Source: The Globe and Mail
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  • Last week it was reported that Adastra Holdings Ltd. (CSE:XTRX) received approval to sell cocaine as part of its business model
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government was working with the company to address the misunderstanding
  • The company released a statement on Friday (March 3) stating its Dealer’s License does not permit it to sell coca leaf, psilocybin or cocaine to the general public
  • Adastra received its controlled drug and substances dealer’s license in August 2022 and asked to expand its license to include cocaine in December
  • Shares of Adastra Holdings have dropped 43.61 per cent on Monday to C$0.75 as of 3:31 p.m. EST

Vancouver, BC’s Adastra Holdings Ltd. (XTRX) is in hot water after it announced last week that it had received approval to sell cocaine.

The company announced that it had received approval from Health Canada to include cocaine under its Controlled Substances Dealer’s License, allowing Adastra to “interact with up to 250 grams of cocaine and import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance.”

As of March 3, Adastra clarified and retracted certain disclosures related to its approval from Health Canada. Notably, the company said it may only produce 1,000 grams of psilocybin and 250 grams of cocaine in 2023, but the Dealer’s License does not permit Adastra to sell coca lea, psilocybin or cocaine to the general public.

“The company is not currently undertaking any activities with cocaine under the Dealer’s Licence, and before doing so, it will only undertake such activities legally permitted by the Dealer’s Licence and after consultation with applicable Provincial Governments,” Adastra Holdings said in a statement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighs in

In the midst of Adastra Holdings’ plans to sell cocaine was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clarifying the “misunderstanding” that the company would not, in fact, be selling the substance.

“Health Canada has contacted the company to reiterate the very narrow parameters of their licence,” the federal agency said in a statement. “If the strict requirements are not being followed, Health Canada will not hesitate to take action, which may include revoking the licence.”

Similarly, Trudeau said that commercializing cocaine “is not something that this government is looking at furthering.”

British Columbia’s premier David Eby said that the province had not been kept in the loop by Health Canada regarding the decision.

“I think that Health Canada needs to have a serious look at what they are doing. I think they have to have a serious look at this company,” Eby said on Friday.

“I was as surprised as the premier of British Columbia was to see that a company was talking about selling cocaine on the open market or commercializing it,” Trudeau said.

Adastra Holdings shares drop

Following the company’s initial announcement last week, shares of Adastra Holdings (XTRX) took a sharp increase from Thursday’s close of C$0.90 to $1.15 at market open on Friday.

However, following comments from Prime Minister Trudeau and premier Eby, shares of Adatra Holdings dropped over 44 percent on Monday to C$0.74.

Adastra Holdings is an extraction and processing solutions company with the goal of developing and deploying large-scale cannabis and hemp extraction technologies.

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