M&R CANNABIS LAW
Schindlers Attorneys is South Africa’s first and only law firm to have a department dedicated to ‘M&R’ (‘medicinal’ & ‘recreational’) cannabis (“dagga”) law, advising both international and local clients. Schindlers’ department focuses on five primary areas relating to M&R cannabis advice. These are:
- Cannabis Corporate & Intellectual Property law;
- Medicinal Cannabis Licensing and Compliance;
- Recreational Cannabis law;
- Litigation involving reviews of decisions by state functionaries & the protection and preservation of intellectual property, statutory and common law rights;
- Criminal Defense Litigation that includes High Court litigation for Stays in Prosecution.
The department is run by three partners, with professional support staff, all of whom have varying skills sets in one or more of the five fields.
Schindlers have been experts in the cannabis field for over five years. Schindlers’ rise to prominence in M&R law began in 2013, when it took-on the so-called “Dagga Couple” as clients and started leading their challenge to have the laws prohibiting cannabis use and possession declared unconstitutional in South Africa.
Paul-Michael Keichel, an internationally recognized and respected partner in the area of practice, began his journey by writing a final-year university dissertation on cannabis legalization and the potential for a constitutional challenge, which he has passionately pursued ever since and which has lead the charge in the ‘re-legalisation’ of the plant. Not only is Paul-Michael leading the constitutional challenge, but he is now advising international listed entities on how to ultimately fill the void that will be created by an order of constitutional invalidity. He has been involved in making representations to government on what may be a legitimate framework to regulate the cannabis industry in South Africa. He is often invited to lecture on the topic.
Having won the application for leave to intervene on its clients’ behalves in the Constitutional Court, Schindlers briefed counsel to argue for the decrimilasation of cannabis on behalf of the Dagga Couple. To this end and after a day of argument, Schindlers was successful in its bid. An internationally newsworthy Judgment of the Constitutional Court was handed down on 18 September 2018 [read here], which effectively decriminalised the private possession and use of cannabis in South Africa.
<<Click Here>> for Court footage of the groundbreaking High Court proceedings.
<<Click Here>> for the Post-Judgment Media Summary