Adastra Labs, a cannabis company based in British Columbia, has received approval from Health Canada to possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, psilocybin and psilocin. The company obtained its Controlled Drug and Substances dealer’s license for psilocybin and psilocin in August 2022 and in February 2023, the license was amended to include cocaine.
The license allows the company to possess, produce, sell and distribute up to 250 grams of cocaine and up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin and psilocin, for legal purposes only and not to consumers. This license is granted for clinical and scientific research or for medical purposes that have been legalized.
It is worth noting that British Columbia decriminalized drug possession, allowing adults over 18 to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA. However, trafficking these drugs remains illegal.
Groups such as the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) offer a “safe supply” of tested, untainted cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines to drug users in Vancouver to prevent overdoses. Advocates are calling for legal avenues to buy drugs from pharmaceutical sources, but currently procure them through “the illicit market through community connections and darknet markets, sourcing from vendors in Canada,” according to DULF documents.
Regarding psilocybin and psilocin, Canadians who want to legally access those drugs for medical purposes must apply through Health Canada’s special access program.
Adastra Holdings CEO Michael Forbes said in a statement, “Harm reduction is a critically important and mainstream topic, and we are staying at the forefront of drug regulations across the board. 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.”
The company, formerly known as Phyto Extractions, trades as XTRX on the Canadian Stock Exchange and produces concentrates under the Phyto Extractions brand. However, according to the company’s most recent earnings report, it had a working capital deficiency of $2,802,516 as of September 30, 2022, and incurred a net loss of $1.6 million for the nine months ending September 30. The report also notes that “material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Adastra Labs has received a dealer’s license to possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, psilocybin and psilocin, for legal purposes only and not to consumers. While the move may be controversial, Adastra’s CEO says it is part of the company’s efforts to stay at the forefront of drug regulations and harm reduction. However, given the company’s financial situation, it remains to be seen how this new venture will fare in the long run.
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