CannTrust hires adviser to explore possible sale amid cannabis scandal

A week after CannTrust Holdings fired its CEO over a scandal involving unlicensed marijuana cultivation, the Canadian producer hired a financial adviser to review “strategic alternatives,” including a possible sale of the company.

CannTrust said an internal committee has retained Greenhill & Co. Canada to review how the firm could proceed, with options that include:

  • A sale of all or part of the company.
  • A strategic investment.
  • A business combination.
  • Changes to operations or strategy.
  • Continuing on the current path.

Last week, the Vaughn, Ontario, cannabis firm fired its chief executive, Peter Aceto, with cause and forced the resignation of its chair, Eric Paul.

CannTrust’s committee has not established a timetable to make a decision, the company said in a statement.

“The nature, timing and outcome of the strategic review process will be influenced by, among other things, the resolution of the company’s regulatory compliance issues with Health Canada,” according to the statement.

CannTrust’s stock has been in a tailspin since a whistleblower alerted the federal cannabis regulator to five unlicensed cultivation rooms the company had been operating since late 2018.

The company has seen over 400 million Canadian dollars ($304 million) in market value evaporate in less than a month.

The subsequent surprise inspection by Health Canada resulted in a “noncompliant” rating with Canada’s marijuana rules.

Health Canada is currently in the process of determining what punishment CannTrust faces for brazenly violating the regulations.