CannTrust Discloses Notice Of Licence Suspension

CANADA: CannTrust Holdings has announced that it received late this morning a Notice of Licence Suspension under section 64(1) of the Cannabis Act. The Notice cites the Company’s previous non-compliance with certain requirements of the Cannabis Act and the regulation made thereunder in respect of the matters that the Company has been discussing with Health Canada.

CannTrust logoThe Notice states that Health Canada has suspended CannTrust’s authority to produce cannabis, other than cultivating and harvesting, and to sell cannabis. As such, the Notice constitutes a partial suspension of the Company’s licence for standard cultivation and a full suspension of its licences for standard processing, medical sales, cannabis drugs and research issued under the Cannabis regulations. While the suspension remains in effect, CannTrust will be permitted to cultivate and harvest existing lots or batches previously propagated, as well as conducting ancillary activities to those lots, including drying, trimming and milling. During the suspension, CannTrust may not propagate new lots or batches of cannabis or engage in the sale or distribution of cannabis.

The Notice states that Health Canada will reinstate CannTrust’s licences under section 64(4) of the Cannabis Act if the reasons for the suspension no longer exist or if CannTrust demonstrates that the suspension was unfounded.  The Notice also states that Health Canada considers that implementation of the following measures could potentially address the public health and safety risks that contributed to Health Canada’s decision to issue the Notice:

  • Measures to ensure that cannabis will be produced and distributed only as authorized, including measures to control the movement of cannabis in and out of CannTrust’s site;

  • Measures to recover cannabis that was not authorized by CannTrust’s licence;

  • Measures to improve key personnel’s knowledge of, and compliance with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations that apply to CannTrust; and,

  • Measures for improving the manner in which records are kept, including a plan to improve the inventory tracking, and any interim measures to ensure that information provided to Health Canada can be reconciled.

The Company’s management and Board of Directors are reviewing the Notice with the Company’s counsel and other advisors.

Over the past two months, the Company has moved swiftly to assess and address Health Canada’s concerns, including areas of operational non-compliance. The Company remains committed to being in full regulatory compliance.

FSD Pharma Receives Cannabis Sales License From Health Canada

CANADA: FSD Pharma Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma Inc. has received its Sale for Medical Purposes license to sell cannabis under the Cannabis Act (Canada). The license went into effect on April 18, 2019.

The license allows the current FSD facility to supply and sell cannabis products. The company anticipates receiving the amended sales license that will include the sale of dried and fresh cannabis flower in the near future.

Dr. Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman and CEO congratulated the FSD Pharma team, shareholders and stakeholders on this much anticipated achievement. Dr. Bokhari stated, “Our sales license is a key development for FSD Pharma and a huge success and step forward for our Cobourg Facility.”

“We have achieved this milestone thanks to the efforts of our dedicated team. We are exceptionally proud of this achievement and look forward to accelerating our efforts,” commented Dr. Sara May, President of FV Pharma Inc.

Zeeshan Saeed, President and Founder, added, “The granting of our sales license allows FSD to serve the growing medicinal use markets in Canada. We intend to quickly scale up production at our current facility, while continuing to build out the plant to add additional grow capacity. In addition, our sales license opens the door for our partner Canntab Therapeutics to commence sales of its suite of novel cannabis oral dose delivery platforms, including CBD and THC capsules, in Canada and global markets. We expect that this will provide an immediate benefit to both parties, since FSD is entitled to a share of Canntab’s revenue from sales as a result of the collaboration and profit sharing agreement that we entered into this past fall.”

Anthony Durkacz, Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of the board speaking on behalf of the FSD Pharma Board of Directors stated, “We are proud of the leadership at FSD Pharma. This industry is transforming very rapidly and the leadership has positioned the company well to generate top tier revenue from our medicinal grade cannabis production.”

Tilray Expands Manufacturing Capacity With New Processing License From Health Canada

Newly-acquired Natura Naturals Inc. located in Leamington, Ontario obtains processing license, allowing it to produce a wide range of cannabis form factors for the Canadian market

CANADA: Natura Naturals Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, Inc. and High Park Holdings Ltd., has received a standard processing license under the Cannabis Act. The Natura greenhouse facility, which previously held a standard cultivation license, will now be able to manufacture a wide range of cannabis form factors from cannabis starting material, including oil, pre-rolls, and novel formats such as topicals and edibles.

Natura, which will operate under High Park Gardens Inc., was acquired by Tilray in February 2019 to serve the adult-use and medical cannabis market in Canada alongside Tilray’s existing operations. The site is a 662,000 square-foot greenhouse facility with 155,000 square-feet licensed for cultivation. The addition of a standard processing license means that High Park Gardens will be able process cannabis raw material cultivated on site – as well as raw material sourced from other cannabis licensees – into a variety of value-add product formats. This development provides Tilray’s facilities additional flexibility in the manufacture of products for the Canadian cannabis market, and in the development of novel products in preparation for legalization of additional cannabis products, including tinctures, concentrates and edibles, in Canada later this year.

High Park Gardens will work closely with Tilray’s existing operations in British Columbia and Ontario: High Park Farms Ltd., a cultivation and processing facility featuring 13 acres of greenhouse space on 100 acres of property in Enniskillen, Ontario; High Park processing facility, a 56,000 square-foot processing and R&D facility in London, Ontario and Tilray Canada Ltd., a cultivation, research and processing facility located in Nanaimo, British Columbia. All sites are actively engaged in the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of cannabis products for the Canadian cannabis market.

“The acquisition of High Park Gardens in February allowed us to significantly increase our production footprint,” says Greg Christopher, EVP Operations, Tilray. “With this additional licensing, we’re pleased to have expanded Tilray and High Park’s capacity to develop and manufacture high-quality branded products for the Canadian market.”


Aphria Receives Health Canada License Amendment, Approving Fully Expanded Production At Aphria One

CANADA: Aphria has announced that Health Canada has granted the Company its license amendment, permitting Aphria to commence production in an additional 800,000 square feet of facilities at its Aphria One location, as part of the Company’s completed Part IV and Part V expansions.

aphria logo“This is a major milestone for Aphria on its path to becoming a leading global cannabis producer, as well as a positive development greatly anticipated by the Canadian cannabis industry,” said Irwin D. Simon, Interim CEO of Aphria. “Aphria’s progress expanding production and automation is essential to our strategy of securing scale and long-term advantages that enable the evolution of the cannabis industry through product and brand innovation. With Aphria One, we now have the ability to expand our production capacity by over three times.”

Simon concluded, “We are ready to hit the ground running and look forward to alleviating industry-wide supply constraints with our greatly expanded production capacity and sophisticated, proprietary automation technology that will ensure Aphria remains at the forefront of cannabis cultivation and innovation. In anticipation of Health Canada’s approval, we had allocated a portion of our previously approved capacity to mother and vegetative plants that will be used as the initial growing crops in Part IV and Part V. As a result of these measures, growing operations in the expanded facilities are expected to commence without delay. By this Friday, we will move swiftly to establish nearly 22,000 plants in the Part IV and Part V expansion, with an additional 12,000 plants added each week thereafter until we reach full crop rotation.”

Industry-Leading Automation

The completed Part IV & Part V expansions at Aphria One bring industrial-scale horticulture production technology to cannabis cultivation. While critical phases such as initial cuttings, trimming and pruning mature plants will be performed by hand, the in-house designed technology will automate key steps, including:

  • Transplanting cuttings
  • Transporting plants through harvesting
  • De-budding & rough trimming
  • Drying & curing
  • Waste disposal

Aphria One

The 700,000 square foot Part IV Expansion and the 100,000 square foot Part V expansion represent the completion of Aphria’s five-part expansion at Aphria. Once in full rotation, Part IV and Part V will produce on an incremental annualized basis 80,000 kg bringing the total annualize production capacity at Aphria One to 110,000 kg.

Health Canada Releases New Data On Cannabis Use In Canada

2018 Survey provides a snapshot of Canadians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to cannabis before the law changed

CANADA:The old approach to cannabis did not work. It let criminals and organized crime profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it has been easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.

To address these issues, on October 17, the Government of Canada legalized and strictly regulated access to cannabis. To track Canadians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards cannabis, the Government of Canada is examining how usage changes from year to year. Standardized and comparable data are needed to evaluate the impact of the new cannabis legislation and to develop policy and program initiatives, including public education and awareness activities.

Between May and July 2018, Health Canada asked almost 13,000 Canadians about their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to cannabis, including their cannabis use and driving behaviours after consuming cannabis. Results from the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey released today provide a snapshot of Canadians’ views and habits related to cannabis several months before the Cannabis Act came into force:

  • how much and how often they used cannabis,
  • where they got it from,
  • what forms of cannabis they consumed,
  • the extent to which they were accepting of cannabis use,
  • what they thought about its potential to be habit forming, and
  • whether they believed cannabis could affect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey contributes to the foundation of information needed to measure and monitor the impacts of the Government’s cannabis legislation. It also complements previously collected data on the prevalence of cannabis use in the general population.

These survey results reinforce the Government of Canada’s continued public education efforts on the facts around cannabis, as well as on drug-impaired driving, to support Canadians in making informed decisions on cannabis use.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey was designed to seek a greater number of respondents who use cannabis in order to obtain more detailed information on cannabis use in Canada, such as frequency of use and methods of consumption. As such, it is important to note that the Canadian Cannabis Survey is not a general population survey and its results are not representative of the Canadian population.


Zenabis Receives Cannabis Plant Sales License

CANADA: Zenabis, a licensed producer, has announced that Health Canada has issued an amendment to its Producer’s License. Zenabis is now eligible to sell clones to other licensed producers under current Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The amended license also opens the door for the Company to meet national demand for high-quality cannabis.

The amended sales license was issued for Zenabis’ 380,000 square foot facility in Atholville, New Brunswick, and is effective from April 13, 2018 through January 19, 2021. Zenabis received its cultivation license for Atholville in August 2017, and has since been growing top of the line, high-yielding, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis plants and preparing for its release of top quality cannabis strains.

“Obtaining our license to sell cannabis plants is a significant milestone for Zenabis and an incredible opportunity for innovation,” stated Kevin Coft, CEO of Zenabis, “We take pride in the quality and craftsmanship of our cannabis plants and with this amended license can now support the Canadian cannabis community.”

This amended license brings the Company one step closer to increasing its global presence as the prominent industry leader in cannabis innovation, production, and distribution of high-demand cannabis strains.

High Park Farms Receives Cannabis Cultivation License From Health Canada

CANADA:  High Park Farms announced that it has received a federal license from Health Canada to cultivate cannabis under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The High Park Farms facility, which is anticipated to represent an investment of up to $30 million, features 13 acres of greenhouse on 100 acres of property in Enniskillen, Ontario.

“This license is a major milestone for High Park as we work to prepare for the anticipated launch of the world’s largest federally legal cannabis market later this year,” said Adine Carter, Chief Marketing Officer of High Park.

High Park Farms will begin cultivating cannabis plants in its greenhouse next week and anticipates its first harvest in June. In accordance with the Cannabis Act introduced in Canadian parliament in April 2017, High Park Farms anticipates that its ACMPR cultivation license will provide the company the ability to supply the adult-use cannabis market in Canada once the legislation is adopted.

High Park launched earlier this month to produce and distribute a broad-based portfolio of cannabis brands and products for the Canadian market in anticipation of adult-use legalization. Based in Toronto and led by a team with deep experience in cannabis and global consumer brands, High Park has secured the exclusive rights to produce and distribute a broad-based portfolio of adult-use cannabis brands and products in Canada, subject to applicable laws and regulations. In addition, High Park has developed new brands and products for the Canadian market. Pending federal legalization of cannabis for adult-use and corresponding provincial legislation, High Park anticipates fulfilling adult-use supply agreements in QuebecManitoba, and Yukon. High Park plans to secure additional supply agreements with crown corporations and private entities in other provinces in the coming months.

Canadian Producer Aphria Comments On News Of Pesticide Use; Reaffirms Commitment To Quality And Safety

CANADA: Despite most Licensed Producers taking great care to provide safe and effective products, there are still reports surfacing regarding the presence of harmful pesticides in regulated medical cannabis. “We support the use of independent evaluations and testing of medical cannabis as a necessary measure to protect the safety of Canadians,” said Vic Neufeld, Chief Executive Officer of Aphria Inc.

Patients rely on a safe and high quality product to meet their medical needs and it is critically important that all products sold through the ACMPR adhere to the strict guidelines established by Health Canada to ensure that their needs are met.

“Aphria has always held itself to the highest standards when it comes to the production and cultivation of medical cannabis. This commitment stems from over 40 years of experience balancing the science, experience and economics of growing high quality and consistent products for commercial scale sales,” said Cole Cacciavillani, Co-Founder.

Aphria relies on a strict Quality Management Program that continuously tests for pesticides and monitors all suppliers to ensure that any products used exceed the minimum standards set to comply with Health Canada’s regulations.

OrganiGram Announces Voluntary Product Recall

CANADA: Licensed medical marijuana producer Organigram Holdings has announced it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of medical marijuana which were supplied between August and December 2016 due to the detection of amounts of an unapproved pesticide not registered for use on marijuana under the Pest Control Products Act.

Following discussions with Health Canada, this has been deemed a Type III recall, which is defined as “a situation in which the use of, or exposure to, dried marijuana, fresh marijuana or cannabis oil, marijuana plants or seeds is not likely to cause any adverse health consequences.” The source of the substance is unknown as Organigram is a certified organic grower and does not use compounds of this nature in its production processes. The Company is cooperating with Health Canada officials to determine how the substance came into contact with the marijuana.

Organigram’s client service department is directly notifying all clients affected by the recall. Any further action, if necessary, will be undertaken at the direction of Health Canada. Currently the number of lots affected is small, however, additional screening could result in additional lots being determined to be compromised. In the event that the number of contaminated lots significantly increases, the Company’s operating revenue could be negatively affected.

MMJ Patients Speak To Canadian Task Force on Marijuana Legalization And Regulation

CANADA: Patients who use cannabis for medical purposes had the opportunity today to directly address the federal government’s Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation about their issues and concerns as the Task Force develops recommendations for the government’s planned major changes to Canadian laws about cannabis.

The full afternoon session in Toronto, hosted by leading Canadian patient advocacy groups The Arthritis Society, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana and the Canadian AIDS Society and long-time medical cannabis patient advocate Hilary Black, was co-chaired by the Task Force Chair, The Hon. A. Anne McLellan.

The patients participating in the afternoon session represent a wide diversity of Canadians who currently use cannabis for medical purposes. A key concern for patients is that with the legalization of cannabis for personal use, the government must ensure that the new legal framework responds to and prioritizes patients’ needs.

Patient issues and experience

During the session, patients told the Task Force of their experiences and challenges in accessing a regulated and affordable supply of medical cannabis and evidence-based information about this therapy, focusing on four main topics: access to sources, affordability, variety of products, and research and information needs.

Patients emphasized the importance of having access to a supply of medical cannabis in all its forms and potencies that is regulated for safety, potency and quality under a new regime that provides for a variety of distribution options, such as self-production, mail order and through pharmacies and retail outlets.

Medical cannabis costs are a significant financial strain for many patients, especially if they are on a fixed income. Patients spoke about affordability issues due to lack of access to insurance coverage for medical cannabis and the burden of having to pay sales taxes, unlike prescription drugs. Some patients shared how this financial burden forces them to choose between their medical cannabis and basic life necessities, such as groceries. Patients called on the Task Force to ensure access to affordable medicine is provided as part of legalization.

Patients described the need for more research and evidence-based information for both doctors and patients. Many face barriers in finding a physician that is well informed about the use of cannabis for medical purposes and in a position to integrate it into their patients’ treatment options.

“I’d like to thank The Arthritis Society, the Canadian AIDS Society and Canadians For Fair Access to Medical Marijuana for organizing today’s productive roundtable so the Task Force could hear directly from patients about their concerns regarding cannabis legalization,” said Anne McLellan, Chair of the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation. “The voices of patients are important to the Task Force, and are among many important views that we are considering as we develop our recommendations on legalizing and regulating access to cannabis.”

Patient group perspectives

“We are grateful that the Task Force has taken the time to hear the direct voices of Canadian patients on these important issues,” said Janet Yale, President and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “Medical cannabis already helps many Canadians manage arthritis pain but we need to ensure that we have robust clinical evidence on medical efficacy and the appropriate form and dosage for treatment.”

“As we heard at the roundtable meeting, Canadians who use medical cannabis have valuable insights and experiences to guide the development of the new laws and regulations,” said Jonathan Zaid, Founder and Executive Director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana. “We are pleased the Task Force listened to the patients and hope that the insights they heard will play a strong role in guiding the development of their recommendations.”

“We believe that hearing directly from patients who use cannabis for medical purposes will give the Task Force a vital and very useful perspective as they complete their important work,” said Dr. Lynne Belle-Isle, National Programs Manager, Canadian AIDS Society. “In the discussions about legalization of cannabis for personal use, we must ensure that the needs of patients who benefit from the use of cannabis to ease their symptoms are considered and integrated into the new regulatory framework.”