Judge postpones BZAM/Final Bell trial

| Staff

The judge overseeing the proceedings between BZAM and Final Bell has postponed the date for a trial between the two companies following last-minute information presented to the court. 

On Friday, April 19, Final Bell requested an adjournment of the trial following the disclosure of additional documents from BZAM late in the day on April 18. The trial had initially been scheduled for April 22 and 23.

Final Bell argued that the additional documents “fundamentally changed” the case, requiring more time and information through discovery and leave to file an amended opening statement.

Although BZAM argued the additional information in the documents was not significant, the judge reluctantly agreed to adjourn the trial of this issue, which had been previously rushed to address the timely nature of BZAM’s CCAA filing in February.

The new information provided by BZAM challenged claims made by Final Bell regarding how much excise tax BZAM owed at the time of their arrangement to acquire Final Bell Canada.

“I noted above that I granted the adjournment reluctantly, and I say this for a number of reasons, including the fact that the disruption to the Commercial List schedule is significant and the potential ramifications of an adjournment on the parties to this issue, and on other parties and stakeholders in this CCAA proceeding, could be significant,” wrote Justice Osborne in their ruling. 

“I have reminded all parties that there could well be material cost consequences resulting from this claim and the adjournment. I have also made it very clear to the parties that there was significant disruption to the schedule of the Commercial List to free up the two days next week, on an emergency basis, and I was not at all certain that two consecutive days could be accommodated again, at least before the summer.”

The judge also agreed that once all additional production is made and examinations have been completed, the court-appointed monitor in the case may request a brief conference when the judge can reschedule the case. 

A service list posted on April 20 lists creditors such as Health Canada, the CRA, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission (AGLC), The government of British Columbia, The government of Quebec, The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Revenue Quebec, Alberta Ministry of Justice, Alberta Ministry of Treasury Board of Finance, Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Montreal, Auxly Cannabis Group, Organigram Holdings, Pax Labs, the Ontario Securities Commission, and others.