Has Health Canada approved a B.C.-based cannabis company to produce cocaine? Adastra Labs released a statement saying Health Canada granted them a “Dealer’s Licence” that allows them to possess, produce, sell and distribute 250 grams of cocaine.
The company can legally import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance locally.
Additionally, the Dealer’s License grants Adastra the right to possess, produce, sell and distribute up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
“Harm reduction is a critically important and mainstream topic, and we are staying at the forefront of drug regulations across the board,” said Michael Forbes, CEO of Adastra.
“We proactively pursued the amendment to our Dealer’s License to include cocaine back in December 2022. 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.”
Health Canada Approves B.C. Cocaine Production? News to the B.C. Premier
British Columbia‘s unelected Premier David Eby told the press that he was “astonished” that Health Canada granted a cannabis company the right to possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine.
He said: “If Health Canada did in fact do this, they did it, not only without engaging with the province, but without notice to us.”
“It is not part of our provincial plan,” he added, referring to the joint effort from Ottawa and B.C. to decriminalize drugs like cocaine, opioids, amphetamines and ecstasy.
On January 30, 2023, possessing 2.5 grams or less of these substances is no longer a criminal offence. The police instead hand out literature suggesting the person seek professional help.
B.C.’s opposition parties aren’t happy about Health Canada approving cocaine production in the province. During Question Period, B.C. Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon asked the premier, “What on earth is going on here?”
“Since the NDP decriminalized hard drugs like cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine, this company’s stock price has doubled.” He said. “But let’s be really clear here. Cocaine isn’t prescribed. It isn’t safe. This is wrong. Commercializing cocaine as a business opportunity amounts to legalizing cocaine trafficking, full stop. So, why has this premier allowed for the commercialization of cocaine?”
Health Canada has yet to make a statement to the press as of this publication.
Health Canada Approves Cocaine Production? Follow the Money
Interesting that politicians would disapprove of Health Canada approving cocaine production. Canada’s cannabis connoisseurs are well aware of how former cops and politicians have capitalized on the legal cannabis market.
Meanwhile, the legacy growers in B.C. are either taxed to oblivion or kept underground and “illegal.”
The same is valid here. While the CEO of Adastra has a past with methadone pharmacies and needle exchange programs, the real corruption comes from within the government.
Dr. Perry Kendall, for example, is B.C.’s former provincial health officer. He held the job for twenty years.
So the guy who still influences Victoria’s politicians and bureaucrats, who promotes “safe supply” and decriminalization, is also profiting from it.
Health Canada approving cocaine production is about making sure decriminalization lines the pockets of key players.
How Dangerous is Cocaine, Anyway?
Of course, the moral panic over Health Canada approving cocaine production is a nothingburger. The real crime is that a) cocaine is illegal, and b) Health Canada picks and chooses which private companies can produce cocaine while it remains illegal for the rest of us.
But what about what the B.C. Liberal leader said? That cocaine isn’t safe. That producing made-in-B.C. cocaine is wrong?
Drug war propaganda, unfortunately, still holds sway over too many Canadians, whether on the left or right of the political spectrum. Consider some of these myths and facts about cocaine.
Myth: Cocaine is highly addictive, even in small amounts.
Fact: Forming a cocaine habit is one of the easiest things in the world. However, you will not get “addicted” after snorting one line—people that do have psychological problems. The pharmacology of the drug does not override your free will and force you to consume it.
Myth: Cocaine is safer than crack cocaine.
Fact: They’re the same drug. Crack cocaine is cocaine combined with a base, typically baking soda. If you were talking about lung health, snorting coke would be safer than smoking crack.
Myth: Cocaine will lead to financial ruin
Fact: Poor psychological problems will lead to financial ruin. Many people have balanced their cocaine use or habits without impacting their social, business, and family lives.
Myth: Cocaine makes you crazy
Fact: Cocaine enhances mood and increases alertness and energy levels.
Of course, cocaine has side effects. It can cause heart palpitations and high blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and seizures.
Not to mention, sketchy manufacturers of street cocaine may mix it with another drug, like fentanyl.
Health Canada Approves Cocaine Production – Now What?
The anti-drug puritans from both sides of the aisle are wrong. Some make a case for why Adastra Labs needs to provide a “safe supply,” while others are adamant that this constitutes “legalizing cocaine trafficking” and the commercialization of the drug.
But the problem isn’t drugs. It’s people’s relationship with them. For example, because I have asthma, I rarely, if ever, smoke cannabis anymore. I make my own edibles and extracts.
If I were to start smoking again, I’d be putting myself at a significant health risk. I would be turning a healthy relationship with cannabis into a problematic one.
All drugs should be legal. But so should drug education free of drug war propaganda.
Consider cocaine versus extreme sports like backcountry skiing.
Individuals who pursue extreme sports know the risks and take precautions to minimize them. Depending on the sport, an individual may even receive extensive training beforehand.
Individuals who choose to use cocaine must also be aware of the drug’s risks and take precautions to minimize them.
How can cocaine users minimize their risk? One, ensure their mental health is in order. Are you using cocaine at a party to have some fun? Or are you by yourself using it as a coping mechanism to deal with stress?
Two, make sure your physical health is in order. If you have a poor or aging heart, cocaine isn’t the drug for you.
And third, the best way to minimize cocaine risks is to ensure your supply isn’t tainted with other drugs or substances you don’t want.
That’s why Health Canada’s approval of local B.C. cocaine production is a step in the right direction. Now, only if they’d open the market to everyone instead of a single cannabis company.