british columbia premier David Eby says he was “surprised” that Health Canada gave cannabis companies the right to own, produce, sell and distribute cocaine.
Adastra Labs of Langley, B.C.in a news release, said Health Canada had approved an amendment under the controlled substance dealers license on February 17.
At a press conference on Thursday, Eby said of overdose prevention and mental health funding that if “Health Canada actually did this,” federal agencies would have done so without involving authorities. B.C.Notify government or state.
of premier The province said it would contact Health Canada for an answer.
“It’s not part of our state’s plan,” he said, referring to ongoing efforts to stem overdose mortality, which averages more than six deaths each day. B.C.2022.
Health Canada did not respond to a request for comment.
The decriminalization of up to 2.5 grams of drugs, including cocaine, began B.C.Jan. 31, after the federal government approved decriminalization exemptions as one of several steps to address the crisis.
More than 11,000 people have died from illegal overdoses since British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016.
Adastra said in a statement that the amended license allows the company to “interact” with up to 250 grams of cocaine and import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance.
Adastra CEO Michael Forbes said the company will evaluate how commercializing the substance fits into its business model to support demand for a safe supply of cocaine.
“Harm reduction is a very important and mainstream topic, and we remain at the forefront of drug control across the board,” Forbes said. We have actively worked to amend the dealer’s license to include it.”
The topic of Adastra’s license amendments to include cocaine is B.C.Opposition leader Kevin Falcon criticized the move.
“Cocaine is not prescribed. It’s not safe. This is wrong,” Falcon said. “Commercializing cocaine as a business opportunity is the same as fully legalizing cocaine trafficking.”
Spokesperson Kevin Hollett B.C.In a written response, the Center on Substance Use said the agency knew “little” about the exemptions granted to Adastra.
Hollett said B.C.The Safe Supply Policy, released in July 2021, focuses on opioids.
“As far as I know, the safer supply being prescribed in BC is focused on opioids, so I’m not sure how this fits in.