Instadose Canada Discovers DRC is Not For the Faint-hearted As It Tries To Recover 18 Tons of Medical Cannabis From National Intelligence in Kinshasa
8 February 2023 at 05:00:00
Instadose Canada is reviewing its relationship with the Democratic Republic of Congo after officials seized 18 tons of medicinal cannabis bound for North Macedonia in June 2021. Cannabiz Africa understands that the consignment is being kept under guard by the country’s National Intelligence Agency while Instadose tries to “clear up outstanding paperwork”.
Instadose Pharma’s dispute with the DRC came to light in a filing to the US Securities Exchange in September 2022. The group was under the impression it had complied 100% with all paperwork for the export of 18 650 kg of legal medicinal cannabis from Kinshasa to North Macedonia.
However, there was one last mysterious tick on the box that was required and Instadose has been coy on exactly what authorization was lacking.
It told the US Securities Commission that “unbeknownst to Instadose Canada, the final authorization of one certain intergovernmental organization was further required to complete the DRC shipment. Without it, Instadose Canada was required to abort completion of the DRC shipment. In doing so, the DRC Medicinal Cannabis was secured and stored within the guarded facilities of the Bolloré customs clearance area at N’dili (Kinshasa) Airport pending further resolution. On or about June 15, 2021, the DRC Medicinal Cannabis was transported to an indoor warehousing facility belonging to the National Intelligence Agency of the DRC pending its release back to IDP DRC for final delivery to North Macedonia.”
Cannabiz Africa understands that all these months down the line, those discussions are still pending.
Instadose appears to have managed to find an alternative source to supply North Macedonia for that order. It turned to Lesotho where it sourced approximately 15 tons of medical cannabis from Highlands Investments in what is believed to have been the biggest legal shipment of cannabis ever.
Instadose Canada is the principle asset of Nevada-based Instadose Pharmacy Group (?) and it has bold plans to establish a worldwide medical production platform involving Africa, Latin America and North Macedonia, where it has a subsidiary that processes medicinal cannabis for distribution through Europe.
It’s unclear what Instadose’s relationship is with its controversial former chairman, Grant F Saunders as it distanced itself from him when allegations surfaced that he and Instadose were nothing more than a scam and that he was doing dodgy African deals.
Saunders threatened Cannabiz Africa with legal action accross multiple jurisdictions when we highlighted inconsistencies in his claim to have secured lucrative licenses in the DRC and that his pitch presentation was in fact a misrepresentation.
His relationship with Instadose Canada is now somewhat murky as he appears to have exited the group but re-emerged as the controller of the Excellence Health Group (EHC) which on face value controls the operations of the company in that “post-closing, EHG would carry on the business previously conducted by Instadose Canada”.
This is how Instadose explained it: “Mr Sanders, (sic) a former officer, and director of the Company was actively engaged in seeking official authorization to cultivate medicinal cannabis in the DRC exclusively for medicinal and scientific purposes. Once secured, Instadose Canada would be granted exclusive rights to assist in monetizing these medicinal cannabis rights. Pursuant to the terms of the Share Exchange, EHG agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Instadose Canada from Mr. Sanders in exchange for EHG common shares. Post-closing, EHG would carry on the business previously conducted by Instadose Canada. As a condition to completing the Share Exchange, EHG agreed to cancel certain EHG Shares following completion of the Share Exchange, as well as several outstanding stock options previously issued to EHG directors and officers”.
Clear as mud, as they say. But let’s look at the forensics of how Instadose got taken by the DRC. it told the Securities Commission that on 17 August, 2020, Instadose Pharma DRC S.A.R.L. was legally registered in the DRC.as a DRC company for the primary purpose of working with TMIG, a DRC company engaged in the growing of “cultivated products and food plants within the DRC”, specifically dedicated to the export of medicinal cannabis from the DRC.
Wikipedia confirms that the DRC has passed legislation enabling the export of medicinal and industrial cannabis in terms of a directive issued on 27 February 2021. This specified the Currently conditions of operations regarding narcotics and psychotropic substances exclusively for purposes that are medical was enacted in the DRC.
Wikipedia confirms that Instadose and its local subsidiary TMIG, is the first licensed cannabis cultivator in the DRC.
Instadose Canada said that it entered into a JV with TMIG on 11 February 2019 (the “DRC JV Agreement”) that would see Instadose Canada secure the exclusive right to access and monetize TMIG’s Cultivated Products rights granted to it by the DRC’s Ministry of Agriculture by exporting Cultivated Products from the DRC to one or more Production Participants (the “DRC Joint Venture”). Once imported by a Production Participant, the Cultivated Products would be utilized in the production of Manufactured Products for subsequent sale to pharmaceutical purchasers, including but not limited to, Big Pharma, as a Medicinal Cannabis API.”
The group then said that on 30 April 2021, it entered into a charter agreement with Ethiopian Airlines “for the purposes of transporting medicinal cannabis from the DRC to North Macedonia. Under the Ethiopian charter agreement, Ethiopian agreed to make one of its Boeing 777 aircrafts available to complete the DRC shipment. On the basis of having secured the charter agreement, IDP DRC and IDP Macedonia executed a supply agreement on 24 May, 2021 governing an initial supply of 18,650 kilograms of medicinal cannabis to be transported by Ethiopian from the DRC to North Macedonia).
On 1 June 2021, the requisite certificate of analysis attributable to the DRC Medicinal Cannabis was prepared at the University of Kinshasa.
On 10 June 2021, IDP Macedonia secured a permit from the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices of the Republic of Macedonia authorizing the import of the DRC Medicinal Cannabis.
On 11 June 2021, IDP DRC delivered the DRC Medicinal Cannabis to N’djili Airport, also known as Kinshasa International Airport, for loading onto Ethiopian’s Boeing 777 that had arrived to complete the DRC shipment.
“Unbeknownst to Instadose Canada, the final authorization of one certain intergovernmental organization was further required to complete the DRC shipment. Without it, Instadose Canada was required to abort completion of the DRC shipment. In doing so, the DRC Medicinal Cannabis was secured and stored within the guarded facilities of the Bolloré customs clearance area at N’dili Airport pending further resolution. On or about 15 June 2021, the DRC Medicinal Cannabis was transported to an indoor warehousing facility belonging to the National Intelligence Agency of the DRC pending its release back to IDP DRC for final delivery to North Macedonia.
“Today, Instadose Canada is in the process of conducting a thorough review of its joint venture partnership in the DRC with TMIG to determine whether continuation of the DRC Joint Venture remains economically feasible and in line with Instadose Canada’s Refined Platform Strategy”.