Fred Rocafort

Fred is a former diplomat who joined Harris Bricken after more than a decade of international legal experience, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. His wide range of experience includes starting and operating his own business in Asia, working as an in-house counsel for a Hong Kong-based multinational, as well as many years as a State Department official, providing a client-centric perspective to his legal work. Fred co-hosts Harris Bricken’s weekly Global Law and Business podcast, which covers legal and economic developments in locales around the world to decipher global trends in law and business with the help from international guests.

first amendment trademark

First Amendment May Help Cannabis Companies Beat Trademark Infringement Claims

Editor’s Note: A version of this article by Fred Rocafort was first published on Law360. The U.S. Constitution’s free speech protections, found in the First Amendment, may present a legal recourse for cannabis brands in trouble for using marks that are similar to famous trademarks. To be clear, a free speech argument will not be

colombia petro cannabis

Petro: Colombia’s Next President and Cannabis

Gustavo Petro is Colombia’s next president, following his electoral win on June 19. The election of its first leftist president, together with its first Afro-Colombian vice-president, is no doubt a momentous event for Latin America’s third-most populous country. What will a Petro presidency mean for cannabis? According to Petro’s platform, a “focus on prohibitionism …

medical cultivation

Medical Cultivation OK’d in Brazil

On June 14, the Sixth Panel (Sexta Turma) of Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça, or STJ) issued a decision allowing cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. The STJ is responsible for uniformizing the interpretation of Brazilian federal law across the country, and serves as the court of final appeal for cases

thailand cannabis

Thailand Decriminalizes Cannabis, But Not Really

As of yesterday, June 9, 2022, the home cultivation of low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis in Thailand is legal. The government is giving away free plants to boot! This constitutes a milestone for cannabis reform in the country and the region at large, but the Thai changes fall short of the “decriminalization” widely touted in the

argentina hemp cannabis

Argentina’s New Hemp and Medical Cannabis Regulator

Earlier this month, we discussed the approval of a new regulatory framework for hemp and medical cannabis by Argentina’s legislature. At the time, we focused our attention on those who, reflecting antiquated thinking on cannabis, voted against the bill. Today we finally turn to the substance of what is officially known as the Regulatory Framework

delta-8

Delta-8 Is Legal, But …

Just last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s holding that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized delta-8 THC products derived from hemp. In the Ninth Circuit’s view, “the plain and unambiguous text of the Farm [Bill] compels the conclusion that the delta-8 THC products before us are lawful.”

agentina hemp medical cannabis

Argentina: New Law Over Old Thinking

Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has approved a law to regulate the hemp and medical cannabis industries. According to one of the bill’s sponsors, “a new industry has been born in Argentina” with the passage of the bill (which we flagged last summer in Legalization in Latin America: Who’s Next After Mexico?). The new law enjoyed

caribbean cannabis

Caribbean Winds of Change for Cannabis?

The Caribbean is questioning its enduring ties to the British Crown, as it seeks to fully turn the page on its colonial past. During the next few years, we will likely see several of the independent Caribbean nations that maintain constitutional ties to the British monarch become republics, led by local heads of state. These

canna law on the internet

Half-Truths and Canna Law on the Internet

When it comes to canna law on the internet, half-truths might be a bigger problem than outright lies or mistakes. Recently, our sister China Law Blog declared that China Law on the Internet Is All Wrong. As a lawyer who spends a lot of time working on China-related matters, I can confirm that there is

free speech cannabis trademark

Free Speech and Cannabis Brands

Could the First Amendment’s free speech protections offer a lifeline to cannabis brands hauled into court for trademark infringement for using parody trademarks? In some cases, it might. For readers unfamiliar with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free