B.C. pot grower Ascent files for creditor protection after licences suspended

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Cannabis producer Ascent Industries Corp. says an order granting the company creditor protection has been issued by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The B.C.-based company says it filed for CCAA to address near-term liquidity issues which were in "large part" caused by Health Canada's suspension of its licences under its subsidiary Agrima Botanicals Corp.

Ascent has said that Health Canada asserts that "unauthorized activities" with cannabis took place during a period of time that it was privately held, and has suspended its producer and dealer's licence under the former Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations regime.

It was the first Canadian pot producer to have its licences suspended. It also holds licences in Oregon and Nevada. 

Last month, Ascent said that Health Canada indicated that the company did not demonstrate that the suspension was not warranted and the government health agency still intends to revoke their licences, but it had until Feb. 20 to make additional submissions.

Agrima is still listed as suspended on Health Canada's website of licensed producers.

Last September, its CEO Philip Campbell, COO Reid Parr and head of business development James Poelzer stepped down temporarily amid the Health Canada review. 

Ascent said today that the suspension was hurting its ability to complete its strategic review to address short-term liquidity issues.

The company added that while under CCAA protection, Ascent will continue with its day-to-day operations and the proceedings do not include or impact the operations and activities of its other subsidiaries, including in Oregon, Nevada and Denmark.

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