A Winnipeg cannabis producer’s practices are under the microscope, with the company under new temporary operational control after “unauthorized product” was sold to consumers in Saskatchewan.

On Thursday, RavenQuest CEO George Robinson said his company would be at the helm of licensed producer Bonify, following an internal investigation. Due to the investigation, Robinson said three Bonify executives were terminated, an executive assistant let go and a Bonify board member suspended.

Part of the investigation stemmed from concerns brought forward by front-line workers, according to Robinson, who went on to say they raised red flags about 200 kilograms of product brought into the facility.

"The frontline workers were trying to do their job and there were others who were instructing them to not follow the regulations and that got us to the point of where we are at today," Robinson said.

Some of the pot was shipped to Saskatchewan retailers before it was determined to be unauthorized cannabis.

“Unauthorized product is product that was not purchased from a licensed producer or what we now call a standard producer,” said Robinson.

Of that 200 kilograms, Robinson said most never left the facility but 52 3.5-gram bags were sold in Saskatchewan and subsequently have not been recovered.

Two strains of Bonify cannabis being sold in Saskatchewan were recalled by Health Canada earlier this month and the company also issued a voluntary recall.

When asked about the unauthorized pot, Robinson said some testing showed inconsistencies with the product including yeast, mold and an unconfirmed presence of E. coli. Robinson also said the internal investigation didn’t turn up where the unauthorized cannabis came from, going on to say it would be up to regulators to determine that.

In a statement Health Canada wrote:

“Health Canada is currently assessing all available information, including the information provided by the company related to their internal investigation. Health Canada will not hesitate to use the enforcement tools available under the Cannabis Act to ensure compliance with the law. As the situation remains under review, we will determine the appropriate compliance and enforcement next steps once all the facts have been thoroughly examined. Local law enforcement is aware of this situation.”

On December 20, the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation said sale and distribution of all Bonify products in Manitoba was suspended. That suspension is still in place.

With files from The Canadian Press