With the legalization of cannabis across Canada, lawyers have had to change their focus from criminal law to corporate and even real estate law.
“The advice that we were providing to our clients prior to the cannabis legalization date was, make rules governing the use of cannabis now to avoid having to grandfather in any existing cannabis users. Some of our clients took that advice, and others did not – because the use of recreational cannabis is an entirely new area of law in Canada, with little to no existing body of case law,” said Cindy Yi of Loopstra Nixon LLP.
As Yi, a business lawyer who focuses on commercial real estate, pointed out, every apartment building is different and has its own often highly nuanced set of rules and regulations, and issues such as second-hand smoke might vary widely across the city of Toronto, for instance.
“The future of cannabis legalization is still very uncertain but what is clear is that there is going to be a lot of new science, research and development, a new body of case law that will emerge from inevitable litigation, and hopefully some fluidity as Canada positions itself among other jurisdictions across the world that have legalized recreational cannabis,” Yi said.
One thing is certain, lawyers will still be required to clear the air when it comes to pot.