Cocaine controversy: B.C. company Adastra sees stock price surge more than 75%

UPDATE: Adastra has since issued a retraction and clarification. 

The cannabis company at the centre of a cocaine controversy in British Columbia is seeing its stock price surge.

As of Friday morning, Adastra Holdings Ltd., parent company of Adastra Labs in Langley Township, has seen its stock rise in excess of 70 per cent on the Canadian Securities Exchange, and its stock is up more than 100 per cent over the last five days.

Adastra Holdings Ltd.'s stock has surged amid a controversy sparked by the announcement that its company in B.C. can produce cocaine

Adastra Holdings Ltd.’s stock has surged amid a controversy sparked by the announcement that its company in B.C. can produce cocaine. (Source: Google)

This comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier David Eby both shared their surprise regarding the company’s activities.

Last month, Adastra put out a news release in which it said that “Adastra Labs received approval from Health Canada on February 17, 2023, for its amendment to include cocaine as a substance that the Company can legally possess, produce, sell and distribute.”

“Harm reduction is a critically important and mainstream topic, and we are staying at the forefront of drug regulations across the board,” Adastra CEO Michael Forbes said in the statement dated Feb. 22. “We proactively pursued the amendment to our Dealer’s License to include cocaine back in December 2022. We will evaluate how the commercialization of this substance fits in with our business model at Adastra in an effort to position ourselves to support the demand for a safe supply of cocaine.”

Read more: Langley cannabis company’s approval to make cocaine ‘astonishes’ B.C. premier

But already there are questions about the nature of what Health Canada has actually approved it to do.

Reports are emerging indicating Adastra Labs’ Health Canada approvals are quite narrow and specific to scientific and medical purposes.

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