“Not Remotely Close to Following Regulations” – But Not Yet Deemed Illegal

Executives dismissed from beleaguered Winnipeg cannabis producer after product recallsWinnipeg-based Bonify “terminated” three top executives and “dimissed” an executive assistant after an investigation found that the company was selling “unauthorized” cannabis in Saskatchewan.

All the quotation marks here illustrate just how much of a grey area Bonify is in legally. Health Canada hired private contractor RavenQuest Technologies Inc. to investigate Bonify after two recalls of its product. Robinson found a number of irregularities including 200 kg of unlicensed cannabis that arrived at the facility and bullying staff against whistleblowing.

George Robinson, RavenQuest CEO, called the Bonify situation a case of “creative entrepreneurialism”.

“I don’t know what their motivation and driver is, but what they did was not at all remotely close to following the regulations,” said Robinson.

He also addressed the threatening attitude of the executives.

“That’s a real, sad position to put really, good quality people in, but sometimes they make the choice to protect their families, their livelihood and we don’t hold them accountable for those forced decisions,” he said. “In fact, we continue to support them.”

Robinson added that he felt the desperation move may have something to do with overpromising on product. The unlicensed cannabis contained trace amounts of yeast, mould, and bacteria – something that is less likely to happen with licensed cannabis.

It is not yet a criminal case because it would be up to regulators to inform the police of these irregularities, who would in turn determine what laws, if any, were broken. Charges in a case like this would be precedent-setting, Robinson said.

Meanwhile, a cannabis retailer in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan said that she was disappointed that she ultimately was the one who sold the unauthorized cannabis to customers. In all, 52 packages were sold in her store.

“The reason Health Canada is keeping a close watch on it is to keep the consumers safe, and that’s our goal in the store, too,” said Mandy Fisher, co-owner of the Spiritleaf. “[I’m] definitely not happy to hear that we got product that wasn’t supposed to be here.”

 

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