After trading hours on Thursday , CannTrust Holdings announced that it has fired CEO Peter Aceto “with cause” and forced Chairman Eric Paul to resign in the wake of an expanding scandal surrounding growing cannabis in unlicensed rooms.
“The investigation into the company’s non-compliance with Health Canada regulations and ancillary matters uncovered new information that has resulted in a determination by the board to terminate with cause CannTrust CEO Peter Aceto,” the company’s statement reads.
The move to relieve Aceto and Paul of their roles came after an investigation by the Globe and Mail found that the pair, along with other high-level executives, were aware that cannabis plants were being grown in rooms that had yet to be licensed by Health Canada.
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It was also revealed that employees were told to hang false walls to hide the rooms during routine Health Canada inspections. The Financial Post reported on Wednesday (July 24) that former employees alleged promotional videos featuring Aceto were filmed in front of one of the unlicensed rooms.
CannTrust’s share price has dropped almost 50 percent since July 8, when the company announced that Health Canada had given its Pelham, Ontario facility a non-compliant rating for growing cannabis in the unlicensed rooms from October 2018 to March of this year. CannTrust shares were at C$5 on July 8 and closed at C$2.58 on Thursday; they rose slightly on Friday (July 26), opening at C$2.90.
As a result of the non-compliant rating, thousands of kilograms of CannTrust’s cannabis were put on hold by both Health Canada and the company.
Robert Marcovitch, who was appointed by CannTrust’s board to lead an investigation into the non-compliance issues, will replace Aceto as interim CEO. He has said that the committee will complete the investigation and bring CannTrust into full regulatory compliance.
The company also said it will “fully cooperate with the regulator in an open and transparent manner to resolve these matters fully and expeditiously.” The statement explains that there will be additional operational changes made in the coming days and weeks.
It isn’t yet known what consequences CannTrust may face from the regulatory body, but there is a chance of recall letters, destruction of product and license suspension, former Health Canada inspector Sherry Boordam said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.
Earlier this month, Health Canada revoked the cannabis license of BC-based cannabis producer Agrima Botanicals after finding the company had engaged in “unauthorized activities” with cannabis. It was the first time the government agency had revoked a cannabis license since it began issuing licenses to companies to produce medical cannabis in 2013.
A CannTrust spokesperson told the Investing News Network that there will be “additional announcements” from the company in the coming weeks.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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在周四的交易时段后，佳能信托控股( CannTrust Holdings )宣布，该公司“有理由”解雇了首席执行官彼得•亚齐托( Peter Aceto )，并迫使董事长埃里克•保罗( Eric Paul )辞职，原因是围绕无牌照房间大麻种植的丑闻不断扩大。
“针对该公司不遵守加拿大卫生部法规和附属事项的调查发现了新的信息，导致董事会决定终止导致 CannTrust 首席执行官 Peter Acto 的信息，”该公司的声明写道。
在此之前，环球邮报( Globe and Mail )进行了一项调查，发现这对夫妇和其他高层管理人员都意识到大麻工厂是在尚未获得加拿大卫生部( Health Canada )许可的房间里种植的。
还透露，在加拿大卫生部例行检查期间，员工被要求挂上假墙壁以隐藏房间。英国《金融时报》周三（7月24日）报道称，前雇员称，在一间无证客房前拍摄了以 Acto 为主题的促销视频。
CannTrust 的股价自7月8日以来已经下跌了近50%，当时该公司宣布，从2018年10月至今年3月，加拿大卫生部( Health Canada )对其安大略 Pelham 设施在无证客房种植大麻的评级为不合规。佳能信托的股价在7月8日为5加元，周四收于2.58加元，周五（7月26日）小幅上涨，开盘报2.90加元。
由于评级不达标，加拿大卫生部和该公司都暂停了数千公斤 CannTrust 大麻的生产。
CannTrust 董事会任命罗伯特•马尔科维奇( Robert Marcovich )领导对违规问题的调查，他将接替宏碁担任临时首席执行官。他表示，该委员会将完成调查，并使佳能信托完全遵守监管规定。
加拿大卫生部前检查员 SherryBoordam 在接受 BNN Bloomberg 采访时表示，目前还不清楚 CannTrust 可能面临的监管机构后果，但有可能召回信件、销毁产品和暂停许可证。
本月早些时候，加拿大卫生部( Health Canada )撤销了总部位于 BC 的大麻生产商 Agrima Botanics 的大麻许可证，此前该公司发现该公司与大麻进行了“未经授权的活动”。这是自2013年开始向生产医用大麻的公司发放许可证以来，该政府机构首次吊销大麻许可证。
证券披露：我， DanielleEdwards ，没有在本文提到的任何公司直接投资权益。