Rising Stars

Cannabis in Canada

Bennett Jones LLP

The sizeable team at Bennett Jones LLP advises all players within the cannabis value chain, such as operators and investors. In addition, the team is well-equipped to advise underwriters and entities in adjoining industries such as consumer goods and often oversees cross-border matters in cannabis related M&A, licences, commercial agreements and corporate finances. Aaron Sonshine is the go-to contact for corporate and securities law issues while Dominique Hussey is well regarded for her IP litigation expertise; they jointly lead the practice which was recently bolstered by the promotion of Melissa Dimilta to partner in March 2021, and the arrival of Kim Lawton from Dentons. Dimilta is often sought by clients to oversee the advertisement, labelling and packaging of cannabis.

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Dimilta

Work highlights

    Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

    Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP‘s practice is often relied upon to oversee cross-border matters, including the development of structures to facilitate US cannabis company listings on CSE and NEO Exchange. In addition, the team is well-equipped to create transaction structures which provide TSX- and TSXV-listed companies exposure to the US cannabis industry. Further cross-border expertise includes advisory in jurisdictions such as Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Brazil, Czech Republic, Jamaica and Denmark. The group is led by Jonathan Sherman who represents both domestic and international clients and is also home to Jamie Litchen, noted for her M&A expertise. The department recently bolstered its bench strength at partner level through the arrivals of Sandra Gogal and Jennifer McKenzie and the internal promotions of Daniel Cipollone, Tayyaba Khan, Kyle Simpson and Mike Tallim.

    Practice head(s):

    Jonathan Sherman

    Other key lawyers:

    Jamie Litchen

    Key clients

    Canopy Growth Corporation

    Bruce Linton

    RIV Capital Inc.

    Eight Capital

    Boston Beer Company

    JW Asset Management

    Ernst & Young Inc.

    Sessions Cannabis

    Lowell Farms Inc.

    MedMen Enterprises Inc.

    Work highlights


      The global presence of Dentons allows the team to offer seamless and full-service cannabis-related advisory. Its expertise includes representation of producers and distributors, regulatory compliance, labelling and packaging, marketing and franchising. The practice is led by Eric Foster who, in addition to working on commercial agreements for cannabis industry participants, is also a go-to for media outlets such as The Globe & Mail, The Financial Post, CTV News and Leafly. Mention is also given to Kimberly Burns for her varying client list, including large public cannabis companies, industry players, regulated licensed producers and non-plant touching IP aggregators. Benjamin Iscoe  was promoted to partner in February 2022.

      Practice head(s):

      Eric Foster

      Other key lawyers:

      Kimberly Burns

      Key clients

      Entourage Health Corp.

      Verano Holdings

      Fire & Flower Holdings Corp.

      Canopy Growth Corporation

      Clever Leaves Holdings Inc.

      SLANG Worldwide Inc.

      Halo Collective Inc.

      Gage Growth Corp.

      PharmaCann Inc.

      The Dutch Oven Corporation

      Fiore Cannabis Ltd.

      Green Thumb Industries

      Entourage Health Corp.

      Work highlights

      • Acted for Gage Growth Corp. in regard to its proposed business combination with TerrAscend Corp. for an aggregate consideration of $545m.
      • Advised Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. on its licensing arrangement and option to purchase Fire & Flower US Holdings Inc..
      • Advised Entourage Health Corp., in connection to its partnership with The Boston Beer Company, to develop and commercialize a portfolio of cannabis-infused beverages.

      Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

      Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP‘s practice consists of a substantial team which excels across all cannabis-related matters, including financings, corporate deals, dispute resolution, insolvency and M&A. Tricia Kuhl is well-known for her handling of transactions and regulatory issues within both the medical and recreational cannabis industry; she co-leads the practice alongside Vancouver-based Kathleen Keilty who often advises public and private issuers, private equity funds and investment dealers and is acclaimed for her cannabis expertise in securities and acquisitions.

      Practice head(s):

      Kathleen Keilty; Tricia Kuhl

      Key clients

      BMO Capital Markets Corp.

      Canopy Rivers Inc.

      Chemistree Technology Inc.

      Cronos Group Inc.

      Evolve Funds Group Inc.

      Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc.

      Jeffries LLC Hawthorne Collective

      Tilray, Inc.

      Trec Brands Inc.

      AV Cannabis

      Work highlights

      • Advised Hawthorne Collective on the negotiation and acquisition of a $150m unsecured convertible note from RIV Capital.
      • Advised RIV Capital Inc. on its $247m acquisition of Etain LLC, owners of legally licensed cannabis cultivation and retail dispensaries in New York.
      • Advised AV Cannabis Inc. in its acquisition by Canopy Growth Corporation.

      Gowling WLG

      The team at Gowling WLG utilizes its multidisciplinary approach to advise clients on all cannabis related matters. Clients seeking regulatory advice benefit from the practice’s integrated scientific team which excels on cannabis product formulations, labelling compliance and ensure manufacturing and distribution is in accordance with legislation. Aside from regulatory work, the team is also equipped to oversee M&A and handle capital market matters and is led by Peter Simeon and Lewis Retik. Simeon, who is based in Toronto, has particular experience overseeing transactions and capital market issues. Retik, who is Ottawa based, is a key contact for regulatory advice. Natalie Rizkalla-Kamel supports the team with her extensive IP expertise.

      Practice head(s):

      Lewis Retik; Peter Simeon

      Other key lawyers:

      Natalie Rizkalla-Kamel


      ‘The team is very proficient and strong within the branding and IP space for consumer packaged goods.’

      ‘Natalie Rizkalla-Kamel is not only good at what she does, but she shows that she cares about her clients and her clients’ team. She always thought of our team for learning and development sessions that the firm provides – which is very useful as we are a small start-up.’

      Key clients

      Khiron Life Sciences Corp.

      Sublimation Inc.

      IM Cannabis Corp.

      Lobe Sciences Ltd.

      Bluma Wellness Inc.

      Innocan Pharma Corporation

      Red White & Bloom Brands Inc.

      Canopy Growth Corporation

      Aleafia Health Inc.

      Truss Beverage Company

      SOL Global Investments Corp.

      MichiCann Medical Inc.

      TREC Brands Inc.


      Lifted Innovations Inc.

      Sierra Well

      Work highlights

        McCarthy Tétrault

        The team at McCarthy Tétrault is well-equipped to advise international consumer packaged goods companies on global market entry strategies. Its expertise includes risk management, branding and advertising. In addition, the team often oversees regulatory matters and the execution of joint venture agreements and is co-led by both Ranjeev Dhillon and Awanish Sinha. Dhillon’s clients range from clinics, industry consultants and patient outreach platforms, to not-for-profit organisations and retailers. Sinha supports the team with his litigation expertise on cannabis related matters. Partner Lance Williams joined the practice from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP meanwhile Danielle Bush arrived from Miller Thomson.

        Practice head(s):

        Ranjeev Dhillon; Awanish Sinha

        Other key lawyers:

        Rami Chalabi; Eric Block


        ‘The Cannabis team were outstanding counsel on cannabis matters.’

        ‘The strength of the team is the ability to handle complex corporate matters and unique regulatory issues.’

        ‘Rami Chalabi, Ranjeev Dhillon: both are excellent on both Canadian corporate law, cannabis regulatory law, and sector dynamics generally.’

        Key clients

        Sundial Growers Inc.

        Aurora Cannabis Inc.

        Phoena Holdings Inc. (formerly CannTrust Holdings Inc.)

        Tryke Companies (“Tryke”) (dba as Reef Dispensaries)

        Auxly Cannabis Group Inc.

        AV Cannabis Inc. dba Ace Valley

        Tilray, Inc. (formerly Aphria Inc.)

        Canopy Growth Corporation

        Truss Beverages Limited Partnership

        Yaax II GP LLC

        Work highlights

        • Advised Sundial Growers Inc. in connection to its $346m acquisition of Alcanna Inc..
        • Advised Tryke Companies with its disposition to Curaleaf Holdings Inc. in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $286m.
        • Advised Phoena Holdings Inc. in connection to its exit from creditor protection and its subsidiary receiving $17m in financing from a Netherlands-based private equity investment company.


        The team at Torys specializes in medical cannabis matters and is equipped to advise on the full spectrum of medicinal issues, including IP, commercial and regulatory issues. The practice is also known for its cross-border offering, with experts located in both its Canadian and US offices. Together, Eileen McMahon and Cheryl Reicin lead the practice. McMahon is a regulatory and IP expert in matters concerning cannabis products and accessories. In addition, she was elected by the Food and Drug Law Institute to be a keynote speaker at its conference, ‘Legal and Practical Issues in the Evolving World of Cannabis Regulation’. Reicin’s clients include the whole spectrum of life science companies, including start-ups, venture capitalists, academic medical centres and cannabis and cannabinoid-based companies.

        Practice head(s):

        Eileen McMahon; Cheryl Reicin

        Other key lawyers:

        Teresa Reguly; Frazer House

        Key clients

        Trichome Financial Corp.

        Consortium of Banks

        IM Cannabis Corp.

        BMO Nesbitt Burns

        Canaccord Genuity Corp.

        Village Farms International Inc.

        PRM Inc.

        Tilray, Inc.

        CannaPiece Group Inc.

        Work highlights

        • Advised Trichome in its landmark sale to IM Cannabis Corp. to create a global leader in adult-use recreational and medical cannabis markets.
        • Acted for a consortium of underwriters in a proposed Ontario securities class action alleging primary and secondary market misrepresentations including a failure to disclose compliance issues related to the growth and storage of unlicensed cannabis plants.
        • Advised IM Cannabis Corp. in its acquisition of MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. and its subsidiary, Highland Grow Inc., a licensed cannabis producer.

        Aird & Berlis LLP

        Aird & Berlis LLP‘s team has experience advising clients in both the medicinal and recreational cannabis markets. Clients include producers, packagers, consumer packaged goods companies, processors and investors and the group leverages vast knowledge in financings and restructurings, and often advises clients in distressed circumstances. Richard Kimel is the practice’s go-to contact for M&A and financing-related cannabis matters. Sherri Altshuler‘s expertise includes capital markets, corporate transactions and M&A. The team recently welcomed the arrival of partner Marek Lorenc from Gowling WLG.

        Other key lawyers:

        Jeffrey Merk


        The team is very strong on understanding the capital markets and regulations around these.’

        ‘The individuals are very strong on the capital markets requirements The team is very good on maneuvering through complex regulatory issues.’

        Key clients

        Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his affiliate entities

        Surterra Holdings, Inc. (“Parallel Brands”)

        Greenway Greenhouse Cannabis Corporation

        Keystone Canna Remedies

        Harborside Inc.

        LYF Food Technologies Inc.

        MediPharm Labs Corp.

        Trees Corporation

        NextLeaf Solutions Ltd.

        Ernst & Young

        The Green Organic Dutchman

        Harvest One Cannabis Inc.

        Six Nations Cannabis Commission

        Work highlights

        • Represented Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his affiliate entities, in connection with the qualifying transaction of TPCO Holding Corp.
        • Represented Parallel , one of the largest privately-held multi-state cannabis operators in the United States founded by Beau Wrigley, who entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Ceres Acquisition Corp. in connection with the potential listing on the Neo Exchange Inc.
        • Represented Keystone Canna Remedies in its acquisition by TerrAscend Corp., a North American cannabis operator, for $70m.

        DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

        DLA Piper (Canada) LLP‘s focus lies within business growth and strategic planning with the team geared to oversee private, public and start-up financings, post-mergers and acquisitions and litigation matters relating to the cannabis market. The sizeable practice is led by Robert Fonn whose broad expertise includes debt financing and commercial transactions; he co-led the $3.4bn acquisition of Acreage Holdings by Canopy Growth. The practice was recently joined by Deepak Gill from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

        Practice head(s):

        Robert Fonn

        Key clients

        Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

        Tilray (and, prior to its acquisition by Tilray, Aphria)

        Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC

        Canaccord Genuity Corp.

        Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc.

        Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.

        HEXO Corp. (Previously The Hydropothecary Corporation)

        Althea Group Holdings Ltd

        The Flowr Corporation

        Acreage Holdings, Inc.

        Wikileaf Technologies

        James E. Wagner Cultivation Corp.

        Eight Capital NoAvicanna Inc.

        CannTech PA LLC

        GSD NJ LLC

        Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc.

        Work highlights

        • Acted for Trulieve Cannabis Corp.in connection with the acquisition, by plan of arrangement, of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.
        • Represented Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. in its cross-border initial public offering and CSE listing.
        • Acted for Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. in connection with the acquisition, by plan of arrangement, of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Goodness by Verano Holdings Corp.


        The team at Fasken is best known for its vast regulatory knowledge in the cannabis market, catering to a client base which spans distributors, suppliers, investors, major retailers, producers and laboratories. A keystone of the practice is its work on licensing matters, which stems from the practice’s in-depth knowledge of legislative requirements, specifically in relation to provincial and municipal retail distribution. Barbara Miller leads the team, directing particular emphasis towards cannabis-related M&A, governance and corporate matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Barbara Miller

        Other key lawyers:

        Kosta Kostic


        ‘Accessibility; deep knowledge of the industry; pleasant interaction and patience.’

        ‘Highly client oriented with a high degree of personal service.’


        Key clients

        Verano Holdings, LLC

        Tilray (previously Aphria Inc.)

        4Front Ventures

        Aleafia Health Inc.

        BZAM Management Inc. / BZAM Holdings Inc. / BZAM Cannabis Corp

        Canaccord Genuity Corp.

        CanXtra and CanXlabs

        Flower One Holdings Inc.

        The Flowr Corporation

        Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc

        Ring International Holding AG / Maricann Inc / CanAdelaar B.V.

        Work highlights

          Stikeman Elliott LLP

          Stikeman Elliott LLP‘s team offers clients extensive expertise in acquisitions and regulatory issues in the cannabis market. Its focus lies within licensing matters and the group often handles product packaging and labelling issues in addition to the development, review and implementation of production practices and policies. Jonah Mann utilizes his M&A, capital market and strategic investment expertise for cannabis related matters, while Donald Belovich‘s expertise includes public financings and corporate reorganizations; the pair jointly lead the practice.

          Work highlights

            Goodmans LLP

            The team at Goodmans LLP advises a range of clients, including producers, investment banks, international operators, capitalists and financiers. Its experience includes overseeing both domestic and international transactions for clients in Israel, Australia, the EU and the US. Both Victor Liu and Neil Sheehy lead the practice. Liu has extensive experience handling cannabis related capital market transactions and ATM financings, whereas Sheehy’s focus lies within domestic and international M&A.

            Practice head(s):

            Victor Liu; Neil Sheehy


            ‘The team is incredibly responsive, and always focuses on how issues affect us. They are the definition of value for money without any compromise on quality. We always deal directly with the partners we want.’

            ‘Neil Sheehy and Victor Liu are our go-to lawyers for all of our corporate needs. We could not be in better hands. They are that good.’


            Key clients

            Cura Partners

            Canopy Growth Corporation

            Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation

            Fire & Flower Inc.

            AltaCorp Capital Inc.

            Canaccord Genuity

            GMP Securities L.P.

            OrganiGram Holdings Inc.

            Perfect Plants

            Subversive Capital

            Ignite International Brand Ltd.

            Mercer Park

            Materia Ventures

            Dalton Pharma Services

            Sisu Extracts (SISU)


            Echelon Wealth Partners

            Cannovate Inc.

            Work highlights

            • Advised Mettrum Health Corp. from its formation in 2013 and culminating in its sale to Canopy Growth for $430m.
            • Advised Organigram Inc. in connection with its acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Laurentian Organic Inc. in a cash and share transaction for aggregate consideration of $36m.
            • Advised WhiteHawk Capital Partners LP in connection with its agreement with Glass House Brands Inc. to provide a $100m senior term loan facility.

            Smart & Biggar

            The practice at Smart & Biggar is a one-stop-shop for all cannabis related matters. The practice often advises clients on regulatory issues, brand protection, marketing, advertising, IP strategy, licensing and plant breeder’s rights and is led by life sciences expert, Alice Tseng; her specialisms include regulatory, marketing and advertising matters within pharmaceutical, cannabis and medical device industries.

            Practice head(s):

            Alice Tseng

            Other key lawyers:

            Yoon Kang; Kwan Loh


            ‘Kwan Loh offers excellent service with special expertise and insight.’

            Work highlights