The first year of legalization saw its share of scandals. But while CannTrust stole the spotlight in the summer of 2019, Winnipeg-based licensed producer Bonify was arguably worse.
As we covered in our article from early 2019, Bonify’s most egregious offence was when it sourced and sold illegal cannabis into the open market. This was during a volatile time, where pressure to provide inventory was massive as a huge shortage bottlenecked the nascent cannabis industry.
However, BNN Bloomberg now reports that Bonify, despite the seriousness of their violations, had its licensed reinstated after a massive overhaul.
“A Landmark Moment”
When it comes to dealing with punitive measures from the government, there was no precedent for whether or not working to improve would even yield results. But Bonify proved that, while Health Canada does not hold back when it comes to non-compliance, it is possible to bounce back.
When Bonify’s licensed was suspended, they brought in RavenQuest Biomed to get them back in the right direction. Now, RavenQuest CEO George Robinson says:
“Having guided Bonify through corrective action vis-a-vis operational procedures, proper record-keeping, training, and all other standard operational procedures within the Bonify facility, we now have the roadmap to licence reinstatement for non-compliant operators. This is a landmark moment in an industry that has faced several high-profile compliance challenges.”
Essentially, Bonify went from a complete regulatory disaster to total redemption – although it took about eight months to accomplish. More importantly, it provides a living guide for companies like CannTrust, who are still fighting to once again become compliant.
BNN Bloomberg explains:
“Bonify’s ability to sell cannabis legally again also offers a clear pathway for other suspended producers to return to compliance with Health Canada if they can demonstrate that they can abide by the regulator’s various measures aimed at ensuring public safety and compliance with the law.”
A Learning Experience
The Bonify debacle has taught us some very valuable lessons. First of all, Health Canada is not to be trifled with. It is likely that offending licensed producers underestimated the government’s resolve to enforce compliance.
But we are in a time where image is critical. Any health issues from contaminated or substandard cannabis can drastically affect consumer confidence – something we desperately need in order to fight the black market. Consequently, regulators will scrutinize LPs very closely.
Second, it is clear that actions have consequences. Bonify’s offences were severe and the punishment more than fit the crime.
However, the third major lesson here is that there is always the opportunity to be better, whether it is due to Health Canada’s orders or voluntary, proactive measures to improve best practices.
In the words of George Robinson:
“The lessons from Bonify are clear: Follow the rules, train your staff and run a clean, well-designed facility capable of producing high-quality cannabis without cutting corners.”
WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions
WeedAdvisor understands the severity of non-compliance and its effects on both the industry and consumers. It is also important to understand that it is possible to unintentionally fall short of Health Canada’s highly intense standards.
Keeping track of every critical area is no easy task. But thanks to our business solutions, we make compliance automatic, easy and inexpensive.
Inventory tracking, real-time data gathering, reports, safety and quality compliance are just a few areas that our solutions effectively cover. In turn, this brings valuable protection against fines or suspensions, while ensuring continued public confidence.