Canadian cannabis events firm Lift & Co. files for bankruptcy

(This story has been updated to reflect new information on upcoming Lift & Co. events.)

Lift & Co. Corp., a Toronto-based cannabis events and marketing firm, has filed for bankruptcy.

The announcement comes after Lift failed to sell off its consumer and trade marketing divisions, along with its CannSell training program and other assets, according to the company.

Lift said that it had been “negotiating a significant equity investment in its events division by a global strategic investor” before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The proceeds of that deal would have used been used to grow its marketing operations.

“The onset of the pandemic resulted in that potential transaction being aborted and also in cash flow from the events division essentially ceasing,” said Lift.

Although Lift said it was “on the cusp” of selling its marketing division to an interested buyer, it was unable to reach an agreement on the deal with holders of its secured convertible debentures, worth 3.5 million Canadian dollars ($2.7 million).

Those debentures matured on Sept. 10, and Lift lacked the capital to repay them “or to continue carrying on its business.”

Lift laid off employees in March, and said at the time that it was still planning to proceed with its Lift & Co. Expo in November.

However, last week the company quietly “postponed” the in-person expo, which was scheduled for Nov. 22–24 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

MCI USA, which reached a deal in April to operate Lift’s events, said a virtual event will still go on, despite the new circumstances surrounding Lift & Co.

“The Lift Virtual Event is moving forward as planned” Nov. 17-19, Andy Schwarz, MCI USA vice president, told Marijuana Business Daily in an email.

An email to former CEO Matei Olaru returned an automatic reply stating Olaru is “no longer with the company in any capacity.”

All of the company’s directors and officers have resigned, according to Lift’s press release.

Lift & Co. shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange as LIFT.