Is Aurora’s CEO Terry Booth delusional?

An unauthorized pesticide was recently discovered in Aurora’s medical cannabis product, further debunking the claims that Canada’s LPs are clean and safe while the “BC Bud” community are a bunch of biker gangs with no incentives to produce quality product.

And just as some conspiracy theorists will use lack of evidence as evidence of a conspiracy, Aurora is using the product recalls as “proof” that heavy regulation is effective at identifying risks.

It’s as if they’re asserting that government regulation means safety because this proposition has not yet been proved false.  But if a recall doesn’t constitute proof, and in fact implies the opposite, then what does constitute proof?

Perhaps we should blame New Brunswick-based OrganiGram since that’s where the products came from. They used bifenazate or myclobutanil, a fungicide reported to produce hydrogen cyanide when burned.  The pesticide was not approved by Health Canada for cannabis production.

What’s the point of costly government regulations if companies aren’t going to follow them? The ability to use state coercion to recall and prevent further harm? As if privately-owned quality assurance and accreditation agencies, relying on profit-and-loss rather than taxpayers, are unable to effectively provide these services.

But this is just one issue with Aurora Cannabis. There are plenty more.

In an interview with James West for MidasLetter, Aurora CEO Terry Booth was asked to elaborate on what Aurora means by being “quite a bit different” from other LPs.

Terry Booth replied that:

“Our relationships with the community and the culture, and our need to make sure that what we grow, even though we’re growing it at a large scale, meets the needs of the existing community and culture. These guys have been around for 50 years; some growing cannabis and some just enjoying it. The home grow has always been supported by Aurora since Day One. When I first started looking at this industry, I noticed large lines of divisiveness between producers and the community and the culture, and Aurora has definitely done the job in mending that fence, and we’ve done that through our quality product that we’re producing now, and we’ll do it with the quality product we’re going to produce later.”

In case you missed it, here’s the gem: “ I noticed large lines of divisiveness between producers and the community and the culture, and Aurora has definitely done the job in mending that fence,”

Aurora is still part of the Cannabis Canada Association, a group that openly calls for the federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition, unless, you know, you happen to be a commercial LP.

“These guys” who have producing for “50 years” are getting thrown under the bus by Ottawa’s crony-capitalist cannabis producers.

“The home grow” that Booth claims to support are supplying dispensaries so people don’t have to buy off the street.

Aurora has, pardon my French, done fuck all to amend the “divisiveness between producers and the community and the culture.” By remaining part of Cannabis Canada, they are ensuring continued division.

To even imply there is a distinction between the producers of cannabis and the community and culture is to miss the point entirely. There are growers in the community who are part of the culture. They are not LPs.

And then it’s more delusional ramblings that only uneducated investors would buy into.

Booth says cannabis is “not easy to grow, and people need advice on a lot of scales.” And that’s where Aurora comes in, pesticides and all.

In a clear display of his ill-informed knowledge about the “community and culture,” Booth references looking to the federal Liberals for the authoritative word on legalization.

So while police raid dispensaries and jail people for producing a plant, while the culture engages in acts of civil disobedience over unjust laws, Aurora can expand operations and prepare for the day LP cannabis hits retail stores for recreational consumers.

But Booth says: “I think there will be room for smaller boutique growers.” The real question is whether there’ll be room for large corporate growers producing pesticide-ridden cannabis very few people want. Especially when international markets open up and Canadians can legally import outdoor Mexican cannabis.

Canada’s medical cannabis regime rests on prohibiting Canadians from providing certain goods and services to each other unless they receive a special permit.

Assuming they make it through the costly and time-consuming application process to receive this permit, they must then buy equipment from other specialized licensed producers, the ones selling capital goods at inflated rates. Any failure to adhere to these statist conditions invoke the criminal code. As Justin Trudeau says, legalization for cannabis consumers has “not happened yet.”

But contrary to the crony-capitalism of Stephen Harper’s LP-scheme, or the Liberal Party adoption of it, economic reality dictates that an agricultural product cannot be sold in this way.

The LPs will not realize their returns.

The system is a fraud; LP valuations aren’t based on cannabis production. They are relying on balance sheets; investors are buying their debt.

They are not producing enough quality cannabis people voluntarily want to buy if they expect to cover their debt and financial leverage commitments.

Once the economic bubble that’s been building for at least 17 years bursts (and Donald Trump takes the blame), many if not all of Canada’s LPs will find themselves up shit creek without a paddle.

The cannabis producers who make it will be the ones that didn’t invest millions of dollars in producing a plant that can be grown on a shoe-string budget.