BC companies are preparing to become hard drug makers on a commercial scale

news analysis

The recent gaffe of two BC companies announcing they have obtained a license to sell cocaine has drawn attention to their plans to commercialize the hard drug on a large scale.

Cannabis company Adastra Labs announced on February 22 that it received approval from Health Canada to “include cocaine as a substance” that it can “lawfully possess, produce, sell and distribute.”

The company later amended its statement to say that it “currently has no activity dealing with cocaine.”

On March 2, Sunshine Earth Labs Ltd. announced a similar announcement Licensed by Health Canada to sell hard drugs such as cocaine, opium and morphine, and then similar withdraw.

with that cocaine license announcementAdastra said it was evaluating the drug’s “commercialization” and was considering “positioning itself to support the demand for a safe supply of cocaine.”

Adastra also noted that BC’s recent Decriminalization small amount of substance.So even though later withdraw To clarify, the company seems to have its sights set on a wider market.

Other companies seem to have a similar idea.

MDMA ‘unparalleled scale’

B.C.-based Optimi Health Corp., which has a license to manufacture MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy), speculates that B.C.’s decriminalization could mark the beginning of broader legalization. I’m here. And Optimi says it is ready to seize the business opportunities offered by broader legalization.

“The regulatory environment in the U.S. and Canada is constantly evolving, especially with the Canadian government’s recent decision to decriminalize up to 2.5 grams of MDMA in British Columbia,” said Michael Kydd, Regulatory Affairs Advisor at Optimi. said at a press conference. release Last August.

“Governments often use incremental changes in policy to test public opinion, which can also trigger broader policy changes in the future.”

Optimi is ready to produce MDMA “on a scale that is unmatched,” Kydd said, adding that it will benefit the company “when we finally see these wholesale policy changes.”

Optimi is now the largest psilocybin and MDMA cultivator in North America and its goal is to be “the #1 trusted supplier of safe medicines worldwide.”

Possession of 2.5 grams of cocaine and MDMA, as well as opioids and methamphetamines, has been temporarily decriminalized in BC (from January 31, 2023 to January 31, 2026), but cannot be sold to the general public. is still prohibited. However, limits on the drug’s use and distribution to addicts are tested by state and country.

For example, MDMA is in progress. clinical trials For the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cocaine is used as a local anesthetic in sinus surgery in Canada, but its incidence of heart problems has been questioned. study However, some patients in Ontario said they had no concerns about using cocaine as an anesthetic.

“subtle movement”

Jeremy Kalicum, co-founder of the Drug User Liberation Front, believes B.C.’s drug control policy is moving in the direction of becoming increasingly deregulated, and that decriminalization will help to reduce the use of licensed drugs. It indicated that possession and use are likely to expand further in the future.

“I think this is probably a subtle move towards something closer to a medically-based system, like allowing people to get cocaine through a prescriber,” he told the Epoch Times.

Kalicum’s group seeks to provide a safe supply of cocaine for recreational drug users in B.C., but they operate in a legal “gray area,” he said.

“We are still at risk of arrest. 2,300 In 2022, it was due in part to contaminated drugs.

His group technically distributes the drug illegally, he said, but the regulatory environment is such that he doesn’t expect prosecution. testing. The organization says it will target confirmed regular drug users and study how having a “safe supply” affects them over time.

Qualicum said he knows there is no such thing as a “safe drug,” but believes that providing cleaner drugs will help. The group Section 56 License It is licensed by Health Canada to work with cocaine as a research group and is eligible to purchase from Adastra and similar companies. However, the license was denied.

Conservative Party leader Pierre Polivre has criticized B.C.’s relatively open drug policy for causing overdose deaths, and recent efforts to decriminalize drugs will only exacerbate the situation. said.

“They have allowed heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and other drugs to flood our streets,” Polivre told Epoch Times sister media NTD TV earlier this year. “It’s created hell in some of our major cities, especially East Central Vancouver.”

He said twitter March 3rd, the answer to addiction is “more cure and recovery, not more poison.”

The liberal government has backed BC’s decriminalization plan, and Federal Minister for Mental Health and Addiction Carolyn Bennett said on January 30 that “the stigma, fear, , reduce shame, or use alone.

“Not allowed”

When Adastra announced it had obtained a license to sell cocaine (and the announcement made headlines), it caught the attention of BC Prime Ministers David Eby and Justin Trudeau.

“There are limited and very restricted licenses for certain pharmaceutical companies to use their substances for research purposes and very limited prescription medical purposes, but it is not allowed to be sold commercially or on the open market. It’s not a permit to offer or provide in,” Trudeau told reporters in Winnipeg on March 3.

He said decriminalizing the commercial sale of cocaine “is not something this government is trying to promote.”

Adastra did not respond to requests from The Epoch Times at press time, and Sunshine Earth Labs declined to comment.

Health Canada told the Epoch Times in an email that these types of licenses have been issued for decades, but the number of such licenses issued and how many have increased in recent years. He did not answer the question as to whether he had

This increase could indicate that many companies are gearing up for the potential unlocking of commercial opportunities in the hard drug market.