CannTrust’s history of past Health Canada regulatory infractions comes to light amid ongoing investigation into illegally grown pot 

Health Canada’s seizure of CannTrust’s illegally grown cannabis is apparently not the only infraction the company has faced from regulators. BNN Bloomberg’s David George-Cosh reports that from April 2015 to March 2018, CannTrust was cited with 15 major or critical observations made by Health Canada during site inspections at CannTrust locations – including one in February 2016 where the federal regulator seized hundreds of kilograms of cannabis from the company. That seizure of more than 377 kilograms of pot took place following a targeted review by federal inspectors who found the company stored four times more cannabis in a security vault than it was licensed to hold. Some of the other infractions the company was found to be in violation of between 2015 and 2018 include security issues with storage vaults and mould in grow rooms.

CannTrust’s Danish partner extends suspension of medical cannabis products

CannTrust is also facing additional problems stemming from its medical cannabis exports to its Danish partner Stenocare after more products were linked to illegal cultivation at the Canadian cannabis company's greenhouse. Stenocare said Thursday that it has now received documentation that shows that five batches of the Danish company's inventory originated in CannTrust’s growing rooms that did not have government approval. The products will now be placed in quarantine and isolated and blocked from being sold until the Canadian health authorities, Health Canada and the Danish Medicines Agency have concluded their investigation into the matter, the company said. CannTrust announced a joint venture with Stenocare that saw it receive a 25 per cent equity stake in the Danish company in March 2018.

Outgoing Ontario Teachers’ CEO says fund manager mindful of investing in still-evolving cannabis space

When it comes to investing in the cannabis industry, the outgoing president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan says the $191.1-billion fund manager is taking time to assess for potential opportunities. Ron Mock told BNN Bloomberg the OTPP – which manages the pension portfolio for the province’s 185,000 teachers, principals, and school administrators and some 142,000 retirees – has to be “mindful” before investing into a still-evolving industry. Mock added that while Teachers’ may have “a little bit of it in our portfolio” from time to time, the fund is proceeding slowly on investing in the marijuana sector and views the medical space as the sector’s strongest opportunity.

Hundreds of Canadian cannabis researchers stuck in licence limbo

Cannabis researchers are calling out Health Canada for unnecessary red tape stalling their studies, CTV’s Penny Daflos reports. Under the Narcotic Control Regulations and Cannabis Act, Health Canada requires licences to carry out cannabis research, but hundreds of academics’ studies are stuck in limbo. Only 65 research licences have been approved since recreational cannabis was legalized in October while a further 250 are still in progress. Health Canada acknowledges “there have been some challenges in processing times for new research applications.” One Simon Fraser University researcher, who is hoping to study cannabis’ effect on driving ability, says many of his colleagues “don’t even try because it’s so difficult.”

Cronos buys Winnipeg-area facility to produce genetically engineered cannabis

Cronos Group is buying an 84,000 square-foot fermentation and manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, the company says in a release. The Toronto-based cannabis producer says the facility will be used to produce genetically engineered cannabis at a commercial scale.  Cronos is buying the facility from a division of Apotex and will operate it as “Cronos Fermentation” when the deal closes later this year. It includes lab space as well as two large scale microbial fermentation production areas with over 100,000 litres of capacity. Last year, Cronos announced a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks to identify, extract and produce rare cannabinoids that can be used for genetic engineering.


"I see people on board of directors that I wouldn’t dream of buying a used car from, let alone putting on a public board.”
-- Brian Madden, senior vice-president and portfolio manager at Goodreid Investment Counsel, on why he’s shying away from investing in the cannabis space.


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