Cancelled press release and transparency would have exposed deficiencies in newly minted Health Canada regulations.
In a lengthy article released this morning by the National Post, the details behind an important press release cancelation by the RCMP, in the spring of 2014, have finally been uncovered, as over 900 pages of internal records were obtained and detail the lengthy deliberations that took place amongst members of the B.C. and Ottawa RCMP, over what to tell the public concerning a large drug bust, at a local airport in Kelowna.
On March 31 2014, , a day before new rules took effect that restricted production of medical marijuana to licensed commercial producers, B.C. RCMP intercepted two shipments, described as of “unfathomable quantity,” that were bound for newly minted licensed cannabis producers in Ontario.
As is further described through internal RCMP briefing notes, the items Tweed Marijuana Inc., later named Canopy Growth Corp. and Mettrum Health Corp. had reported to Health Canada they would receiving shipments from British Columbia, of 2,071 plants and 730 plants, respectively, however RCMP examinations of the shipments instead found harvested marijana buds and finished product that were packaged for resale.
National Post reporting further outlines the back and forth of strategic considerations being taken to not negatively affect the stock prices of the licensed producers, as a couple days later, on April 3, Tweed was listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Additionally, in a briefing document from the RCMP’s director of strategic communications in Ottawa, on April 10, the force was advised to continue declining comments, as going public “would likely bring criticism on Health Canada” in the wake of the recent changes in compliance and regulations, a position the RCMP are reported to have taken in the past in regards to similar factors.
NP finally notes that the RCMP ultimately failed to file any charges against either company due to the challenge of proving criminal intent. The seized cannabis was later destroyed.