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A Letter from Emblem’s President & CEO
TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emblem Corp. (TSXV:EMC, OTCQX:EMMBF) ("Emblem" or the "Company") delivers strategic vision to shareholders:
With adult-use legalization only days away, I am incredibly excited to provide an update on Emblem’s progress and plans for the future.
2018 has been a year of enormous change and evolution for the Emblem group of companies. We have made incredible strides and I couldn’t be prouder of the team we’ve assembled. Emblem continues to bring innovative products to market, most recently with the launch of Atmosphere oral sprays, and we’re firmly executing on our three-year strategy.
Most notably, in the third quarter we executed a strategic pivot in our approach to cannabis production, cancelling our capital-intensive production plans, and instead electing to take advantage of the significant wholesale supply capacity coming online industry-wide. This decision positions Emblem to benefit from what we expect to be falling prices in the production segment as commoditization increases. In practical terms this gives Emblem access to ample capacity, while freeing up our capital resources to focus on our passion for innovative value-added products where we already realize higher margin profiles.
Some of my proudest highlights from the past 10 months:
- We took the bold step in signing a significant wholesale supply agreement with Aphria Inc., bringing our anticipated aggregate supply to almost 200,000 kg over five years (the “Aphria Supply Agreement”)
- We were one of only six LPs to enter into a supply agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, to help bring our medical products to patients across Canada
- We have received provincial approvals to supply the Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan adult-use retail markets, with plans to keep growing Canada-wide in 2019
- We made investments geared towards return on investment and established supply agreements with Fire & Flower and Starbuds Canada
- We announced an agreement to form a joint venture with Acnos Pharma to bring our medical products to Germany, with an anticipated launch in 2019
- We made advances in the product development of our extended release tablet in partnership with Canntab Therapeutics Inc.
- We announced a partnership with GreenSpace Brands, a highly regarded consumer packaged goods company, to jointly produce CBD-infused health and beauty products as regulations allow
- We launched our first adult-use brand, Symbl, which reinforces the core values of the Emblem brand and philosophy
- We strengthened our management team with experienced talent from the beverage alcohol and pharmaceutical industries, including recently announcing the appointment of accomplished pharma executive Wayne Kreppner as President of Emblem’s Medical Division
- We established a unique partnership with Durham College, through our patient education division GrowWise Health Limited, to educate future business leaders in the cannabis sector
- We invested in DriveABLE to help support alternative methods to test cognitive impairment and support responsible use of cannabis products
- We successfully delivered our first adult-use cannabis shipments to Ontario and Alberta at full committed quantities
- We nearly doubled our active patient count, resulting in more than 5,000 patients now having access to Emblem’s medical cannabis products.
- Finally, we have made significant progress on the completion of our new 30,000 sq. ft. Product Innovation Centre with a 5,000 sq. ft. GMP certified laboratory, scheduled to come online in early 2019
Needless to say, it’s been a busy year!
Emblem has continued to zig while the rest of the industry zagged – we’ve firmly repositioned the company to be a market leader in product innovation and branding. As we’ve seen in U.S. states that have legalized cannabis including Colorado, Washington and California, consumer demand has dramatically shifted away from raw cannabis in favour of innovative, convenient and smoke-free cannabis products that meet more consumer preferences.
Despite this, the industry predominantly continues to follow a cultivation-centered business model that requires cultivators to invest tens of millions of dollars into building and operating complex cannabis farming operations. As a result, massive amounts of capital are diverted away from what we believe could be the real drivers of future revenue growth and shareholder value – specifically research, development and commercialization of the next-generation of cannabis products and brands that consumers want. This is where we think that Emblem can differentiate.
Recognizing this new reality, Emblem is boldly charting its own path. Rather than following the pack, we made the bold decision to move away from cultivation and farming by signing the Aphria Supply Agreement and allowing Emblem to invest its energy and resources into developing revolutionary consumer products, building relevant brands and growing effective distribution channels.
Emblem intends to become a leading health and wellness focused consumer packaged goods company, providing the high quality cannabis products to patients and consumers domestically and internationally. To compete in this rapidly evolving industry, focus is critical to success. Emblem intends to leverage core competencies in innovation, marketing and brand development to launch innovative products and brands before our competitors, giving us a strong first-mover advantage in this nascent industry.
We are driven by three goals, focused on delivering the greatest shareholder returns:
- To become a best-in-class producer of health and wellness focused products in the cannabis industry, driven by quality, consistency, and innovation.
- To define our target market(s), execute within those markets, and become recognized as a ‘best brand’ in each market segment.
- To build a business that is financially sustainable and profitable.
It is my belief that in the future, the notion of “production capacity” will be long forgotten in this sector. What will matter is how brands resonate with end users, and ultimately, their market share both domestically and globally. I believe that this brand recognition is likely the greatest opportunity for the sector and where the greatest shareholder value will be achieved.
Our recent supply commitments significantly amplify the value of our established products, brands and distribution. With our award-winning customer care and network of GrowWise cannabis education centres, we are a trusted source of cannabis products and information, and a collaborative industry leader that is committed to promoting responsible use. I believe that Emblem is well-positioned to realize our pioneering vision and meet the changing needs of consumers, patients and healthcare professionals now and into the future.
We’re Emblem and this is just the beginning.
President & CEO
Emblem, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Emblem Cannabis Corporation, is a fully integrated licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis and cannabis derivatives in Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Emblem's state-of-the-art indoor cannabis cultivation facility and research and development laboratory is located in Paris, Ontario. Led by an experienced management team of healthcare executives, accomplished marketing professionals, and cannabis experts, Emblem is focused on driving shareholder value through product innovation, brand relevance, and access to patient and consumer channels. Emblem is also the parent company of GrowWise Health Limited, one of Canada's leading cannabis education services. Emblem trades under the ticker symbol EMC on the TSX Venture Exchange.
For more information, please visit www.emblemcorp.com.
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Chief Financial Officer
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements other than statements of present or historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "achieve", "could", "believe", "plan", "intend", "objective", "continuous", "ongoing", "estimate", "outlook", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should" or similar words, including negatives thereof, suggesting future outcomes. Management of the Company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date hereof but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. Various material factors and assumptions are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking statements. Those material factors and assumptions are based on information currently available to the Company, including data from publicly available governmental sources as well as from market research and industry analysis and on assumptions based on data and knowledge of this industry which Emblem believes to be reasonable. However, although generally indicative of relative market positions, market shares and performance characteristics, such data is inherently imprecise. While Emblem is not aware of any misstatement regarding any industry or government data presented herein, the medical marijuana industry involves risks and uncertainties and is subject to change based on various factors.
Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and are subject to and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause the Company's actual performance and results to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks identified in the Company's December 31, 2017 Management's Discussion and Analysis, which has been filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available on www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise such statements to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.