Auditor withdraws cannabis firm CannTrust’s financial report amid controversy

The independent auditor for Canadian marijuana company CannTrust has taken the uncommon step of withdrawing its report on the Ontario company’s financial statements for the quarter ending March and full-year 2018.

It’s the latest blow amid an ongoing scandal involving unlicensed marijuana cultivation by CannTrust that has cast a dark cloud across Canada’s cannabis industry.

CannTrust said KPMG’s decision was prompted by the Ontario producer’s caution against a reliance on its financial statements for the two periods, as well as recent information CannTrust shared with the auditor that led to senior leadership changes.

“KPMG was not aware of the information recently shared by the Company when it issued the KPMG Reports and had relied upon representations made by individuals who are no longer at the company,” CannTrust said in a news release.

In July, a whistleblower alerted Canada’s cannabis regulator to unlicensed cultivation at the company’s greenhouse facility in Pelham, Ontario.

The company later fired CEO Peter Aceto “with cause” and requested the resignation of its chair, Eric Paul.

CannTrust said KPMG remains its independent auditor.

The company remains under investigation by securities regulators and police.