"Strict rules": Health Canada clarifies who approved companies can sell cocaine to

Mar 3 2023, 5:57 pm

On the heels of two Canadian companies announcing that they gained approval to possess, produce, and distribute cocaine, Health Canada is clarifying some rules.

One of the companies, Adastra, a cannabis company based in BC, suggested it was investigating how to commercialize cocaine.

“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,” Adastra said in a statement.

The other company involved, Sunshine Earth Labs, used similar language, adding that on top of cocaine, it also gained approval to produce and distribute MDMA, morphine, opium, and diacetylmorphine.

In a statement to Daily Hive, Health Canada suggested it would reach out to the companies involved to “reiterate the very narrow parameters of their licence.”

“If the strict requirements are not being followed, Health Canada will not hesitate to take action, which may include revoking the licence.”

Health Canada also clarified who these companies could sell to, specifically addressing Adastra.

“They are only permitted for sale to other licence holders who have cocaine listed on their licence, pharmacists, practitioners, hospitals, or the holder of a section 56(1) exemption for research purposes,” Health Canada said.

“There are very strict rules in place for obtaining and maintaining a Controlled Substances Licence in Canada. Adastra Labs is licensed by Health Canada for this controlled substance for scientific and medical purposes only.”

At a press conference in BC on Friday, Premier David Eby suggested that Adastra significantly “misrepresented the nature of the licence.”

Needless to say, if you were hoping to be able to grab some cocaine from a storefront, it sounds like you’ll be waiting a while longer for that option.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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