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Lawrence Stephens

At Lawrence Stephens, we’re more than a full-service law firm. We’re your long-term advisers and partners.

Over 25 years ago, in a single office just off Oxford Street, London, our founding partners, Steven Bernstein, Stephen Messias and Lawrence Kelly set out to establish a legal advisory service with a human touch. Today, with multiple departments and over one hundred people, we continue to deliver the very best in integrated legal advice – without ever compromising on the personal approach that got us here.

Over the decades, we’ve helped a range of large institutions, entrepreneurial businesses and individuals – solving countless complex, domestic and international issues along the way. We continue to invest significant resources to help us anticipate legal developments and provide you with prescient advice at each stage of your growth.

When it comes to the Cannabis sector, Lawrence Stephens Director and Head of the Regulatory Solutions Department, Ricardo Geada, is one of the leading legal experts in the space and is regularly instructed by global cannabis companies in either the CBD wellness markets or medicinal cannabis sector (CBPMs).  These instructions range from advising on aspects of regulation in the UK, EU, Asia and beyond regarding the legality of vaping products (e-cigarettes and e-liquids); cosmetics; food products / supplements; and medicinal cannabis products.  He often advises clients looking to obtain a Home Office licence such as a controlled drugs licence or cultivation licence.

Due to the nature of the sector and the legal nuances involved, Ricardo regularly works closely with Lawrence Stephens’ legal departments such as Corporate & Commercial, Employment and Dispute Resolution to ensure his clients benefit from a full suite of legal services specifically tailored to their immediate business needs and future objectives.

Casework Highlights

Advising clients in respect of regulation in the UK, EU and abroad (over 15 countries covered) regarding the legality of:

  • Vaping products (e-cigarettes and e-liquids)
  • Cosmetics
  • Medicinal Cannabis products
  • Food supplements
  • Food products

Some of the Regulations covered:

  • Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
  • Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001
  • Consumer Products and Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (guidance given by the UK Regulator – Medicines & Health products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”)
  • EU Cosmetics Regulations (EC – No. 1223/2009)
  • The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (including the Tobacco Products Directive)
  • General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

Advising and assisting clients with their CBD Novel Foods Applications (NFA) and/or linked NFA with the Food Standards Agency.

Conducting marking reviews of client’s CBD product lines and websites making sure they adhere to relevant regulations depending on the type of product in question.

Review and advising clients in relation to certificates of analysis (CoAs) in respect of the levels of THC contained within the specified product, ensuring such levels are within the permitted amounts as set out by the laws and regulations of those countries the client intends to export to.

Advising clients in respect of product seizures by boarder force agencies. Successfully getting products released and also obtaining damages for a client where their product line had been destroyed by UK Border Force.

Advising clients in respect of Controlled Drug Licence.

Advising clients in respect of Industrial Hemp Cultivation applications in the UK and assisting with the applications process.