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Canada: Road to Plant Breeders’ Rights for Cannabis

ABSTRACT: While medicinal marijuana has been legal in Canada for some time, recreational marijuana has only recently been legalized. In this article, we discuss the ways in which the new Cannabis regime may affect the Canadian Plant Breeders’ Rights system. More specifically, we review the process of applying for Plant Breeders’ Rights and identify certain aspects of the process that may differ for Cannabis breeders due to the restrictions in the Cannabis legislation. We also examine other considerations for plant breeders once protection for their plant varieties has been granted. Given that the Cannabis regime is so new, many details relating to Plant Breeders’ Rights practice for Cannabis are still unknown. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which administers the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, is expected to provide further guidance in the near future.

About the authors: Eduardo Fonseca, B.Sc. (Agronomy Engineer; Resident Agric. Commerce), is a Patent Agent in Brazil, Canada and in the United States, and a partner at with Moffat & Co. and Macera & Jarzyna, LLP in Ottawa, Canada.

Eduardo has considerable patent expertise in the fields of engineering production, processes, and applications related to biochemistry, food science, chemical and technological processes. Eduardo is the main liaison with Latin America... Web

Ashley Chu, B.H.Sc. (Honours) with a Minor in Biochemistry, J.D.,

is currently a patent and trademark trainee. She received an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from McMaster University in 2015 and a J.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 2018. Web

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