A Canadian cannabis company based in BC has gained approval to possess, produce, sell, and distribute cocaine.
Adastra Labs is located in Langley, BC, and it sought approval from Health Canada, which it received on February 17.
Adastra can also possess, produce, sell and distribute up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin and psilocin.
“The amended license allows Adastra to interact with up to 250 grams of cocaine and to import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance,” reads a statement on the Adastra Holdings website.
“Harm reduction is a critically important and mainstream topic, and we are staying at the forefront of drug regulations across the board,” said Michael Forbes, CEO of Adastra, in a statement.
“We proactively pursued the amendment to our Dealer’s License to include cocaine back in December 2022. We will evaluate how the commercialization of this substance fits in with our business model at Adastra in an effort to position ourselves to support the demand for a safe supply of cocaine.”
On the heels of Adastra’s announcement, another Canadian company, Sunshine Earth Labs, announced that it has also received approval to produce and distribute cocaine, but also MDMA, morphine, opium and diacetylmorphine.
Health Canada licenses were issued to Oryx BioMed Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunshine Earth Labs.
The Adastra development gained some traction on social media, with many sharing tweets in opposition.
“Madness. We’ve truly lost our way,” tweeted one user.
Never did I think I’d see the day when big money entrepreneurs became the beneficiaries of harm reduction.
— kyle s (@kyulls) March 1, 2023
Another user on Twitter disagreed with that take, stating, “I disagree. All drugs should be legal.”
It isn’t known how this might impact consumers or if we’ll see cocaine on store shelves at dispensaries at some point in the future.
BC recently gained approval from Health Canada for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which allows people over 18 to possess up to 2.5 grams of certain illicit substances.
The move made BC the first province to decriminalize small amounts of controlled drugs.