News & Events

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2018

Canadian securities regulators issue statement following rescission of the Cole Memorandum

Toronto – On October 16, 2017, the CSA published Staff Notice 51-352 Issuers with U.S. Marijuana-Related Activities. The notice outlined a disclosure-based approach to highlight risks facing issuers with U.S. marijuana-related activities and reflected the existence of a U.S. federal government forbearance approach (per the Cole Memorandum) to the enforcement of federal laws relating to marijuana.

The notice indicated that we would re-examine our views in the event that the U.S. federal government’s approach were to change.

On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Attorney General rescinded all previous guidance specific to federal law enforcement relating to marijuana, including the prior approach under the Cole Memorandum.

The CSA is considering whether our disclosure-based approach for issuers with U.S. marijuana-related activities remains appropriate in light of the rescission of the Cole Memorandum. Issuers with no U.S. marijuana-related activities and that otherwise operate in compliance with applicable Canadian laws are not the focus.

We will communicate more details about our position shortly.

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. 

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For more information:

Kristen Rose
Ontario Securities Commission

Hilary McMeekin
Alberta Securities Commission

Alison Walker
British Columbia Securities Commission

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers

Jason (Jay) Booth
Manitoba Securities Commission

Erin King
Financial and Consumer Services
Commission, New Brunswick

David Harrison
Nova Scotia Securities Commission

Steve Dowling
Government of Prince Edward Island,
Superintendent of Securities

John O’Brien
Office of the Superintendent of Securities
Newfoundland and Labrador

Rhonda Horte
Office of the Yukon Superintendent
of Securities

Jeff Mason
Nunavut Securities Office

Tom Hall
Office of the Superintendent of Securities
Northwest Territories

Shannon McMillan
Financial and Consumer Affairs
Authority of Saskatchewan