“That’s Oliver Crangle, a dealer in petulance and poison. He’s rather arbitrarily chosen four o’clock as his personal Götterdämmerung, and we are about to watch the metamorphosis of a twisted fanatic, poisoned by the gangrene of prejudice, to the status of an avenging angel, upright and omniscient, dedicated and fearsome. Whatever your clocks say, it’s four o’clock, and wherever you are it happens to be the Twilight Zone.”
The ongoing Gotterdamerung at Organigram (OGI.V) is really kicking in now, as a class action lawsuit has been filed, leading the former CEO of the company, who Just. Won’t. Go. Away. to put out a news release statement vowing to fight back.
In Denis Arsenault’s mind, that’s the thing to do – to shove back and claim hardship and obfuscate the obvious issue here, which is that, under his stewardship, the organic-certified medical marijuana grower somehow (he still doesn’t know how) used enough banned pesticide on their product to not only trigger a big positive test on their product going back nearly a year, but also MADE PEOPLE SICK WITH ALLEGED CYANIDE POISONING.
OGI stock is down 16.6%, leading a plunge in weed stocks across the board as the situation puts the whole industry in the spotlight.
Also worth remembering: It was Aurora that discovered the pesticide in Organigram’s product, not Organigram.
Let’s hear it from Denis.
Organigram Inc. and its parent company Organigram Holdings Inc. will launch a strong defence against a proposed class action suit related to recent voluntary product recalls.
The Company was served with notice of the proceeding yesterday. The proposed suit was filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia by a Halifax-based law firm. The filing seeks to represent Organigram clients who purchased and consumed medical marijuana that was later found to contain trace elements of the pesticides myclobutanil and bifenazate which are not approved for use by licensed growers.
Just going to pop in here for a side note: We’re talking about medicine here. Any sized element, ‘trace’ or otherwise, of a banned pesticide is grounds for outrage. In this case, the ‘element’ we’re talking about emits hydrogen cyanide when burned.
How much of a ‘trace element’ of hydrogen cyanide do you want in your medicine?
Denis Arsenault, Organigram’s Chief Executive Officer [for the next few days, anyway], said the Company offered all non-insured clients impacted by the voluntary recall an account credit equal to the full purchase price of the recalled product.
He also noted that public comments made yesterday by the lawyer seeking to bring the action had erroneously stated Organigram had offered refunds to its clients instead of providing account credits and newly harvested marijuana.
Denis, you said on your website that you were offering refunds. That was a thing. We all saw it, even if now you’ve decided that might indicate guilt on your part and retracted it.
“We have been in constant communication with clients who purchased recalled product. We have been clear that Organigram will meet their needs by providing account credits valued at 100 per cent of that product’s value and will make freshly harvested and tested product available to them. The majority of our clients are very satisfied with this action and are already using their credits.”
Others don’t trust you to put out untainted product and don’t want to try more. What do you have for those people?
“In terms of the proposed class-action suit, we intend to vigorously defend our company and its actions related to the product recall,” stated Arsenault. “We have already engaged Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, one of Canada’s leading class-action defence law firms, to assist with our defence.” The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia will likely take a number of months to determine if it will allow the proposed suit to proceed as a class action. “In the meantime, our primary focus will be on meeting the needs of our clients,” he said.
But will it really? Has it been traditionally?
“From a financial perspective, we believe there is very little exposure for Organigram going forward,” said Arsenault. “We have already allocated $2.26 million this quarter to cover losses associated with the recalls,” he said. “We are also talking with our insurer about the company’s coverage related to the proposed class-action suit should the court allow it to proceed.”
If you get a judgement against you that covers pain and suffering, loss of earnings, ongoing medical expenses… that $2.26 million is going to need to be upped.
Organigram recently completed a thorough investigation into events that led to the December and January voluntary recalls. As a result of that investigation, the company put a number of new growing and harvesting protocols in place. All marijuana harvested since the recall has tested negative for pesticides. “We have also decided to post all testing results on our website beginning next week,” said Arsenault. “With the new procedures in place, we are fully confident in our ability to deliver high-quality product to our clients.”
And yet, Organigram still hasn’t revealed how the pesticide came into contact with nearly a year’s worth of product. They just don’t know, they say, but I dare say a class action lawsuit is going to feature a VERY interesting discovery phase, including interviews with current and former staff, chemical experts, agricultural experts, and more.
If you can’t figure out how that much myclobutanil got into your product, over such a long period of time, Denis, I’m guess they will.
We seek Safe Harbor.
Oh, you bet you do.
The bottom line here is, marijuana in Canada, for the last several years, has been a medical product. This is why staff endure hazmat suits and foot basins when they enter a grow room, and the HVAC systems are top grade and expensive and the growing rooms are white pharma-grade entities, not garages and basements.
There’s an expectation, when you’re selling medicine under Health Canada guidance, that you’ll do your own fucking testing and ensure your product is unassailable. If you don’t, and something crappy sneaks it’s way into the product, that’s on you.
If you can’t say how it happened, that’s even more on you.
And if you had to rely on another company to figure out that you were shipping poison, well let’s just say that a class action lawsuit won’t need to prove a lot more than has already been proven to move forward.
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: Hahaha. haha. ha.