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Health Canada is continuing its review into how 200 kilograms of unlicensed cannabis found its way into Bonify’s vaults, and the RCMP say they’re “assessing” the situation.

Meanwhile, some in the cannabis industry believe if the government is serious about stamping out illicit, unauthorized or illegal marijuana, it has to be tracked from seed to consumer — and they’re working on technology to do that.

In December, Bonify — a Winnipeg-based cannabis producer — said three of its executives had been dismissed, and it had hired RavenQuest BioMed to take over operations on a temporary basis.

That announcement followed two Health Canada recalls of Bonify products in December. The province of Manitoba also suspended the sale and distribution of all Bonify products last month.

Bonify voluntarily chose to suspend all retail sales in Saskatchewan and is no longer selling medicinal cannabis, as the company tries to restore regulators’ confidence, said RavenQuest CEO George Robinson in December.

A number of front-line staff tried to speak out about 200 kilograms of unlicensed cannabis that arrived at Bonify’s Winnipeg production facility, he said, but were pressured to look the other way.

He also confirmed at that point that the recalled product was unauthorized, containing traces of bacteria, yeast, mould and the unconfirmed presence of E. coli. He did not, however, call the products “illegal” or “illicit.”

An April 2017 file photo from Bonify’s growing facility. It is under strict security, but 200 kilograms of ‘unauthorized’ cannabis managed to slip through. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

But so far no one can, or will, say how the 200 kilograms of pot got into the facility or where it was originally grown — despite an extensive video surveillance system in place at Bonify’s production facility and what Health Canada asserts is “stringent requirements around physical and personnel security, record keeping, inventory controls and reporting” in its own tracking system.

A spokesperson for RavenQuest said this week that because the investigation is still ongoing, the company “is unable to provide any additional comments at this time.”

Meanwhile, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister referred to “illegal” Bonify product in December, and his government expects the federal government and Health Canada to “assure the quality and safety of legal cannabis products” sold to customers.

Law enforcement has remained mostly quiet about their role in Bonify’s unaccounted-for cannabis. Health Canada will only say “local law enforcement is aware of this situation.”…

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