Retail chain Four20 files NOI under Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

| Sarah Clark

The parent companies of cannabis retail chain Four20 Premium Markets filed a notice of intent to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on May 29.

The parent companies, 420 Premium Markets Ltd., 420 Investments Ltd., and Green Rock Cannabis (EC1) Ltd., filed the notices of intent following a $9.8 million judgment against 420 for repayment of a bridge loan and related interest and costs to Tilray subsidiary High Park Shops Inc. High Park was created for the purpose of the acquisition of Four20.

Tilray had initiated litigation against 420 after a failed attempt by Tilray to purchase 420 for approximately $110 million in 2019.

At the time, Four20 had six licensed cannabis retail locations and another 16 locations secured in Alberta. The retailer currently lists 35 locations in Alberta and Ontario. 

Four20 then filed a statement of claim against Tilray in 2020 in an Alberta court for $110 million plus $20 million in damages after Tilray chose to end its deal to buy the retailer, with Four20 saying the BC-based cannabis producer had not acted in good faith. 

According to court documents, High Park then filed a Counterclaim on March 20, 2020, in relation to a loan advanced in connection with the Arrangement. High Park had advanced $5 million to Four20 under the Loan on August 29, 2019, and a further $2 million on November 29, 2019. 

On April 14, 2020, Four20 defended the Counterclaim, arguing that the money advanced to it under the loan agreement was not due because High Park’s and Tilray’s alleged notices of termination of the agreement were invalid.

High Park filed an application for summary judgment in relation to the loan on March 2, 2023. On February 7, 2024, a court granted High Park summary judgment against Four20 on its counterclaim for $7 million plus interest.

The Applications Judge then dismissed Four20s application for an interim stay of the Judgment on March 22, 2024, pending the determination of an appeal on the merits, with Four20 arguing that Tilray had “buyer’s remorse” and felt they had overpaid for the retail chain.

That appeal was dismissed in April 2024, with the judge finding that Four20 had not demonstrated that it would suffer irreparable harm. In that case, the judge wrote, “There is no dispute that Four20 received the Loan proceeds of $7,000,000 and has used those funds to build out its retail store network. Four20 asserts that paying back the funds it borrowed, pending appeal of the Judgment, would be a greater harm than High Park going without the funds that it lent Four20 under the Loan. I disagree.”