Canada issues license to company to produce and sell cocaine

Archive – Vancouver Area Drug Users Network, the Drug Users Liberation Front and Moms Stop the Harm hand out methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to drug users to mark International Conscience Day. – Europa Press/Contacto/Darryl Dyck

The Government of Canada has issued a license Thursday for the company Adastra Labs to legally possess, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, all in an effort to improve safety conditions for addicts in the country.

The Canadian Ministry of Health has given the company, which specializes in cannabis processing, approval to become a distributor of drugs and controlled substances, allowing it to interact with up to 250 grams of cocaine and import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance, Adastra Labs itself said in a statement.

»Harm reduction is a central and critically important issue, and we remain at the forefront of drug regulations across the board,» said Adastra CEO Michael Forbes.

The opposition to Justin Trudeau’s government has, however, criticized the measure, asserting that cocaine »is not safe» and emphasizing that »it’s wrong,» according to the CBC network.

Cocaine is not prescribed, it is not safe and this is wrong (…) Marketing cocaine as a business opportunity is tantamount to legalizing cocaine trafficking, period,» said Kevin Falcon, a member of the B.C. Liberal Party.

In the Canadian state of British Columbia, a three-year exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) has been in place since January 2023 for adults 18 and older who possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA or some combination thereof.

More than 11,000 people have died from overdoses from illicit substances since British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016. Deaths skyrocketed when the opioid fentanyl became the dominant illicit drug.