Lawrence Stephens welcomed Ricardo as a Director to spearhead the Regulatory Solutions Department, leveraging his extensive legal expertise spanning over 16 years. With a strong background in both private practice and in-house roles, Ricardo has honed his skills in dispute resolution, with a specialized focus on regulatory and compliance matters within the cannabis-related business realm, as well as the Cryptoassets & Blockchain industry.
Ricardo is a trusted advisor sought after by prominent global cannabis companies operating in the CBD wellness markets and medicinal cannabis sector (CBPMs). His broad range of instructions encompasses providing guidance on regulatory aspects across the UK, EU, Asia, and other jurisdictions, particularly regarding the legality of vaping products such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids, cosmetics, food products, supplements, and medicinal cannabis items.
Ricardo frequently assists clients in navigating the process of obtaining licenses from the Home Office, such as controlled drugs licenses or cultivation licenses.
- Legal Week Innovation Awards 2020 – Winner of Marketing Innovation within the Cannabis Industry
- Law Society Excellence Awards 2019 – Shortlisted
- Global Law Experts 2021 – Medical Cannabis Law Team
Webinars / Talks / Interviews
- Webinar – And Our Survey Says: Positive Outlooks for the Cannabis Sector
- Podcast – The Hoban Minute Episode 51 – Client Covid Concerns
- Webinar – Cannabis Confusion: Wellness Vs Medical with Professor Mike Barnes
- GCI Virtual Summit – CBD & Novel foods – Where Are We Now?
- GCI Virtual Summit – CBD & Hemp – International Laws and Domestic Regulatory Quirks with Mackrell International
- Webinar – Cannabis Trade Association – Trading Standards Update
- Proactive – UK Medical Cannabis Market
- Webinar – CBD Explored – Everything Clinicians need to know about cannabinoid
- Cancard Uncovered – Volteface
Contributing Editor – Chambers & Partners Global Practice Guide: Medical Cannabis & Cannabinoid Regulation
Joint collaboration with Maple Tree and Mackrell Solicitors: UK Medical Cannabis & CBD Market – Discussion Paper – Ten Recommendations For Government
- 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) and 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.