Through an Access to Information request, the National Post discovered the RCMP killed a media release following a massive 2014 bust of illicit cannabis destined for Ontario LPs, in part due to concern the news bust might reflect poorly on Canopy Growth (then called Tweed).

  • The 1,500 lbs of harvested and packaged bud (at the time the MMPR only allowed transfer of seeds or live plants) was found in 55 hockey bags and 40 boxes destined for Tweed and Mettrum (later acquired by Canopy and rebranded as Spectrum).
    Twitter–Douglas Quan
  • The RCMP did not publicise the seizure for more than a week even as Tweed preemptively made statements the RCMP considered “brutally misleading.”
  • Tweed had become the first LP to go public on the TSE the week of the bust, and documents show the RCMP considered how news of the bust might affect stock prices.
  • They also worried the news would make Health Canada look bad as it rolled out new MMPR regs that week.
    Twitter—Douglas Quan
  • RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Janelle Shoihet would not comment in detail, but told the Post, “Decisions with regards to communications will always consider impact on prosecution, timing and whether (or) not a company is publicly traded. These factors have been considered in the past and were not unique to this investigation. Impacts on partners, disclosure, potential or active prosecutions and privacy legislation must all be considered when determining what, if any, information can be made public.”
  • Retired RCMP superintendent Garry Clement disagreed, saying, ““When you see something like that, how can you say the RCMP is being objective? They’re playing in the hands of the company. Investors may have made a decision differently had they known the facts.”
  • A Canopy spokesman said it believed then and now that it acted in compliance with regulations.
  • Grower Travis Lane said, “So many people are in prison for a fraction of this amount. How can anyone have faith in the equity of the system when shit like this (and Bonify) happens? Worried about stock price? Fuck that corrupt bullshit.” Twitter

Quick Hits

  1. Hexo CEO Sébastien St-Louis said his company acquired Newstrike Brands primarily for its manufacturing space. The hope is to relieve some of the processing bottlenecks Hexo has previously reported.
    Bloomberg, Globe and Mail—Paywall
  2. Law firm Dentons published a review of the proposed Health Canada regs on edibles, extracts, and topicals. However, the regulations are not settled, and no one knows exactly what they’ll look like.
    CTV News
  3. Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes says legalization has not affected the liquor giant’s Canadian sales, and for that reason he’s in no hurry to enter the cannabis sector.