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Lethbridge supports API Labs proposed opium poppy plant

Plants will be refined into medicinal opiates such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone.


June 24, 2015
by The Canadian Press

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The City of Lethbridge is supporting a proposal by a company that wants to open Canada’s first commercial opium poppy production facility.

API Labs Inc. wants to refine the plants into medicinal opiates such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone.

The company was licensed by Health Canada in 2011 to conduct research, but RCMP have expressed concerns that the plan could attract criminals.

Glen Metzler, API’s managing director, says it wants to locate the processing plant in Lethbridge, with local farmers growing the poppies on a contract basis.

He says the processing plant could create up to 300 jobs and would include a security plan to keep out organized crime.

Lethbridge city council has agreed to send a letter of support for the project to the federal government.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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