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Clifford Chance

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Our experienced team of global Healthcare, Life Sciences & Chemicals lawyers are complemented by our cross-practice specialists who deliver advice on the rapidly developing cannabis market across intellectual property, regulatory, compliance, investigations and litigation.

The liberalisation of the cannabis market in North America is a rapidly growing industry that offers new and exciting opportunities for businesses. While not quite at the same speed or with the same freedoms, the European Union is also starting to look at some more limited acceptance of cannabis-derived products, particularly in the medicinal field. The regulations and legal framework governing cannabis and cannabis-derived products are undergoing significant debate, amendment and evolution as governments and the industry look to refine and exploit the opportunities and benefits available to end users. Existing legislation is having to adapt from a flat prohibition on activities, to relax and implement new rules for new industrial uses and applications covering a range of products, including medicinal, food, cosmetic and specialist smoking products.

In this dynamic and evolving market, Clifford Chance is advising and guiding its clients through the changing and complex legal and regulatory landscape. Our sector approach, combined with our geographic coverage, ensures that our lawyers have a deep understanding of the different regulatory and commercial challenges facing businesses entering different markets around the world in connection with their cannabis-derived products.

Clifford Chance is in a unique position to offer practical and specialist advice to businesses both entering and planning to enter this exciting new market.

Client experience

  • a global agricultural company on the legal environment for growing, processing and selling cannabis and cannabidiol plants and products (medicinal and cosmetic) in Europe, specifically in France, Germany, Italy and the UK
  • a German healthcare and life sciences company on the foundation of a cross-border corporate business structure and on the implementation of a supply chain for cannabis-based products as well as on the regulatory and legal framework for these products across Europe
  • an Austrian holding company on the legal framework to import and market pharmaceutical raw materials of medical cannabis into France and Poland which may then be used to prepare prescription medicine, as well as on the marketing of CBD products in France and Poland, especially in relation to cosmetics, food and tobacco