Ascent appeals cannabis license revocation, lays off third of staff

Vancouver-based Ascent Industries has appealed Health Canada’s determination to revoke the license of its subsidiary, Agrima Botanicals, after the company stated the marijuana firm carried out “unauthorized activities with cannabis.”

Ascent additionally laid off 30 Canadian staff – representing about 36% of its complete staff in Canada – “to protect its financial position for stakeholders,” the corporate stated this week in a information launch.

Health Canada confirmed by way of e mail that it acquired Ascent’s response on Dec. 17 to the discover of intent to revoke its manufacturing and supplier licences. The deadline to submit an attraction was Dec. 17.

The licenses – that are essential to develop, produce, retailer and promote medical cannabis in Canada – are at present suspended pending Health Canada’s ultimate choice.

“The content  will be taken into consideration as part of (Health Canada’s) final decision-making,” a Health Canada spokesperson stated.

In addition to the layoffs, Ascent board member Amy Margolis resigned “for personal reasons” and the corporate’s General Counsel Karim Lalani took her place.

This week’s strikes comply with an overhaul of the corporate’s executives in November, when CEO Philip Campbell, Chief Operating Officer Reid Parrand and President James Poelzer all departed the corporate.

The firm’s inventory has been pummeled since Health Canada notified Ascent of its intention to revoke Agrima’s licenses on Nov. 16.

The inventory, traded as ASNT on the cannabis-heavy Canadian Securities Exchange, is down over 60% in that point.

It is the primary time Health Canada is shifting to revoke the license of a cannabis agency, an indication that the federal government company is holding a better eye on corporations for potential violations.

“Health Canada will continue to undertake targeted and random inspections of all cannabis licence holders on a regular basis to help ensure that the Cannabis Act and its regulations are respected and that the integrity of the legal system of production of cannabis is maintained,” the spokesperson advised Marijuana Business Daily.

Agrima’s licenses have been suspended in September after Health Canada knowledgeable Agrima “it did not meet all of its recordkeeping and other compliance requirements,” in accordance with the corporate.

Agrima modified its story months later, stating: “Health Canada asserts that unauthorized activities with cannabis took place under the company’s ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) license.”

It’s not the primary time Health Canada has taken motion.

In 2014, Health Canada suspended the licenses of three licensed producers for noncompliance with the ACMPR.

The producers corrected their noncompliance and have been restored to “active” license standing.

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]

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