A Manitoba cannabis brand is taking a former partner to court

| Staff

Several Manitoba cannabis companies are at the heart of a notice of claim recently filed in a Manitoba court. 

TobaGrown, Inc. and TobaRolling, Inc. filed a notice of claim in Manitoba on February 16 against the owners of Kief Cannabis Company, Ltd. and Lucky Ventures, Ltd. The defendants have 20 days to reply to the notice.

In the claim, Jesse Lavoie, owner of TobaGrown and TobaRolling, claims that the owners of two other Manitoba cannabis businesses unfairly removed him from a business partnership, causing his own companies to suffer significant financial hardship. 

TobaGrown’s lawyers contend that the principal of and a shareholder in Kief Cannabis, Jesse Denton, entered into an agreement with Lavoie to allow Toba Rolling to distribute its TobaGrown and other branded cannabis products from Kief’s federally licensed facility. 

The claim also contends that Lavoie and Denton entered into an agreement with another Manitoba cannabis entrepreneur, Tim Doerkson, to create the cannabis brand “Lucky Stash” for the Manitoba market. 

Although the agreement between TobaGrown and Kief was fruitful, the claim alleges Denton terminated the agreement in 2023, effectively locking the company and its partner brands out of not only the Kief facility but the Manitoba market entirely. TobaGrown now claims that Kief is in breach of contract, owing Toba more than $100,000, as well as equipment and cannabis held at their facility. 

It also contends that Denton violated his “fiduciary duties” to the business arrangement, causing TobaGrown to suffer damages it says he is liable for, and that both defendants acted with an intent to injure the economic interests and reputation of Lavoie and the Toba brand.

These allegations have not been proven in court. Neither Denton nor Kief responded to requests for comment. 

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