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Agriculture

Food safety regulator cancels licences of 3 companies in massive meat recall

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has cancelled the licenses of three companies tied to a massive meat recall that ensnared nearly 900 beef and veal products, stopping the companies from slaughtering animals or preparing meat products “effective immediately.”

The agency cancelled the Safe Food for Canadian licenses of Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd, as well as two others operating under St. Ann’s Foods Inc.: Canadian Select Meats Inc. and The Beef Boutique Ltd., it said in a statement Monday. All the entities are based in Toronto.

The companies are no longer allowed to slaughter animals or prepare meat products, including for export and send to other provinces or territories.

“The decision was made after the agency identified during a food safety investigation that they had received false or misleading information from the licence holders concerning E. coli lab results,” said the CFIA.

A spokesman for Ryding-Regency did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the publicly listed number for St. Ann’s was not in service.

The CFIA launched its food safety investigation in September after it determined some products could be contaminated with E. coli.

The list of recalled beef and veal products grew to 892 consumer products by Nov. 6 and included goods sold at a number of grocers, as well as hotels, restaurants and other retailers.

There were no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products, according to the CFIA’s latest update on the recall on Nov. 6. E. coli symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Seizures or strokes can occur in severe cases, and people may require blood transfusions or kidney dialysis, or live with permanent kidney damage. Severe cases can be fatal.

While the CFIA conducted its investigation, it suspended the companies’ licenses. The agency informed each company on Oct. 22 that it intended to cancel their licenses and provided them an opportunity to be heard.

In each case, “after meeting with the licence holder regarding the cancellation, based on a review of the facts and submissions made, the CFIA determined that the licence holder failed to comply with Section 15 and cancelled their licence,” the CFIA said.

Section 15 of the Safe Food for Canadians Act prohibits making a false or misleading statement or providing false or misleading information to a person exercising duties under the law or in connection with it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2019.

Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Agriculture

Cannabis firm Aphria signs deal for $100M investment from institutional investor

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LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Aphria Inc. says it has signed a deal with an unidentified institutional investor who has agreed to invest $100 million in the cannabis company.

The investor will acquire roughly 14 million units of the company at a price of $7.12 per unit.

Each unit will include one Aphria share and one-half of a share purchase warrant.

Each whole warrant will entitle the investor to acquire one Aphria share at a price of $9.26 for a period of 24 months from the closing date of the offering.

Aphria says it plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to finance international expansion, working capital and general corporate purposes.

The announcement comes more than a week after the Leamington, Ont.-based cannabis company slashed its outlook due to delays in opening additional Ontario cannabis stores and a ban on vape products in Alberta.

Aphria said on Jan. 14 that it now expects net revenue for its 2020 financial year to be between $575 million and $625 million.

It had previously predicted that total would be between $650 million and $700 million.

Aphria chief financial officer Carl Merton said the company was being hampered by a delay in opening another wave of cannabis stores in Ontario. The province recently announced it would abandon a controversial lottery-based system that allowed 25 Canadians to open pot stores in Ontario last April, but people hoping to open new stores might not get the go-ahead until spring.

Aphria also said its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amoritization will now amount to between $35 million and $42 million, rather than between $88 million and $95 million.

Shares in the company behind brands including Solei, Broken Coast Cannabis, RIFF and Good Supply were down 31 cents or 4.09 per cent at $7.27 in midmorning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Cannabis stocks have rallied somewhat since a second wave of products known as Cannabis 2.0 has become available, including cannabis-infused chocolates, cookies, soft chews, mints, tea and vapes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:APHA)

The Canadian Press

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Agriculture

Cannabis price gap increases, as illegal cannabis prices fall: StatCan

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the gap between legal and illegal cannabis prices in Canada increased in the fourth quarter of last year.

The average price of legal cannabis increased to $10.30 per gram in the period between October and December 2019 from $9.69 per gram the year before.

The change came as the average price of illegal cannabis fell to $5.73 per gram in that fourth quarter from $6.44 per gram a year earlier.

Statistics Canada based these conclusions on price quotes gathered using its StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. Out of 291 price submissions, 248 of were deemed plausible, it said.

The overall average price of cannabis rose to $7.50 per gram in the period between October and December 2019, an increase from $7.46 per gram a year earlier.

The agency says Quebec has the lowest legal cannabis prices in Canada at $7.88 per gram and Ontario has the highest illegal cannabis price with an average of $6.21 per gram.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020.

 

 

The Canadian Press


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