CannTrust: the man behind the meltdown

It appears clear that CannTrust’s by now widely reported non-compliance violations with Health Canada are the result of a whistle-blowing former employee.

While Health Canada wouldn’t confirm this, a surprise inspection by federal regulators on June 17 uncovered 5,200 kilograms of unlicensed cannabis at CannTrust’s Fenwick facility.

Two days earlier, on June 15, Fenwick resident Nick Lalonde, who worked at the Balfour Street site for almost two years, had emailed the Voice and several Health Canada employees with various allegations of infractions— including cannabis being grown in unlicensed areas.

“It wasn’t licensed,” Lalonde told the Voice. “How did I know that? Because one day my manager came up to me at 7:30 at night and said, ‘Nick, we’re going to be hanging poly wall, we’re going to hang all the poly walls up to hide the plants … we just need to take some pictures.’”

Lalonde, 28, who said he quit his job at CannTrust in May, explained that Health Canada often simply relies on photographs supplied by cannabis growers to ensure that they are playing by the rules.

“I kind of figured that was strange, and that was the kind of beginning of the end for me,” Lalonde added. “I’m not into criminal stuff. We were literally hanging up poly walls to hide thousands of plants from Health Canada so we could snap a picture and then send that to them.”


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