Intellectual property and marketing are key to growth in cannabis
The legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis in Canada and in certain states in the United States has put an active industry into overdrive.
Well-established cannabis companies and start-ups are rushing to stake their claim in a relatively new market that is ripe with commercial opportunity and high revenue potential.
Strong IP protection of these ground-breaking innovations will be critical to the strength of a company in the face of numerous challenges including highly restrictive regulation, product differentiation issues and the potential for complex commercial disputes.
With a deep understanding of the issues that can arise across multiple areas of law and practice, Smart & Biggar provides unparalleled IP counsel combined with regulatory expertise to help ensure that your cannabis patents, trademarks, and brands are protected.
Canadian cannabis industry reaps unprecedented opportunities
The cannabis industry is evolving quickly and Canada is at the forefront of legalization and regulatory matters. With uncharted territory comes an abundance of opportunities as well as risks.
As regulation continues to evolve in Canada and abroad, competition rapidly heats up, and market demand shifts from only medical cannabis to legalized adult-use cannabis too, the importance of a strong IP strategy cannot be overstated.
Our combined technical and legal expertise enables us to develop comprehensive patent portfolios to safeguard your cannabis IP and strategically apply trademark protection to help distinguish and protect your innovative and proprietary products, and effectively navigate strict regulatory regimes to maximize branding and advertising efforts while remaining compliant.
Cannabis is in full bloom around the world
Globally, the cannabis industry will continue to grow at breakneck speed as legalization expands, multinational conglomerates join already established cannabis companies, and new products are developed.
As only the second country to fully legalize cannabis for recreational use and with dramatic increases in exports of medical cannabis, Canada is one of the world’s leading markets for cannabis.
Smart & Biggar, the largest firm in Canada specializing in intellectual property law, collaborates with IP practitioners around the world to obtain protection for Canadian innovations abroad, as well as protection for foreign inventions in Canada. As a result, while our offices extend across the country, our practice and experience encompass the globe.
Unparalleled technical expertise
Our cannabis industry team includes members from across our leading practice areas including Patents, Life Sciences, Regulatory and Compliance, Trademarks, Marketing & Advertising and Litigation to provide an integrated team approach and a level of technical depth and support that is unmatched in Canada.
Our expertise extends to protection for cultivation and extraction methods, related devices and packaging that may be used to deliver new cannabis products, as well as novel formulations and methods of use of cannabis products.
As for branding issues relating to goods and services in the cannabis industry, our Trademark Group is highly experienced in crafting comprehensive specifications of goods and services to maximize protection while minimizing both business and legal risk.
We leverage our considerable expertise relating to other products regulated by Health Canada / Canadian Food Inspection Agency, such as pharmaceuticals, natural health products, medical devices, cosmetics and food, to the benefit and advantage of our clients.
Leading legal expertise
With team members located in offices throughout Canada, we are able to ensure seamless local and national advice that reflects both federal and provincial law, which is especially important with adult-use cannabis given the significant nuances among the provinces.
Cannabis is a heavily regulated industry and will be even more so when edibles, vaporizers and topicals containing cannabis are available for legal purchase.
In addition to IP, we have extensive experience advising both licensed producers and ancillary businesses on a variety of regulatory and advertising matters in both the medical and adult-use regimes, including challenging regulatory decisions regarding advertising; structuring promotional campaigns and events to minimize risk; inducements; age-gating issues; sponsorships; non-promotional programs (e.g. educational programs); advising on innovative services to assist cannabis retailers; the sale of cannabis by First Nations groups; CBD; import/export issues; health care compliance; Access to Information requests; and the sale of food products containing cannabis.
Our expertise is unmatched
The Smart & Biggar team recognizes the challenges associated with protecting the intellectual property behind new products that are derived or derivable from cannabis. We provide unparalleled expertise across all aspects of cannabis IP including: