CannTrust Determined to be Non-Compliant Over Unlicensed Grow Rooms in Pelham Facility
At approximately 7:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, CannTrust customers received an e-mail from the medical licensed producer. According to the rather vague e-mail, the company advised its clients that their greenhouse in Pelham, Ontario had been deemed non-compliant by Health Canada, but did not go into further details.
Media outlets like Marijuana Business Daily, however, obtained more information from CannTrust and offer a more complete picture.
Despite CannTrust’s assurances that they follow the law, the discovery of previously unlicensed grow rooms indicated otherwise, prompting Health Canada to rate CannTrust as “non-compliant.”
To their credit, the rooms were eventually licensed before Health Canada’s inspection, but that does not change the fact that they opened the rooms prior to their licensing – a contravention of legal industry practices.
Medical users are not the only ones who could be affected. CannTrust also has a line of recreational brands – SynrG, Xscape and Liiv.
So far, there are no reports of toxins, pesticides or biological organisms being found in the unlicensed herb.
CannTrust’s e-mail to its medical clients was rather simple and fairly non-specific. They raise awareness about their run-in with Health Canada:
“We’re a company that is built on a philosophy of transparency, trust and excellence, so we want to share some important news with you. CannTrust recently received a compliance report from Health Canada notifying the Company that its greenhouse facility in Pelham, Ontario is not compliant with certain regulations.
The actual cause, however, is something Marijuana Business Daily has to reveal:
“CannTrust’s greenhouse facility in Pelham, Ontario, received a “noncompliant” rating by Health Canada for operating five unlicensed rooms.”
These rooms had been present for the last six months, but only received a license in April. During their tenure, they produced a notable amount of marijuana.
However, despite the fact that medical and recreational users could very well have been buying unlicensed cannabis, CannTrust’s e-mail tells the public that the product was ultimately safe:
“We want to assure you that all products sold to patients and customers have passed both testing at Health Canada certified labs and CannTrust’s quality control processes and safety reviews.”
Eventually, CannTrust pledged to work with Health Canada in ensuring future compliance. While this may help alleviate concerns, it does not make the company’s actions any better.
Magnitude of Impact
Five grow rooms may not seem too significant, but Marijuana Business Daily demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, upon their discovery, the five rooms led to 12,500 kg of product being held back. Health Canada also froze an additional 5,200 kg of dry herb processed in the rooms until they are satisfied that CannTrust is compliant. CannTrust, meanwhile put its own “voluntary hold” on 7,500 kg from its facility in Vaughn.
A total of 25,200 kg is no longer available for sale (if we factor in the voluntary 7,500 kg). How does this compare? According to Marijuana Business Daily:
“For context, the company harvested 9,400 kilograms in the whole last financial quarter.”
If we calculate the timeframe, the total loss amounts to about three months of product.
Naturally, CannTrust expects a shortage, stating in their e-mail:
“The Company is exploring options to mitigate product shortages and will keep you informed as soon as product becomes available. Ensuring product safety and availability is our priority.”
The fallout from this situation is catastrophic. As of this article’s publication on July 8th (the same day of the e-mail), there appears to be a robust product list with no changes. If anything, more strains were recently made available.
Whether this is an accurate reflection of their current inventory or whether the site is yet to update remains unclear.
WeedAdvisor’s Commitment to a Safe Cannabis Industry
The news of this situation is rather surprising, giving CannTrust’s history. In fact, the author of this article is a CannTrust client and has had nothing but positive experiences with the products and staff.
However, this does not change the fact that CannTrust’s instance of non-compliance was intentional. Non-compliance incidents might be brushed off when it is a simple case of human error, but unlicensed grow rooms do not accidentally appear. Hopefully, the company, and others like it, will learn to stay compliant for the sake of their reputations.
Clearly, Health Canada enforces compliance with a passion, which is why WeedAdvisor understands the need for businesses to follow the law. To that end, we offer several business solutions, allowing for real-time data-tracking, consistent reports to regulatory bodies, compliance monitoring and solutions for recovering following an incident.