CannTrust Statement Regarding Health Canada Audit

11 Juillet, 2019, 16:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Cannabis stocks down

CannTrust Holdings Inc.'s Danish partner says it has quarantined a batch of products received from the licensed producer in connection with Health Canada's recent discovery of illegal growing operations at its Ontario greenhouse. The Company operates its Niagara Perpetual Harvest Facility in Pelham, Ontario, and prepares and packages its product portfolio at its manufacturing centre of excellence in Vaughan, Ontario.

It said Health Canada seized roughly 5,200 kilograms of cannabis from the unlicensed rooms and CannTrust voluntarily put an additional 7,500 kilograms on hold from its Vaughan, Ont. facility, but confirmed that some product had been sold.

US -listed CannTrust Holdings (NYSE: CTST) tumbled over 22 percent on Monday after the company admitted that Canadian regulators had seized its cannabis after discovering it was growing weed in unlicensed facilities.

The non-compliant rating is based on observations by the regulator regarding the growing of cannabis in five unlicensed rooms and inaccurate information provided to the regulator by CannTrust employees. "CannTrust shares may also trade at a wider discount to the peer group, given the outstanding questions about the company's internal quality controls and/or governance", he said in a note to clients. Due to the product on hold, some CannTrust customers and patients will experience temporary product shortages.

Harvest Moon Research wrote in a note that this seizure was reflecting of CannTrust's "overall disregard for Health Canada regulations and its licensing systems." . These products passed quality control testing at Health Canada certified labs and the company's own quality control processes, CannTrust said. The Company is exploring options to mitigate these shortages. Jefferies analyst Ryan Tomkins said the company had been disappointing in terms of its execution. Even if the executives of CannTrust get off scot-free from this affair, it will have a lasting impact on the company's share price as well as future sales.

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The company has also hired Andrea Kirk, for the newly created role of Vice President, Quality.

The initial reaction from investors was to sell off the shares, as the company's stock plunged nearly 23 per cent on the TSX on Monday, to $5 a share - their lowest level since 2017.

When asked if the product placed on hold would become a material loss for the company, a CannTrust representative declined to confirm and said further updates would be shared at a later time.

"Management's reputation is completely tarnished", he said in an interview, and that has spread to the rest of the sector, for fear there may be more similar cases out there.

"The decision to grow in the unlicensed rooms were an error in judgement and we take full accountability", a CannTrust representative told the Investing News Network (INN) in an email statement.

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