Adastra Holdings receives permission to sell cocaine and psilocybin for medical purposes only

1.6 min readPublished On: March 5th, 2023By

LOS ANGELES– Adastra Holdings, based in British Columbia, has announced that it has been granted permission by the Canadian federal government to sell both cocaine and psilocybin. However, Health Canada, the federal agency governing the nation’s cannabis industry, clarified that sales would only be permitted to pharmacies, hospitals, and researchers. The license allows the company to sell up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin and “interact” with just 250 grams of cocaine. The company can import coca leaves with which to “manufacture and synthesize” cocaine. Adastra Holdings aims to be a “licensed cultivator, tester, extractor, and seller of controlled substances, including psilocybin and psilocin, under its Controlled Substances Dealer’s License.”

However, Health Canada made it clear that the permission granted to Adastra is only “to sell for scientific and medical purposes,” meaning that the substances cannot be sold to the general public. Adastra already has a cannabis footprint in the concentrates market, with its brand of Phyto Extractions available in hundreds of stores across Canada, but cocaine and psilocybin won’t be commercially available. Health Canada warned that if the strict requirements are not followed, the agency would not hesitate to take action, which could include revoking the license.

Adastra CEO Michael Forbes stated that the company would evaluate how the commercialization of cocaine fits into its business model and aims to position itself to support the demand for a safe supply of cocaine. Meanwhile, British Columbia Premier David Eby expressed astonishment at the news and stated that he would be contacting Health Canada about the matter. He added that the federal government granted Adastra the permission without consulting the provincial government first. Adastra isn’t the only company looking to dip its toes into the psychedelics realm. Nasdaq-traded Lucy Scientific Discovery filed a similar request with the Canadian government last month to manufacture both cocaine and heroin, on top of its existing permits to make and sell psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and mescaline.

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