Health Canada authorizes BC company to produce and sell cocaine
In British Columbia, adults are allowed to possess a maximum of 2.5 grams of certain drugs. This pilot project began on January 31 and will end on January 31, 2026.
Adastra Labs received Health Canada approval on February 17 to produce, sell and distribute cocaine in British Columbia.
To do this, Adastra Labs explains that Health Canada has amended its distributor's license relating to controlled drugs and substances to allow it to work with 250 grams of cocaine.
The company's managing director, Michael Forbes, also claims that the license allows him to import coca leaves to synthesize the substance.
As of January 31, possession of small amounts of hard drugs is no longer considered a criminal offense in British Columbia. Health Canada approved the pilot project on May 31 for a duration of three years.
Michael Forbes says he is studying how he will market cocaine so that his business model aligns with decriminalization and the demand for a safe supply of this drug.
The BC Liberal Party denounced the news on Thursday and accused the New Democratic Party of encouraging the sale of cocaine.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the marketing of this drug does not make sense and he does not support this initiative.
British Columbia Premier David Eby says he is surprised that Health Canada has approved a change in Adastra Labs' license to produce and sell cocaine. Health Canada proceeded without notifying the province.
He assures that the marketing of the illicit substance is not part of the province's plan with regard to decriminalization and promises to question Health Canada on this subject.
With information from Francis Plourde