Under their noses

Published on July 10, 2019 by oz. staff

CannTrust CEO Peter Aceto is pictured in happier times, on his first day at CannTrust.

The CannTrust debacle has raised an astonishing question: Are the company’s executives so out of touch with their own operation that they wouldn’t notice 5,000 kilos of weed being illegally grown under their noses?

CannTrust founder and chairman Eric Paul told BNN he can’t explain how unlicensed cannabis was grown without the management’s knowledge.

People are calling for someone’s figurative head, particularly investors. In fact, a shareholder rights firm has launched an investigation into potential violations of federal securities laws.

However, Paul is staunch that holding management accountable is “not a fair or appropriate thing to do.” That includes CEO Peter Aceto.

So the official story seems to be that rogue employees grew thousands of kilograms of cannabis in unlicensed rooms behind CannTrust management’s back.

No matter how you look at it, it’s damning. Take this quote from Paul:

“I think Health Canada has to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘OK, did these guys do it out of desperation or just sheer stupidity,’” Paul told BNN. “We’ve always come out clean on every inspection and I’m hoping they’ll see that this is not intentional on our part, or at least not by the leadership of the company and we’ll move on.”

Health Canada is investigating and has ordered the company to place 5,200 kilograms of unlicensed cannabis on hold. CannTrust has voluntarily held another 7,500 kilograms of dried cannabis. All together, it’s estimated to be about $70 million in market value.

CannTrust could lose its licence over this.