Someone at Adastra Labs in Langley, B.C., must have been sampling the wares when they announced last Thursday that they would produce, sell, and distribute cocaine.
The story created a buzz at the Daily Hive (dailyhive.com) where I saw it first.
I was incredulous. My first reaction was that it must be a joke.
But it was no joke. The news was carried by reliable Canadian sites and even in France and the UK.
B.C. Premier Eby said he was “astonished” when he heard the news. He had not been consulted by Health Canada who approved Adastra.
“I find it more than a little bit frustrating that Health Canada is not apparently in line with us in terms of the direction we’re going,” said Eby. “We need to work together on the toxic drug crisis and our response to it.”
Prime Minister Trudeau he was “as surprised as” Eby, He said that the federal government was “working very quickly” with Adastra Labs “to correct the misunderstanding” caused by the company’s statement on commercialization.
My second reaction was that it was a ballsy plan to snub the law just as shops had done by openly selling pot before it was legalized.
B.C. has decriminalized possession the possession of 2.5 grams of drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and morphine. Shops like Adastra were going to dare the cops to arrest them and challenge the stupid decriminalization law, I thought.
The problem with decriminalization is that while possession may be legal, the sale of drugs is not. What sense does it make to possess something you can’t legally buy? Adastra Labs must have been flouting the law to make that absurdity obvious.
Then Adastra Labs revised its original statement. They won’t sell to just anyone.
It turns out that their amended Controlled Drug and Substances Dealer’s Licence does not permit the firm to sell cocaine and other drugs to the general public. Under the Dealer’s Licence, Adastra Labs is only permitted to sell to other licensed dealers who have drugs listed on their licence including pharmacists, practitioners, hospitals for research purposes under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Confusion aside, the amended licences to Adastra Labs represents progress. Victoria’s Sunshine Earth Labs also has an amended licence to produce, sell and distribute MDMA cocaine, opium and morphine to other licensed dealers.
Sunshine Earth issued a revised statement, saying the company is licensed to conduct activities with these controlled substances “under tight limitations imposed by Health Canada.”
This means that doctors now have access to drugs, including MDMA and psilocybin for psychotherapy on behalf of patients who have serious, treatment-resistant, or life-threatening conditions.
A psychedelics company has received federal approval to use MDMA (ecstasy) to treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Numinus, a Vancouver-based health company specializing in psychedelic research, will treat 20 people suffering from PTSD using MDMA-assisted therapy.
The panic that hippies were blowing their minds on mind-warping drugs is subsiding.
Now MDMA and psilocybin are joining other mood-enhancing chemicals that have been legal for years; drugs like Effexor (Venlafaxine), available since 2008, used to treat depression, anxiety and panic attacks.