DLA Piper and the Future of Medicinal Cannabis


We’re delighted to announce DLA Piper as the sponsor of FW in March 2019.

The team at DLA Piper are doing us the honour of hosting FW London at their beautiful offices, right after an evening of discussion on the ‘Future of Medicinal Cannabis’ hosted by the firm.

To learn more about DLA Piper and their event, we interviewed corporate lawyer Dylan Kennett, a core member of DLA Piper’s cross-practice team focussed on the medicinal cannabis sector.

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What was the genesis of DLA Pipers's focus on the medicinal cannabis sector in the UK and elsewhere in Europe?

As a leading global law firm, we have a long history of representing emerging growth companies and helping them expand across multiple jurisdictions.

Our deep roots in the Canadian market was a key driver internally in shifting our focus towards medicinal cannabis here in Europe, as well as our strong relationship in Canada and the UK with Canaccord Genuity; we saw that change was on the horizon across the European landscape. Our DLA Piper Canadian practice was and continues to be a market leader in advising medicinal cannabis companies, investors and other stakeholders in the market.  As liberalisation and legalisation take hold, we are naturally well positioned to advise companies entering into nascent markets (through organic growth or acquisition), whether in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, France or elsewhere across the continent. DLA Piper has the resources, know-how and tools to help medicinal cannabis companies succeed both locally, and globally.

What type of issues are medicinal cannabis companies expected to face?

For today's emerging growth medicinal cannabis companies to become tomorrow's success story, an organisation must be prepared to face a host of challenges and exploit opportunities. From protecting intellectual property and R&D to selecting the right management team, many decisions can have an immediate impact on the fortunes of a company; the margin for error can be slight in the intensely competitive marketplace.

As a leading business law firm, we are capable of advising on all areas of corporate law, including employment, tax, real estate, restructuring and litigation and competition law. Of particular interest to the medicinal cannabis industry, we are very well placed to advise in corporate, finance, intellectual property, commercial, and financial regulatory areas. There are a number of instances where the law still remains unclear and we're keen to assist our clients identify and navigate the issues in a responsible way.

Can you tell us more about the event you are hosting ahead of First Wednesdays next week?

To better understand this industry, we have decided to host an evening of discussion on ‘The Future Of Medicinal Cannabis’ to engage with, and question, those involved in this rapidly evolving space, as well as meet others facing similar business challenges thanks to First Wednesdays!

We will begin the event with 2 short presentations from Dr Saoirse O'Sullivan, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at University of Nottingham, around the plant and its constituents, currently licensed medicines and why people use cannabis; and Alex Brooks from Canaccord Genuity, on the business of Medicinal Cannabis. These will be followed by a panel discussion.

The presenters will then be joined by George McBride, CEO of Hanway Associates, and Antonio Costanzo, CEO of EMMAC Life Sciences plc, for a panel discussion and a Q&A that will last until the beginning of First Wednesdays.

Important: Only registered guests will be able to attend First Wednesdays at DLA Piper. Whether you are attending both the event hosted by our sponsor and First Wednesdays; or only the latter, please make sure to RSVP by clicking on the link below.

Pierre-Yves Gallety