Canadian cannabis company Adastra gets permission to sell cocaine 

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British Columbia-based cannabis company Adastra Labs has been approved by Health Canada to possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, psilocybin and psilocin.

The company received its Controlled Drug and Substances dealer’s license for the psychedelics in August, according to a news release.

The license was amended in February to include cocaine.

The dealer’s license allows the company to:

  • Possess, produce, sell and distribute – for legal purposes only and not to consumers – up to 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of cocaine and to import and manufacture coca leaves to create synthetics.
  • Possess, produce, sell and distribute up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin and psilocin.

A dealer’s license allows sales for clinical and scientific research or for medical purposes that have been legalized.

British Columbia decriminalized drug possession, effective Jan. 31, to allow adults 18 and older to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA.

Trafficking those drugs remains illegal.

In an effort to prevent overdoses, 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.

Advocates want 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.

As for psilocybin and psilocin, Canadians who want to legally access those drugs for medical purposes must apply through Health Canada’s special access program.

“Harm reduction is a critically important and mainstream topic, and we are staying at the forefront of drug regulations across the board,” Adastra Holdings CEO Michael Forbes said in a statement.

“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.”

Formerly called Phyto Extractions, Adastra Holdings trades as XTRX on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Adastra shares were trading at 90 cents when the market closed Thursday.

The cannabis extraction, distillation and manufacturing-focused company produces concentrates under the Phyto Extractions brand.

According to its most recent earnings report, the company had a working capital deficiency of $2,802,516 as of Sept. 30.

Adastra incurred a net loss of $1.6 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30.

“These events and conditions indicate a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the report notes.