Construction underway on one of the 10 planned 10,000 square foot buildings which will contain cannabis grow operations near Celista. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Construction underway on one of the 10 planned 10,000 square foot buildings which will contain cannabis grow operations near Celista. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Trade restrictions lifted on company behind Shuswap cannabis operation

Liht Cannabis Corp. says they will continue to cooperate with B.C. Securities Commission

The BC Securities Commission has lifted limits on trading for the Liht Cannabis Corporation, the company behind behind a large medical cannabis growing operation under construction in the North Shuswap.

A temporary order by the securities commission limiting Liht’s trading of shares and stock was lifted on Jan. 15.

The order stemmed from an investigation and hearing conducted by the securities commission involving several companies and a large number of consultants and consulting firms in the province, referred to as the BridgeMark Group. They were alleged to have participated in a trading scheme using what’s called “the consultant exemption” to sell their shares without filing a prospectus, a legal document that informs investors about the details of an investment.

Liht was not one of the primary four companies being investigated by the commission, but was named in its original report along with six other companies which all received temporary orders restricting trade using the consultant exemption.

Related: Securities commission probe includes company planing to grow Cannabis in the Shuswap

BC Securities Commission (BCSC) executive director Peter Brady had expressed concern that members of the BridgeMark Group are not actually consultants, but colluded with the four primary companies in the investigation (Green 2 Blue Energy Corp., Cryptobloc Technologies Corp., BLOK Technologies Inc. and New Point Exploration Corp.) to purchase a large number of shares under the consultant exemption, which were then promptly sold again. The BCSC alleges this made it appear these companies received significant investments and interest from investors, even though the shares were essentially being swapped back and forth.

This back-and-forth trading also netted profits of more than $6 million for the BridgeMark Group, according to the BCSC.

A document providing details of a Jan. 15 decision from the BCSC states, regarding Liht and the other six companies not in the spotlight of the investigation, “the executive director has not provided prima facie evidence of their having engaged in conduct contrary to the public interest.” Prima facie is a legal term describing evidence that, unless proven untrue, would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.

Responding to the temporary order being lifted against them, Liht states in a news release they are “pleased to announce that the temporary orders issued from the British Columbia Securities Commission (“BCSC”) on November 26, 2018 have not been extended against Liht.”

From the beginning of the investigation, Liht representatives have stated they would cooperate with the BCSC in whatever way necessary, and welcomed an investigation in addition to their own internal review.

“The BCSC’s investigation is continuing,” states the company. “Liht will continue to co-operate with the BCSC in its investigation.”

The Observer attempted to contact Liht’s chief operating officer, Linda Sampson, but has not received a response as of the writing of this article.

While the temporary order against Liht has been lifted, further information in the BCSC document indicates there are still concerns surrounding Liht and the remaining six companies named in the case.

Related: Medical cannabis operation in the Shuswap may face regulatory hurdles

In addition to commenting on the lifting of the temporary order, Liht also revealed additional information on the progress of the medical cannabis growing facility being constructed in Celista, showing one of the planned buildings reaching lock-up stage as construction begins on the second. In total, the development is planned to house 10 buildings at 10,000 square-feet apiece.


@SalmonArm
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