Pioneer Cannabis, a Collaboration Between WeedMD and Pita Pit Canada, Signs with Ontario Cannabis Retail Operator
Pioneer Cannabis Corp. (“Pioneer Cannabis”), a national cannabis retail service provider, is pleased to announce it has signed a Master Cannabis Retail and Licensing Agreement (“Licensing Agreement”) with Ontario cannabis retail lottery winner Guruveer Sangha who will be the owner and operator of the first Pioneer Cannabis retail store located at 1200 Brant Street in Burlington, Ontario. Pioneer Cannabis is a collaboration between WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE) (“WeedMD”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, and Pita Pit Canada (“Pita Pit”), a privately-owned Canadian fast casual franchise eatery with over 225 stores in Canada.
Mr. Sangha, an entrepreneur and lawyer from the Greater Toronto Area, recently secured a Retail Operator Licence (“ROL”) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO”). The 4,000 square foot Pioneer Cannabis Co. store is expected to open in late spring following final AGCO inspection and subsequent receipt of its Retail Store Authorization (“RSA”). Located next to the main arterial highways that border Oakville and Hamilton, the high-capacity area of Burlington and its surrounding areas has a combined population of over 1.7M.
“As a keen observer of the cannabis industry and a strong proponent of local economic growth through small business, I am delighted to be working with Pioneer Cannabis. Together we look forward to setting the standard for Canadians seeking safe stewardship of cannabis in a quality retail setting,” said Mr. Sangha.
“It is an important milestone for us to be able to support Guruveer’s establishment of Canada’s first Pioneer Cannabis store,” said Kristie Smith, President of Pioneer Cannabis. “He will be a driving force behind what we expect to be a true retail success as we launch a leading Canadian cannabis retail store that combines product, education and experience. We look forward to helping Guruveer realize his plan of opening additional Pioneer Cannabis stores across the GTA as soon as regulatory rules permit.”
“We are all stewards of cannabis and our pioneering spirit welcomes this retail endeavour between Pioneer and Guruveer,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD.
“Congratulations to Guruveer and Pioneer Cannabis. We’re pleased to see that the Burlington community and its surrounding area is in responsible hands,” said Chris Fountain, CEO of Pita Pit.
Pioneer Cannabis continues to pursue retail opportunities within Ontario and other provinces in accordance with prevailing cannabis retail regulations. For additional information and updates on store openings, visit the Pioneer website www.pioneercannabis.com
WeedMD Secures Health Canada Standard Processing Licence for its State-of-the-Art Strathroy Facility
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V: WMD) (OTCQX: WDDMF) (FSE: 4WE)(“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce it has received a Health Canada Standard Processing Licence (“Processing Licence”) for its 158-acre Strathroy facility. This marks an important step in the Company’s ability to scale up production, packaging and distribution of cannabis products from its large scale production site.
“Our recently announced outdoor production expansion combined with this Processing Licence positions WeedMD with the ability to fully execute on its plans to scale up our downstream capacity in packaging and distribution,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “This is another critical milestone that will enable WeedMD to address the current supply bottlenecks being experienced across the Canadian cannabis industry.”
As previously announced, WeedMD plans to increase its total yield to more than 150,000 kgs of quality-driven greenhouse and outdoor cultivation – all of which is expected to be at full capacity in 2020. The Company has applied to Health Canada for an amendment to its Strathroy licence to expand beyond its greenhouse cultivation with an initial 25-acre, low-cost, outdoor grow operation in 2019. Outdoor grow video here. An additional 75 acres of outdoor grow is planned to come online in Phase II in 2020. Link to release here.
WeedMD Acquires 60 Acres of Neighbouring Land to Expand its Outdoor Cannabis Footprint
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE)(“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce it has closed on the purchase of an additional 60 acres of prime land located directly adjacent to its 98-acre Strathroy property. WeedMD’s outdoor grow now has the potential to increase to more than 100 acres. As previously announced, the Company has applied to Health Canada for an amendment to its Strathroy licence to expand beyond its greenhouse cultivation with an initial 25-acre, low-cost, outdoor grow operation in 2019. Link to release here. An additional 25 acres had previously been planned to come online as Phase II in 2020. With today’s announcement, Phase II will increase to 75 acres for an overall outdoor cultivation of 100 acres online by 2020.
Pending Health Canada approval, WeedMD’s outdoor grow is expected to increase its total yield to more than 100,000 kgs of cannabis in 2020 and more than 150,000 kgs when combined with its greenhouse cultivation. Outdoor grow video here.
“With the amalgamation of this property and our existing licensed footprint, we now own more than 160 acres of contiguous land in Strathroy – that’s 100 adjoining acres of prime workable agricultural land for outdoor cultivation. WeedMD is well-positioned to be the industry leader setting the benchmark for low-cost, scalable, quality-driven outdoor production in Canada,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “As one of the first out of the gate, our experienced cultivation team has started onsite preparedness with ready-tested genetics and clones being propagated at our state-of-the-art greenhouse. The ability to produce consistent strains for dried flower, extracts and concentrates at a fraction of the cost of other production platforms will give us a strategic edge as we expand our product lines and commercial reach with our first outdoor harvest expected in fall 2019.”
“Our Strathroy property was strategically selected in 2017 for its modern greenhouse and future growth potential. The vast outdoor property has full sunlight, an abundance of air flow, a protective buffer zone of trees and proximity to our infrastructure and propagation operations at the greenhouse. We have now capitalized on the opportunity to expand across perfectly-maintained adjacent lands already primed for outdoor cultivation - all of which can now be easily folded into our licensed property,” said Derek Pedro, Chief Cannabis Officer of WeedMD. “With the purchase of the adjacent 60 acres of land for outdoor grow, we’re well on our way to rapidly scaling production, with Phase II bringing us to full capacity in 2020.”
WeedMD Enters Into $39 Million Debt Facility with BMO and Acquires 98-acre Licensed Strathroy Property
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE)(“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a credit facility with Bank of Montreal (“BMO”). Under the terms of the credit facility, BMO will provide WeedMD up to $39 million of secured debt financing at a rate of interest that is expected to average in the low-to-high 5% per annum range over a three-year term.
The facility consists of a $33.1 million term loan, a $3.0 million equipment term loan and a $3.0 million revolving credit facility (collectively, the “Loans”), all of which mature in 2022. WeedMD may, at its discretion, repay the balance of the Loans without penalty at any time during the term.
Concurrently, WeedMD has exercised its option to purchase the Health Canada-licensed, 98-acre Strathroy property (“Strathroy”) from Perfect Pick Farms (“Perfect Pick”). The Strathroy purchase includes the licensed 610,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art hybrid-greenhouse, more than 100,000 sq. ft. of ancillary structures and all other infrastructure and equipment as well the 50 acres of land upon which the Company intends to cultivate outdoor cannabis. Link to outdoor cultivation release here.
“Securing BMO’s support at this exciting juncture in WeedMD’s growth provides market validation in our ability to continue to execute our strategic plan with non-dilutive financing,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “In 2018, it took us just six months to retrofit, license and bring the first phase of our state-of-the-art greenhouse online. Less than three months later, we took down our first harvests with very compelling yields and quality. We’ve since continued to expand our licensed footprint and operations across the greenhouse and have recently announced our plans for outdoor cannabis cultivation onsite, which we expect to double our production potential with a low-cost scalable expansion.”
The interest rate for the Loans is a set margin over the Canadian dollar prime rate or a bankers’ acceptance of appropriate term. Based on the current Canadian dollar prime rate, the interest payable is expected to be in the low to high 5% per annum range over the term of the Loans. The credit facility is secured by the Company and its subsidiaries, including WeedMD's production facilities in Strathroy, Ontario and Aylmer, Ontario, and contains customary financial and restrictive covenants. Additional details on the credit facility can be found in the Company’s documents which are available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
WeedMD has acquired a 100% interest in the Strathroy property from Perfect Pick for the balance due under its option agreement of $22.6 million, of which $17.6 million was paid in cash and $5 million was satisfied by the issuance of 2.5 million units ("Units") in the capital of WeedMD.
Each Unit was comprised of one WeedMD common share at a price of $2.00 and one-quarter (1/4) of a warrant (for 625,000 total warrants), with each whole warrant exercisable into a WeedMD common share at an exercise price of $2.50 per share for five years.
WeedMD to Expand Production with Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation at its Licensed 98-Acre Strathroy Property
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE)(“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce it has applied for an amendment to its Strathroy licence to expand beyond its existing cultivation with an initial 25-acre, large-scale, low-cost, outdoor cannabis grow operation with the capacity to increase up to 50 acres. The Company confirms it has secured the support of the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc for its planned outdoor grow expected to be completed in two phases. In 2019, Phase I will be brought online, representing more than 25 acres of production, with an additional 25 acres planned for Phase II in 2020. Pending Health Canada approval, the outdoor grow is expected to increase WeedMD’s total production footprint to upwards of 2.7 million square feet with the potential to yield over 100,000 kgs of cannabis in 2020 together with greenhouse cultivation.
WeedMD’s outdoor grow will be situated on organically-certified* soil on its 98-acre Strathroy property which also houses the Company’s 610,000 sq. ft. modern greenhouse facility. Outdoor grow video here.
“Our municipality is proudly home to a thriving agricultural community which has long supported our local businesses and we’re pleased that WeedMD continues to expand its local footprint in a progressive and economically-viable manner,” said Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden, Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. “We welcome and wholly support its push for outdoor expansion along with the job opportunities, sustainable cultivation and community engagement it will bring for the continued long-term growth of our municipality.”
“In November 2017, we initially selected this 98-acre property in Strathroy because of its expansion potential, which included low-cost scalable outdoor production that is strategically located alongside our licensed state-of-the-art greenhouse propagation operations. WeedMD, with its proven cultivation team, genetics bank and propagation capabilities, has positioned itself as a first-mover in the industry,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “With our outdoor grow site, we will continue producing cannabis products at an expected lower cost, in a supportive municipality that will complement our existing robust production platform with our first outdoor harvest expected in fall 2019.”
“With the anticipated demand for extracted products and cannabis concentrates, our experienced cultivation team and proven outdoor grow genetics are expected to generate high yields at very low cost. The addition of an outdoor grow will ensure that WeedMD is positioned to meet the needs of its patients and customers in the ever-expanding cannabis market,” said Derek Pedro, Chief Cannabis Officer of WeedMD. “Our methodologies and standardized innovative practices have been derived from more than 15 years of outdoor growing experience under Canada’s legal cannabis programs. With cannabis plants being readied for transplant in June 2019, WeedMD is optimally positioned to rapidly scale production and is already being recognized as an industry-leader and expert in outdoor cultivation.”
Highlights of WeedMD’s Large-Scale, Low-Cost Outdoor Expansion
- Phase I of the outdoor grow is more than 25 acres. Capable of producing more than 25,000 kgs of cannabis, WeedMD has already commenced retrofitting the highly-secured space and its first outdoor harvest is expected in fall 2019.
- Phase II will bring the total outdoor grow to 50 acres in 2020. Increases WeedMD’s total production footprint to over 2.7 million square feet with the potential to yield more than 100,000 kgs of cannabis in 2020.
- Industry-leading production costs. With the cultivation of outdoor cannabis, WeedMD expects its production costs to be amongst the lowest in the industry.
- Experienced leadership team with leading methodologies to revolutionize outdoor cultivation. WeedMD’s skilled cultivation team is led by industry pioneer and Chief Cannabis Officer Derek Pedro who together have more than 40 years of combined outdoor, indoor and greenhouse cultivation experience.
- Outdoor grow complements WeedMD’s greenhouse cultivation in Strathroy. With the outdoor grow adjacent to its state-of-the-art 610,000 sq. ft. hybrid greenhouse facility in Strathroy, the Company can utilize existing, on-site storage and packaging as per Health Canada regulations. Also, WeedMD will leverage its existing site for its propagation, genetics and clones ahead of the outdoor growing season to take into account the longer growing period for its proprietary outdoor genetics.
- Sustainable growing practices. Cultivated in a natural environment using sustainable growing practices such as direct sunlight, pre-tested live soil that is certified-organic*, onsite water reservoir, appropriate ventilation, natural bio-security practices and state-of-the-art irrigation mechanisms already in place, Strathroy is positioned to become the standard of excellence for outdoor cannabis cultivation.
WeedMD Appoints Industry Pioneer to Chief Cannabis Officer
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE)(“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce strategic leadership appointments to further strengthen its team and advance its platform in both domestic and international markets.
Industry pioneer Derek Pedro is appointed to the newly-created position of Chief Cannabis Officer – a groundbreaking post that will cement WeedMD’s footing as a premier licensed cultivator rooted in best-in-class cultivation practices. To further advance those initiatives, veteran compliance expert Dr. Alex Sibilev, is appointed to Vice President, Quality Assurance & Global Regulatory Compliance.
“As one of the key architects of WeedMD’s robust cultivation framework, Derek has been a long-time advisor and production partner to the Company and is recognized nationally as both an industry pioneer and the first cultivator to grow in a hybridized greenhouse setting. He was also one of the original patient advocates that lobbied for legal access to cannabis and we are extremely proud to announce his official appointment to this unique position – a timely announcement as we look to optimize our expanding operations,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “Additionally, we are further strengthening our team with the addition of Alex, another industry veteran recognized as a leading compliance expert. He brings a deep knowledge and scope that will strengthen both our domestic operations as well as our development in international markets.”
With its state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Strathroy, Ontario coming fully online in 2019. WeedMD is focused on optimizing its work sites and teams to support the Company’s drive for growth.
More about the appointments
Derek Pedro, Chief Cannabis Officer. With over 25 years of design, cultivation and production experience, Derek is a long-time advisor to the WeedMD team and has been instrumental in the success of the Company over the last five years. An invaluable asset in the development and design of the Company’s state-of-the-art hybrid greenhouse in Strathroy, ON., which is efficiently growing indoor-quality cannabis, he is an industry pioneer and innovator with a long history of cultivating in all types of growing environments including indoor and outdoor operations. Over the past few years, Derek has introduced over 55 live cannabis strains into Canada’s legal cannabis cultivation system and is recognized for setting up the first truly-hybridized greenhouse in 2007 under the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR).
Dr. Alexandre Sibilev, Vice-President, Quality Assurance & Global Regulatory Compliance. Alex brings over 30 years of pharmaceutical experience, regulatory affairs, and compliance oversight and is highly regarded in the cannabis industry as one of the premier specialists in navigating regulatory compliance. A trained pharmacist, Alex holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Sechenov First Moscow Institute of Medicine. He was instrumental in advancing international regulatory processes - specifically obtaining Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification in pharmaceutical ventures, the natural health products industry, and cannabis for medical use. Most recently, he led the regulatory compliance on behalf of another major Canadian licensed producer.
WeedMD to Supply Cannabis to the Private Retail Sector in Province of Saskatchewan
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE) (“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce that the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) has authorized the Company to supply cannabis directly to the province’s retail and wholesale markets.
“As our robust production platform continues to expand, we are excited to announce the further expansion of our distribution network along with it,” said Brett Moon, SVP, Sales and Marketing at WeedMD. “Saskatchewan represents the sixth province in which Canadians will be able to purchase WeedMD products and has a unique model that allows both the sale and distribution of cannabis by the private sector. We are thrilled to be creating partnerships directly within this market which forms another component of WeedMD's diverse distribution network, providing premium-branded products to both the government and private sectors across Canada and further positioning the Company for emerging global markets.”
WeedMD’s expansion into its large-scale, fully-funded modern greenhouse will be the main supply base for its medical cannabis patients and rapidly-growing recreational market. The Company is on track to increase its cultivation platform to more than 550,000 sq. ft. in first half of 2019.
In addition to Saskatchewan, WeedMD’s premium-quality cannabis products are currently available in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia, and will be shortly available in Manitoba. With all six provinces, WeedMD is able to reach about 70% of Canada’s projected recreational market. The Company is in continued discussions with the remaining provinces, territories and private retail outlets. Recently, WeedMD completed the first shipment of medical cannabis products to Shoppers Drug Mart and our products are now available for sale on its newly-launched e-commerce site.
WeedMD Medical Cannabis Now Available On Shoppers Drug Mart’s E-commerce Site
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE) (“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, is pleased to announce that it has completed its first shipment of medical cannabis products to Shoppers Drug Mart (“Shoppers Drug Mart”). WeedMD-branded products are now available for sale on the pharmacy’s newly-launched medical cannabis sales website: cannabis.shoppersdrugmart.ca.
“We continue to expand the accessibility of our products to medical patients in Canada and congratulate Shoppers Drug Mart - one of the most trusted names in pharmacy and patient support services – on the Ontario launch of its online sales platform and cannabis education program,” said Keith Merker, CEO at WeedMD. “As a committed medical cannabis supplier and educator, we are proud to work with Shoppers Drug Mart to expand the reach of our products to patients looking for safe, consistent, quality cannabis from a trusted source.”
WeedMD’s expansion into its large-scale, fully-funded modern greenhouse will be the main supply base for its medical cannabis patients as well as for the rapidly-growing recreational market. The Company is on track to increase its cultivation platform to more than 550,000 sq. ft. in the first half of 2019.
WeedMD and BLOCKStrain Complete Industry’s First Cannabis Validation Testing Program
WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTCQX:WDDMF) (FSE:4WE) (“WeedMD” or the “Company”), a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, and BLOCKStrain (TSX:V.DNAX, OTCQB:BKKSF, Forum) (“Blockstrain”), are pleased to announce that they have completed a ‘first-of-its-kind’ cannabis strain validation registration program - a testing and verification process that will confirm cannabis strains are as purchased.
Strain validation will play an important role as cannabis products advance through the medical, retail and pharmaceutical channels. Following the collection, sequencing and registration of plant DNA from its Aylmer, Ontario facility, WeedMD becomes the first licensed producer in the world to incorporate a cannabis strain authenticity and tracking platform into its sales program.
“We congratulate all the teams that worked on this ground-breaking achievement. With the completion of genetic testing, consumers will appreciate the traceability and origin assurance of the WeedMD cannabis that they are purchasing,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD. “We now have a total of 40 active cannabis strains from our genetics bank that hold the ‘BLOCKStrain Certificate of Authenticity’ and are able to be cross-referenced as verifiable strains in BLOCKStrain’s database - from genome to sale.”
“For years, consumers have been purchasing cannabis products with very little information on what exactly is being purchased, but they can now trace strain origin and their CBD and/or THC content, along with other pertinent information,” said Robert Galarza, CEO of BLOCKStrain. “With the unique technology of the Master Genome Strain and Clone Registration Program, producers can now guarantee their strains and provide customers with product assuredness.”
About BLOCKStrain’s Master Genome Strain & Clone Registration Program