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DLA Piper launches global cannabis practice ‎

Thursday, February 27, 2020 @ 1:17 PM | By John Chunn

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP announced that it has launched a dedicated global cannabis practice that will sit as a subgroup under ‎its life sciences sector. The decision to formalize the firm’s offering follows the completion of ‎a significant number of global deals in the sector that have amounted to over $8 billion to date, as ‎well as a number of large cannabis regulatory advisory mandates.

According to the firm’s press release, DLA Piper’s Canadian practice has been a leader in its domestic market for many years with the ‎firm now announcing the expansion of its offering globally, having been advising across ‎Europe, Australasia, Latin America, Africa and Asia. The practice’s provision of legal services ‎is limited to those clients whose conduct is legal in the jurisdiction in question.‎

The firm says that the global medicinal cannabis market is projected to increase in value to between $44 billion to ‎‎$62 billion by 2024. Many significant developments will stimulate this ‎growth, including increased acknowledgement of its medical benefits, which is attracting further research and development investment. Moreover, in ‎a number of jurisdictions, cannabis based products are now available over the counter for a ‎range of uses, from wellness, cosmetics and even pet supplements. DLA Piper has been ‎advising on all aspects and across product lines.‎

The cannabis practice is led by Toronto-based Robert Fonn and by ‎London-based Dylan Kennett, supported by a global team of over 70 other lawyers and support ‎staff, practising in over 15 countries across DLA Piper. ‎The practice covers a wide range of disciplines; corporate (both private and public ‎financings, mergers and acquisitions and board advisory), regulatory (importantly, both life sciences and ‎financial), intellectual property, technology and research and development, employment, real estate and litigation ‎services. The practice also acts across every segment of the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, ‎wellness and medicinal sectors internationally. 

Rome-based Marco de Morpurgo, head of life sciences, said:‎ “The size, importance and growth of the global cannabis market can no longer be ignored. There ‎is an ever increasing acceptance of the medical benefits of cannabis and this knowledge is being ‎rapidly expanded by considerable levels of research and development. DLA Piper has been at ‎the forefront of supporting the legitimate expansion of this market for some time now so it was ‎only right that we formalized our offering through the launch of this practice.” ‎

‎“Currently Canada drives an overwhelming percentage of the global cannabis market and we ‎have, from an early stage, been at the forefront of supporting the industry’s legal and structured ‎growth,” said Fonn. “These years of experience give us invaluable insight into the opening up of other ‎geographic markets around the world. There are also expected to be exciting developments in ‎Canada as ‘cannabis 2.0’ matures and in the U.S. as the federal government looks ever closer at ‎the benefits of liberalization. What is certain is that Canadian, U.S. and wider global markets will ‎continue to evolve and, with our newly established practice, we are best placed to help navigate ‎clients through the ever changing landscape.” ‎