Premier, BC firm back on topic to commercialize cocaine after response from prime minister

The British Columbia company, which has federal approval to manufacture and sell cocaine, has amended its original statement outlining its plans to commercialize the controlled substance.

Adastra Labs released clarifications on Friday, Langley said: B.C.the company “has no current activity dealing with cocaine,” so the modified controlled substance and substance distributor license Hard Sell ​​cocaine to the public.

Adastra Labs CEO Michael Forbes said in an initial statement on February 22 that the company will “evaluate how commercialization of this substance fits into the company’s business model.” That reference has been removed in the latest statement.

Health Canada approved a proposed license amendment for Adastra Labs to allow the production, sale and distribution of cocaine on February 17. Under this license, Adastra will not allow him to produce more than 250 grams of cocaine in 2023.

A scrutiny on the matter began on Thursday. B.C.Opposition leader Kevin Falcon released Adastra’s initial statement on its commercialization plans during a questioning period in the state legislature.

The issue was discussed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau B.C.Prime Minister David Evey.

Trudeau said Friday that he was as surprised as Evie about Adastra’s plans. He said the federal government would work “very quickly” with his Adastra Labs to “correct any misunderstandings” caused by the company’s statement regarding its commercialization.

Prime Minister Trudeau said Adastra does not have a license to sell cocaine on the “open market,” but Health Canada said: Hard May only be sold to other license holders.

“I was just as surprised to see the Prime Minister of British Columbia talk about selling and commodifying cocaine on the open market,” he said. “

Trudeau also said the commercialization of decriminalized cocaine “is not something the government is considering.”

Eby said on Thursday that he was “surprised” by Adastra’s plans, saying the province had not been notified or consulted about the matter by Health Canada.

the prime minister said Friday He is “further disturbed” by what he has told the federal government, and by Health Canada that Adastra may have “grossly misrepresented the nature of the license” in an irresponsible manner.

“I find it a little frustrating that Health Canada clearly disagrees with us on where we are headed,” he said. “We need to work together on the toxic drug crisis and our response.”

In a written statement, Health Canada said it would “thoroughly review applications” to ensure that licensees comply with all existing public health and safety policies.

“Health Canada contacted the company and reiterated the very narrow parameters of the license,” said Adastra Labs. “Health Canada will not hesitate to take action when strict requirements are not followed, which could include revoking a license.”

Meanwhile, one second B.C.The company says it now also has licenses to manufacture, sell and distribute MDMA, also known as cocaine, opium and ecstasy.

Victoria’s Sunshine Earth Lab, Biological Sciences Hard The company, which “aims to bring a safer supply of medicines to the global market,” said in a news release, last year acquired a modified license to market controlled drugs and substances, including MDMA and cocaine.

In January, it said it received an amendment on the possession, production, sale and distribution of opium and morphine.

On Friday, Sunshine Earth also issued a revised statement saying it is licensed to conduct activities with these controlled substances “under the strict restrictions imposed by Health Canada.”

Health Canada did not share or publish a list of licensed companies when asked how many other companies had received similar amendments to their licenses, noting that health, security and safety It also said it did not discuss the status of the license amendment application for privacy reasons. reason.

Health Canada spokesman Mark Johnson said it was “not new” for companies to receive such license modifications, adding that “some companies have included the substance in their licenses for more than 20 years. I’m here.”

B.C.‘s drug decriminalization policy took effect at the end of January, allowing individuals over the age of 18 to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA without criminal penalty.

by Chuck Chen