A second B.C. company said Heath Canada gave it the green light to possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, among other substances, to “bring a safer supply of drugs to the global marketplace.” “.
Sunshine Earth Labs, a bioscience company in Victoria, said Health Canada granted them three modifications in the past seven months, to include MDMA, cocaine/coca leaf, opium, morphine and diacetylmorphine, in their reseller license.
Health Canada made the final amendment authorizing the company to legally possess, produce and sell cocaine on January 12, 2023.
“We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made over the past year,” Sunshine CEO Donovan Edwards said in a press release.
“Since our inception, we have proactively sought changes to our reseller license to include MDMA, coca leaf, cocaine, opium, morphine and diacetylmorphine in order to position ourselves as a supply partner legit and safer.
“We will continue to work to secure global trade relationships to import ethically sourced medical products for safer supply.”
Sunshine Labs provided an update on Friday, which directly corresponds to comments made by Health Canada on Thursday evening.
He said his “regulated activities” fall under strict restrictions imposed by Health Canada.
The sale of substances can only take place under specific guidelines of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Sales are only permitted to another authorized dealer, pharmacist, practitioner or hospital employee provided they have the necessary license from Health Canada.
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On Thursday, Global News reported that a Langley-based lab, Adastra Labs, said it had obtained changes to its reseller license to “interact” with up to 250 grams of cocaine (nearly nine ounces), to import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance.
He said he received his approval from Health Canada on February 17.
“We will assess how the commercialization of this substance fits into our business model at Adastra with the aim of positioning ourselves to support demand for a safe supply of cocaine.”
On Friday, Adastra Laboratories retracted that previous statement.
“The reseller license issued to Adastra Labs does not permit Adastra Labs to sell coca leaf, psilocybin or cocaine to the general public,” Adasta staff said in a statement.
“For cocaine, and under the dealer’s license, Adastra Labs is only permitted to sell to other licensed dealers who have cocaine listed on their license, including pharmacists, practitioners, hospitals or the holder of an exemption under Article 56(1) for research purposes under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
“The Company is not currently undertaking any activity with cocaine under the Dealer License and prior to doing so it will only undertake such activities as legally permitted under the Dealer License and after consultation with the relevant provincial governments. “
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On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “as surprised” as British Columbia Premier David Eby to learn of the amendment granted to Adastra Labs by Health Canada.
“I was as surprised as the premier of British Columbia to see a company talking about selling cocaine on the open market or marketing it,” Trudeau said Friday.
“There are limited and very restricted permissions for certain pharmaceutical companies to use this substance for research purposes for very specific and tightly prescribed medical purposes.
“It’s not a license to sell it commercially or supply it in a free market.”
Trudeau went on to say that the federal government was working quickly with Adastra to correct the misunderstanding, which was reflected in the company’s statement on Friday.
Also on Friday, Eby made further comments regarding his reaction to Health Canada’s decisions.
“I also wonder what Health Canada’s intention was in granting these licenses, especially to a company that significantly misrepresented the nature of the license in a press release,” he told a conference. Press.
“We are following up with Health Canada to get answers for British Columbians on this.
Eby went on to say that the federal and BC governments need to stand together when it comes to addressing toxic drug supply and addiction issues.
Health Canada confirmed on Friday that Sunshine Labs had received changes to its dealer licenses to include cocaine.
The national authority reiterated that Adastra Labs and Sunshine Labs also cannot sell controlled substances to the general public.
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Late Thursday, Health Canada provided an email response to Global News.
“Adastra Labs is authorized by Health Canada for this controlled substance for scientific and medical purposes only.”
Health Canada reiterated that permission to sell will only be granted to other license holders, who have cocaine listed on their license, pharmacists, hospitals or the holder of an exemption under Section 56 (1) for research purposes.
“Health Canada carefully reviews applications to ensure that all appropriate policies and procedures are in place to maintain public health, safety and security,” Health Canada said.
“If the strict requirements are not met, Health Canada will not hesitate to take action, which may include revoking the license.”
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— with Canadian Press files
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