) laws in Canada, and the work being done to legalize and regulate it. Read more.

Current Cannabis Laws

Department of Justice

The Cannabis Act creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada.  Read more.

North American Marijuana Index

The Marijuana Index

The North American Marijuana Index tracks the leading cannabis stocks operating in the United States and Canada. Read more.



Related Expertise

François Paradis

Partner, Corporate

Arlene Mack

Associate, Corporate

Michael Watts

Partner, Health

Rob Lando

Partner, Corporate
New York
  • Constellation Brands

    Constellation Brands in its $5.1 billion strategic investment in and partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation

  • NatuEra

    Agroidea SAS and the Nannetti brothers in the joint venture of Cronos Group Inc. and an affiliate of Agroidea SAS to form NatuEra

  • Canopy Growth Corporation

    Advising the Initial Purchasers in connection with Canopy Growth’s $600 million convertible debenture offering.

  • Underwriters in connection with Tilray Inc.'s IPO

    The Underwriters in connection with the cross-border IPO and NASDAQ listing of Tilray Inc.

  • AltaCorp Capital Inc.

    AltaCorp Capital Inc., financial advisor to CanniMed Therapeutics in connection with the acquisition by Aurora Cannabis Inc.

  • Constellation Brands

    Constellation Brands in its strategic investment and minority stake in Canopy Growth Corporation.

  • Real Estate Industrial Property Sale to Cannabis producer

    Counsel to the property owner on the sale of 1 Hershey Drive in Smiths Falls, Ont., to Tweed Marijuana Inc., now a core brand of Canopy Growth Corporation, the first federally regulated, publicly traded cannabis producer in North America. The facility now houses 168,000 sq. ft of licensed production space, office space for Canopy’s head office, an R&D facility, oil extraction infrastructure, and an in-house lab.

  • General Legal Matters for Cannabis Distributor

    Acted for a cannabis distributor in connection with certain franchise and distribution, corporate law and regulatory matters relating to the assessment of potential structures for distributing recreational cannabis.

  • Find More