CannTrust accused of selling legal cannabis from illicit seeds, lying about strain names
The problems continue for the giant Canadian cannabis company CannTrust Holdings. Earlier this year, the company was found using its facilities in some unlicensed ways (like growing or storing product in areas that weren’t yet approved for that use), and that violation not only tanked the company’s stock price, but made it extremely unpopular among the public. And now, here’s some more potential bad news for CannTrust: Bloomberg is reporting that it has access to company documents that say seeds purchased on the black market were being used to grow legal product. Not only did the company allegedly know that the seeds were from an illicit source, but CannTrust also allegedly changed strain names on the seeds to match strains the company was legally allowed to grow and sell.
CannTrust has denied the report. But Bloomberg also names Brady Green as the VP of cultivation at the company responsible for the grow, and since the story went live, CannTrust has removed Green’s profile from its website. If CannTrust did use illicit strains, it would make sense — supply has often been low for cannabis in Canada, and a company needing to deliver profits might turn to the black market. But there are processes in place for bringing illegal stains into the legal market, and CannTrust would have also bypassed those by lying about what strain they were actually selling.
Health Canada is the group that oversees enforcement of these regulations, and since the organization is already in touch with the company about the previously violation, they say that they’re already “reviewing all information” involved. If the allegations are true, this could be a deathblow for CannTrust — the company’s stock price has already dropped from $10 earlier this year to around $2, and this news hasn’t helped. Then again, CannTrust’s facilities and supply lines are probably very valuable commodities — the company might end up getting acquired (if whoever acquires them is willing to take on the legal issues, of course).
We’ll have to wait and see what information investigators come up with on this allegation. CannTrust has already been hurt badly by one scandal — it might not survive a second.