(LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian company that formerly claimed to have been given permission by Health Canada to sell cocaine has since retracted their statement.
Adastra Holdings Inc., a cannabis company in Langley, British Columbia, claimed back in February that they had been given a license amendment by Health Canada which allowed them to legally possess, produce, and sell cocaine. However, following clarification from Health Canada, the company has since retracted their statement, saying in a news release on March 3 that they misinterpreted what their license permits them to do.
“The Dealer’s License issued to Adastra Labs does not permit Adastra Labs to sell coca leaf, psilocybin or cocaine to the general public,” the company stated. “For cocaine, and under the Dealer’s License, Adastra Labs is only permitted to sell to other licensed dealers who have cocaine listed on their license.”
Formerly, Adastra said in a February 22 news release that they were “pleased to announce that Adastra Labs received approval from Health Canada on February 17, 2023, for its amendment to include cocaine as a substance that the Company can legally possess, produce, sell and distribute.”
The company incorrectly stated that this was allowed under their “Controlled Drug and Substances Dealer’s License,” which they had previously received on August 24, 2022. They claimed that an amendment to this license, given by Health Canada, “allows Adastra to interact with up to 250 grams of cocaine and to import coca leave to manufacture and synthesize the substance.”
Following their original statement, B.C.’s New Democratic Party (NDP) premier David Eby issued a statement of his own, informing the public Adstra was mistaken.
“The company has significantly misrepresented the nature of the licence,” Eby said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also denied that Adastra had been given permission to sell cocaine, saying on March 3 that the company had never been given “permission to sell it commercially or provide it on an open market.”
“I was as surprised as the premier of British Columbia was to see that a company was talking about selling cocaine on the open market or commercializing it,” Trudeau said.
“There are limited and very restricted permissions for certain pharmaceutical companies to use that substance for research purposes and for very specific narrowly prescribed medical purposes,” he added.
Health Canada has also clarified that this was a misconception on Adastra’s part regarding what the license amendment permitted, writing in a statement:
Health Canada has contacted the company to reiterate the very narrow parameters of their license,” they stated. “If the strict requirements are not being followed, Health Canada will not hesitate to take action, which may include revoking the license.
This discussion comes shortly after Trudeau’s federal government began allowing people within B.C. to possess up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs without criminal penalty.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, this three-year scheme, lasting from February 1 to January 26, 2026, is part of the government’s plan to deal with the ongoing and widespread drug crisis the province is currently facing.
The province’s current NDP government has been a staunch supporter of relaxing federal drug laws, claiming this will help addicts.
Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre, however, has spoken out against the government’s methods of ending the drug crisis, saying that its efforts have been an “absolute, abject failure.”
READ: Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre condemns liberal hard drugs policy making Vancouver ‘hell on earth’
“Decriminalization has been in place in BC since about 2017, in reality. The results are in, the debate is over. It has been a disaster, an absolute, abject failure,” Poilievre told reporters on February 1.
“You only need to take a walk down the streets of East Vancouver, where addicts lay face first on the pavement, where people are living permanently in tents and encampments.”