Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Agriculture

CannTrust stock plummets as crisis deepens, wholesalers halt shipments

Published

Shares of CannTrust Holdings Inc. dropped to their lowest level since 2017 as a crisis stemming from a Health Canada investigation of illegal cultivation at one of its greenhouses continues to spook investors.

CannTrust shares closed down more than 17 per cent to $3.34 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, down sharply from its closing price of $6.46 one week ago before the company disclosed Health Canada’s findings involving its Ontario greenhouse.

The Canadian cannabis company said Monday it had been notified by Health Canada that the regulator had discovered unlicensed cultivation at its Ontario greenhouse between October 2018 and March 2019, before the five rooms received the appropriate licences in April 2019.

Former CannTrust employee Nick Lalonde said he was asked to put up fake walls and obscure unlicensed plants in photos that were submitted to Health Canada.

The allegations, first reported by the Globe and Mail, were repeated to The Canadian Press by Lalonde on Thursday.

“We were hanging them up to cover up all these plants, thousands of plants… and then we would be taking these photographs,” said Lalonde, who previously worked in CannTrust’s Niagara-area greenhouse.

He added that a supervisor indicated that the photos were destined for Health Canada and the walls concealed the cultivation in unlicensed rooms.

“This is a government entity… I’m not okay with this,” Lalonde said he replied at the time, adding that he had notified regulators of his concerns once he left the company in May.

CannTrust chief executive Peter Aceto has said “mistakes” were made and it is conducting a thorough review with the help of external advisers to determine what transpired.

On Thursday, it announced that an independent special committee of CannTrust’s board of directors has been established to “investigate this matter in its entirety.”

CannTrust did not respond to repeated inquiries from The Canadian Press on Friday.

CannTrust also announced on Thursday that it had implemented a voluntary hold on the sale and shipment of all cannabis products “as a precaution” while Health Canada visits and reviews its Vaughan, Ont.-based manufacturing facility.

“CannTrust is working closely with the regulator through the review process and expects to provide further detail of the duration of the hold and other developments as they become available,” the company said in a statement.

The company placed a hold on medical sales through its customer service line and online as of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

CannTrust said Health Canada put 5,200 kilograms of cannabis on hold and CannTrust voluntarily put another 7,200 kilograms of product on hold, but would continue with cultivation and sales.

There are 12 product names and 26 lots affected by Health Canada’s investigation, including pot strains Easy Cheesy and Flix n Chill, according to an email sent by the Ontario Cannabis Store to retailers.

“We have voluntarily decided to place a hold on the sales of the impacted products until further notice,” the OCS said in the email obtained by The Canadian Press. “That means we will not fulfil any orders you may have made for these products on this week’s order submission. Of note, we have also decided to withhold direct product sales through our online channel.”

Other affected products listed were Bali Kush, Buddha Haze, Diesel, Fantasy Island, Kinky Kush, Pink Grapefruit Haze, Tailgate, TGIF, Tropical Breeze and Yin & Yang.

The shipping dates for these lots ranged from Feb. 21 and July 4, according to the email.

CannTrust’s Danish partner said on Thursday it had upped the amount of CannTrust’s products it has put in quarantine, pending Health Canada’s investigation.

Stenocare said in a statement that it had received updated information from CannTrust that showed five batches of the Danish company’s inventory originated in the five unlicensed rooms and these products have been quarantined for potential destruction. Earlier this week, Stenocare said only one “very small” batch of products had been affected.

On Friday, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation told The Canadian Press that it had placed all CannTrust product in its distribution centre on hold.  

Authorities in Alberta had also removed from sale and distribution or put on hold certain affected products from CannTrust.

 

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRST)

Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press


Agriculture

Alberta removing tax exemption for commercial cannabis producers

Published

on

EDMONTON — Municipalities in Alberta are to get a new source of revenue next year when commercial cannabis producers start paying property taxes.

Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu says cannabis growers will no longer be classified as agricultural businesses and so won’t qualify for a tax exemption.

The change is to come into effect in the 2020 tax year.

Madu made the announcement at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta fall convention in Edmonton.

Municipal assessors will be responsible for market-value assessments and the government isn’t saying how much additional revenue is expected.

The tax change does not apply to greenhouse operations or industrial hemp cultivation.

Madu said Alberta’s current tax regulations don’t adequately address cannabis production, which doesn’t really fall under the traditional definition of agriculture.

“Cannabis production facilities are large industrial operations and like any other local businesses, they need to pay for municipal services that they use,” Madu told the convention. “Beginning next year, you will be able to collect taxes on these properties.”

Rural municipalities president Al Kemmere said the group welcomes the announcement.

“We’ve been asking the government to put cannabis-production facilities on equal footing with other industrial businesses since legalization. I’m glad the government listened to our concerns and acted swiftly.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Ag Business

Producers have more than weather on their minds, FCC survey shows

Published

on

From Farm Credit Canada

Producers have more than weather on their minds, FCC survey shows

 

Regina, Saskatchewan, November 12, 2019 – Canadian producers are thinking well beyond weather conditions, commodity prices and yields when it comes to weighing their risks, according to a recent Farm Credit Canada (FCC) survey.

While production-related risks – such as weather, pests and disease – are still very much top of mind in every sector of Canadian agriculture, producers are also keenly aware of risks related to marketing, financial and human resources (matters involving employees, partners and family).

“Modern farming involves so much more than making decisions around production,” said Craig Klemmer, FCC’s principal agricultural economist. “It means keeping tabs on markets; ensuring your business can withstand sudden changes in commodity prices or economic conditions; and managing human resources while maintaining a safe work environment.”

The survey, conducted from July 11-15, showed a majority of farm operators reported a high level of concern for marketing (67 per cent of respondents), production (60 per cent) and financial (53 per cent) risks. Human resources and legal risks were less of a concern at 31 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively.

Looking at risk through the lens of individual sectors, marketing risks were most prominent among beef and grains/oilseed sector producers at 74 per cent, followed by the fruit/vegetable/greenhouse sector at 58 per cent and the supply managed sectors of dairy and poultry at 55 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively. Price and market access were among the top concerns.

Financial risk ranked highest among dairy, hog, cattle and other livestock producers, in the mid-50-per-cent range, and was slightly lower for the grains/oilseed and fruit/vegetable/greenhouse sectors. Financial risk was significantly less of a concern for poultry producers at 36 per cent.

Ensuring there is sufficient working capital was the most prominent financial concern across all sectors, followed by unfavourable changes in interest rates and meeting debt payment obligations. Almost 65 per cent of the respondents identified insufficient working capital as a risk to their operation. Out of this group, about 45 per cent indicated relying on off-farm income to mitigate this financial risk.

Transitioning farm operations to the next generation was identified as a concern for 44 per cent of respondents, with about half of those respondents indicating they have a succession plan. Transition concerns were the most prominent among grains/oilseeds and dairy producers, while workplace safety was a common concern among all sectors.

The survey also explored a variety of production-related risks. Concerns about the weather were most prominent in grains/oilseeds and beef sectors, while concerns related to pests and disease were mostly on the minds of poultry producers.

“The good news is most producers are in a solid financial position to withstand short-term impacts on their business,” Klemmer said. “We encourage producers to have a risk management plan that pulls together mitigation strategies, as well as identifies key risks and available solutions to manage these risks before they emerge.”

The survey involved 1,363 producers considered key decision makers for their operations. Based on the sample size, the survey has a margin of error plus/minus 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

By sharing agriculture survey results, FCC provides solid insights and expertise to help those in the business of agriculture achieve their goals. For more information and insights on Canadian agriculture, visit the FCC Ag Economics blog post at fcc.ca/AgEconomics. To learn more about the FCC Vision Panel, visit www.fccvision.ca.

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $36 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and its role in feeding an ever-growing world. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industry. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, our profits are reinvested back into the agriculture and food industry we serve and the communities where our customers and employees live and work while providing an appropriate return to our shareholder. Visit fcc.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @FCCagriculture.

 

Continue Reading

november, 2019

No Events

Trending

X