Princeton cannabis facility hit with $1.4 million lawsuit

A cannabis growing facility under construction in Princeton is facing a civil suit by the project's contractor.
A cannabis growing facility under construction in Princeton is facing a civil suit by the project's contractor.

Owners of a cannabis cultivation facility under construction near Princeton are facing legal action after allegedly falling behind in contract payments to the facility’s contractor.

Ketza Pacific Construction Ltd, launched a civil suit against Castle Rock Farms and B.C. Green Pharmaceuticals on Oct. 23 in B.C. Supreme Court in Campbell River.

Ketza Pacific Construction is claiming damages in excess of $1 million alleging Castle Rock failed to pay for work completed within contract dates stipulated.

B.C. Green Pharmaceuticals owns the adjacent parcels upon which the operation was to be constructed.

Ketza entered into a contract in September 2018, with Castle Rock as prime contractor for construction of the cannabis facility, located on David Brown Way in Princeton.

The work was to be completed in phases but following a change order and subsequent side agreement made in June and September of this year, subphases of the project were removed, resulting in an accounting issue for Castle Rock and an ultimate holdback of funds by Castle Rock, court documents show.

The contractor filed a notice of default in September, 2020 claiming to date it has not received any payment for amounts due or evidence of financial arrangements being made to complete payment.

In October, Ketza issued termination and default notices to Castle Rock for failure to pay. A second termination notice was issued later in October for failure to provide reasonable evidence of financial arrangements.

The action is seeking a total of $1,347,027.91 for costs of general conditions and a further $42,000 in demobilization costs.

Ketza Pacific is also alleging repudiation of Castle Rock’s contract by conduct, claiming Castle Rock:

  • took possession of the worksite without notice
  • changed site security protocols in an arbitrary manner
  • used and distributed ‘intoxicants’ to Ketza’s employees and subcontractors
  • induced Ketza employees to leave employment to work for Castle Rock
  • undermined Ketza’s relationships with its contractors through defamatory statements.
  • interfered with Ketza’s ability to carry out its contractual obligations.

In addition, Ketza is seeking restitution for breach of contract, litigation costs, and other damages.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. A response has not yet been filed.

— This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 to clarify the headline.

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