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Two BC cannabis companies in conflict over payment

Media Partners, Stratcann

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Two BC cannabis companies are at odds over payment for a large quantity of cannabis, according to two filings in BC court this past week.

In a filing from August 10, cannabis grower Okanna Craft said that Joint Venture Craft Cannabis (JVCC), a cannabis processor, owes it payment for 76 kg of cannabis based on a purchase price of $3.41 per gram. 

In their statement of defence, JVCC denies the claims and says their agreement with Okanna Craft was based on consignment, not a set purchase price, and that it had difficulty selling cannabis for Okanna due to issues with quality. 

Okanna Craft is located in Kelowna and has two micro cultivation licences, a micro processing licence, and a nursery licence. JVCC is located in Salmon Arm and is a processor that packages and processes cannabis and brings it to the provincial retail markets in Canada on behalf of growers.

The Notice of Civil Claim from Okanna Craft alleges that the two companies entered an agreement in 2021 that would allow JVCC to process, package, and market Okanna Craft’s cannabis to the provincial retail markets, at which point Okanna would receive payment. 

Okanna further alleges that it has made 13 separate shipments of cannabis to JVCC since August 2021, each sold at different prices, for a total of 167,295 grams. The company says JVCC has paid Okanna Craft for 75,975 grams and argues JVCC still has 64,629 grams of unsold cannabis in their processing facility in Salmon Arm. 

Okanna also alleges that JVCC refuses to pay them the agreed-upon price of $3.41 per gram, is charging additional fees for marketing they say was not part of the original agreement, and has failed to sell their cannabis in a timely manner. 

In their statement of defence, JVCC denies Okanna’s claims and argues that Okanna Craft maintained ownership of all cannabis in its possession through a consignment deal, whereby the grower would be paid once cannabis was successfully sold. JVCC denies that it had an agreement to purchase the cannabis outright and maintains that the agreement for payment took into account “various deductions for costs and expenses, as well as other factors such as the retail price for the cannabis.”

In addition, JVCC alleges that it applied various price deductions for these fees with each batch Okanna Craft delivered to be processed, and the cultivator continued to deliver subsequent batches of new cannabis to be processed.

The statement of defence goes on to argue that JVCC had a written agreement that Okanna Craft did not guarantee a specific price, and that the price per gram for its cannabis “may vary based on demand and the offers to purchase from wholesalers” and was “exclusive of transportation costs, customs, tariffs and duties, insurance, and any other similar financial contributions or obligations relating to the sale” of the cannabis, as well as costs related to packing, crating and boxing, and that the agreed purchase price would be for salable product only.”

JVCC argues that the cannabis it received from Okanna was of poor quality and it possesses a “small amount” of Okanna’s cannabis that it was unable to sell, which it claims Okanna has refused to take back. 

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

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