John Woods The Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at a fundraising event on Thursday
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked”, as was the Premier of British Columbia, that a company was boasting about changes to its Health Canada license that would allow it to produce and sell cocaine. /p>
Mr. Trudeau said Friday that the federal government was talking to Adastra Labs, of Langley, British Columbia, to change the wording of its press releases to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
The company had indicated on Thursday that it was looking for ways to incorporate cocaine into its business plan. Mr. Trudeau assured that there was no question of allowing companies to sell these drugs on the market.
Another British Columbia company also recently said that it was now licensed to produce, sell and distribute cocaine and ecstasy, although Health Canada says it cannot sell these illegal drugs to the general public.
Victoria's Sunshine Earth Labs, a bioscience company that “aims to bring a safer supply of drugs to the global marketplace”, says it last year obtained an amendment to its distributor's license relating to “drugs and controlled substances” to include ecstasy and cocaine.
In a written statement, the Federal Department of Health says it “carefully reviews applications” to ensure that drug holders licenses comply with all existing public health and safety policies.
Health Canada states that Adastra Labs' license was issued “solely for scientific and medical purposes”, and that licensees may only sell these substances to persons authorized to possess them.
“Health Canada has contacted the company to reiterate the very narrow parameters of its license,” the department said. If the strict requirements are not met, Health Canada will not hesitate to take action, which may include revoking the license. »
The controversy erupted after Adastra Labs announced on February 17 that Health Canada had agreed to amend its license to produce, sell and distribute cocaine.
“It is true that Health Canada allows certain pharmaceutical companies, for research needs and extremely limited medical needs, the use of this product, said Mr. Trudeau on Friday. But there is no intention, there is no permission to sell this on the market and share this with Canadians. “
“It was misunderstood, I think, in the [company] press release and we're correcting that because it's not something. something that we endorse as a country.
British Columbia Premier David Eby said Thursday that he was “stunned” by the news. He then indicated that his government had not been notified or consulted by Health Canada.
Mr. Eby said the license “was not part of our provincial plan,” referring to current government efforts to stem the overdose death rate — an average of six people died from it every day in British Columbia in 2022. /p>
British Columbia's drug decriminalization policy, which came into effect in late January, allows people 18 and older to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and of ecstasy without being criminally prosecuted.