Cannabis producers take shipping company to court over products seized at US border

| Staff

Two cannabis producers are taking a shipping company to court, alleging the company attempted to take the cannabis over the US border, resulting in the seizure of 151 kilograms.

BC-based We Grow BC Ltd. and Alberta-based Westleaf Labs, now known as Decibel Cannabis, filed a notice of civil claim in a BC Supreme Court this month for $834,901, arguing that BC-based Seven Elk Shipping’s actions resulted in the seizure of their product by US border officials.

The notice of claim contends that We Grow BC and Westleaf Labs contracted the shipping company in January 2023 to deliver their cannabis within Canada, with specific instructions not to enter the US. 

Then, in May, according to the notice of claim, Seven Elks took possession of several pallets of cannabis in Port Coquitlam, BC, for transport to We Grow in Creston, BC and from Delta, BC, to Westleaf’s facility in Calgary. 

The claim contends that on May 17, the day Seven Elk took possession of the product, the company attempted to cross the border at the Peace Arch crossing in BC, where the cannabis was seized by US authorities. US customs then destroyed the products, or at least refused to return them to any of the companies. 

We Grow BC and Westleaf Labs argue that the value of the product was $834,901, which Seven Elk charged $11,901 to deliver. 

The two cannabis companies allege Seven Elk’s actions constitute a breach of contract, which has damaged their reputations. 

The lawsuit contends that Seven Elks acknowledged in written communications to We Grow and Westleaf its fault in respect of the seizure but has “refused or otherwise failed to compensate We Grow or Westleaf for the losses arising from the seizure.”

We Grow BC and Westleaf Labs formally announced their collaboration in 2019, combining the BC cultivator’s operations and Qwest brand with the Alberta processor retail and distribution network. At the time, the two companies characterized the deal as creating one of the largest craft producers in Canada.

Seven Elk’s website is no longer active. These allegations have not been proven in court.