Government Suspends Bonify’s License Following Investigation
Embattled licensed producer, Bonify, finally lost its license after a scandalous incident that resulted in the termination of three executives (for more details, see our December article).
The investigation was triggered following multiple recalls of strains that did not pass regulatory standards for microbes, mould and other contaminants. Health Canada also discovered issues with mislabeling products and error in record-keeping.
But what appeared to be a failure in quality control is now something much more sinister, according to CBC News.
Illegal Cannabis Distribution
After the massive cannabis recall triggered an investigation into Bonify’s activities, Health Canada discovered the worst conceivable offence a licensed producer could commit.
Spokesperson Eric Morrissette of Health Canada said in a statement:
“The department found that Bonify Medical Cannabis was possessing, distributing and selling product that was purchased from an illegal source, and selling product that did not comply with the good production practices as required under the Cannabis Act and cannabis regulations”.
The idea that a licensed producer would show such disregard for its consumers is appalling enough. But it is clear that they had no scruples about it. According to CBC News, Bonify used threats to make staff members ignore what was going on. Consequently, the company was able to push 200 kilograms of illegal product into the market.
Sadly (but understandably), not one whistleblower stepped forward. Had it not have been for Canada’s regulatory framework in this case, the product might have slipped through without any issues.
A Cautionary Tale
This incident should serve as a reminder that cheating the system is not as easy as it seems. As Health Canada warns:
“Health Canada will continue to undertake unannounced inspections of cannabis licence holders to help ensure that they are in compliance with the law and regulations”.
One thing we have to consider here, however, is why? Why would Bonify do such a thing and put so much at risk? Our only guess here is pressure. The cannabis shortage drew a lot of pushback from frustrated retailers. It is possible that Bonify, in an attempt to meet demand, resorted to illegal means. After all, the black market has plenty of supply.
When it comes to Canada’s strict regulations, we will not deny that we have been immensely critical. These safeguards are partially responsible for both the price of marijuana and the bottleneck slowing down production and distribution.
That being said, we admit that it is not all bad. In this case, those regulations were what caught Bonify red-handed. Hopefully, this will only be an isolated incident.
Author Alex S.
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