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Canadian Company Licenses to Sell Cocaine and Other Drugs

Sunshine Earth Labs, a Canadian biosciences company, has been licensed to produce and sell cocaine. The decision was made as part of the federal health agency's efforts to improve safety conditions for the country's drug addicts.

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Flag of Canada

Decriminalizing Hard Drugs in Canada

The licensing of cocaine production and sale follows a recent policy shift to address the opioid overdose crisis in Canada. The country has decriminalized small amounts of cocaine, heroin, and other hard drugs to remove the stigma associated with drug use and encourage people to seek help.

Licensing Arrangements for Safe Drug Supplies

Ottawa granted a criminal code exemption in January for a three-year pilot project in British Columbia. The aim is to provide safer supplies of drugs to addicts and reduce the risk of death from toxic drug poisoning associated with illicit street drugs.

Sunshine Earth Labs has received permission from Health Canada to "legally possess, produce, sell, and distribute coca leaf and cocaine," as well as morphine, MDMA (ecstasy), and heroin. Another company, Adastra Labs, was offered a similar licensing arrangement in February to produce and sell psilocybin and psilocin (hallucinogens commonly known as magic mushrooms).

British Columbia and Oregon: North America's Decriminalized Hard Drug Jurisdictions

British Columbia is only the second jurisdiction in North America to decriminalize hard drugs, following the US state of Oregon in November 2020. The Canadian province has seen over 10,000 overdose deaths since declaring a public health emergency in 2016, with six people dying daily from toxic drug poisoning.

Preparing for Safe Cocaine Commercialization

Adastra's CEO, Michael Forbes, stated that the company would evaluate the commercialization of cocaine to determine how it fits into their business model and to support the demand for a safe supply of the drug.