Deepak Anand highlighted the role of regulatory delay in the CannTrust scandal. The average turnaround for additional grow-room applications by companies that already have Health Canada licenses is at least 10 to 12 weeks, but respondants to Anand said they’d experienced delays of “About 58 days,” six to eight weeks on average, and “30 days just to get a confirmation of an inspection date and then 3-6 months to schedule the inspection.”
- Anand said, “This is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t fathom how no one is talking about this?! The pressure on licence holders is stupid given the constraints. It’s no surprise that so many are bending the law!”
- Anand also highlighted Health Canada’s inspection data, which had not been updated since March and did not show CannTrust’s non-compliant rating. While Health Canada’s inspection data for drug and medical-device license holders “are updated almost real time,” the same transparency doesn’t exist for cannabis license holders.
Bloomberg‘s Jon Erlichman wondered, “Did we get too greedy with these cannabis stocks? Are investors partly at fault for expecting so much from such a young industry?”
- Stonecastle Investments founder Bruce Campbell said, “This is probably one of those growing pains of going from being an illegal business to a legal business. When it was an illegal business, people could do whatever they wanted and the only thing they had to watch out for was the RCMP showing up at their door.”
- The scandal is a “wake-up call” for the sector, said Dentons partner Eric Foster, while York University governance and law professor Richard Leblanc said it marked the need for more independent board members concerned with compliance and regulatory risk.
- BC Independent Cannabis Association president Courtland Sandover-Sly said, “Assumptions we can make about CannTrust: 1) They’re not the only ones breaking the law. 2) Nobody will ever be arrested, or even detained, over the 12,000kgs. 3) CannTrust will get a slap on the wrist for this (while black-market growers would get mandatory minimum sentences).”
- Grower Ryan Lee said, “Canntrust was the nail in the coffin [of] Canadian cannabis investments. […] Some of the biggest scams have yet to be made public, this shit show is not over. […] These pubcos have proven no more trustworthy that [MMAR individual] growers diverting cannabis & spraying toxic chemicals.”
- Calling for Health Canada to make an example of CannTrust, Equity Guru argued, “Management either didn’t know, in which case Canntrust is guilty of a staggering level of executive incompetence, which should see their entire operation reviewed and audited and executives roundly and unapologetically fired, or they knew, figured they’d get away with it, and their entire operation should be reviewed and audited, and the executives fired, and their licenses revoked.”
- Cannalysts’ managing director Andrew “Mollytime” Udell said, “That a company – that’s one of the earliest and with TRUST in its fucking name no less – pulls some ghetto black-market-back-alley-bullshit….man. I’m spitting nails. […] There was no need to do it. Only greed. And here’s an example of how to fix it: Greg Engel came into the clusterfuck of OGI and bad press and cleaned the fucking house. […] That is exactly what this fucking industry needs. […] We need a new world. One that is serious and professional and purposeful. We need adults in the fucking room.”
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- The owner of the Niagara Falls’ “all-inclusive” Pink Elephant Inn plans to give guests cannabis as part of their rental, though the legality of doing so is questionable.
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