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With Strategic Investment, Westleaf Expands Retail Footprint -- CFN Media
SEATTLE, WA, Dec. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- CFN Media Group (“CFN Media”), the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry, announces publication of an article covering an exciting development in the cannabis retail space. Westleaf Cannabis Inc. and IGC Resources, who in October announced the intent to combine business operations, have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 21.4% interest in Canndara Canada Inc., a premium cannabis retail company with over 50 prospective retail locations throughout Canada; the agreement also includes the option for Westleaf to purchase the entire company. The strategic investment will result in one of the largest premium cannabis retailers in Canada with an unparalleled portfolio of prime real estate.
Westleaf is a vertically integrated cannabis company with a specific focus on industry leading retail experiences and innovative product branding. The company is developing a national footprint of retail stores called Prairie Records which mimic the design and feel of record stores to create a shopping experience that is radically different from the head shops and “Apple store knockoffs” currently representing the cannabis industry. Its strategy is to focus only premium locations within densely-populated, high-traffic shopping and resort areas.
Prairie Records’ racks will contain covers resembling the dust covers of records, but with information about product names, branding, strains, and THC/CBD content. The album cover concept leverages the instinctual connection between music and recreational cannabis, allows Prairie Records to operate and excel within the strict regulation of product packaging and merchandising, and allows customers to more deeply connect with chosen brands while also becoming educated about cannabis.
“We continue to be extremely impressed with both the quality and quantity of retail locations that the Canndara team has amassed and look forward to continuing to grow the portfolio with the goal of developing the largest cannabis retail company in Canada,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “Our combined retail expertise and market relationships are expected to enable the continued addition of premium locations, greater market share, and acceleration of our retail development.”
As part of the transaction, Canndara will begin building Prairie Records stores to accelerate the rollout of the brand and portfolio. Current Canndara retail locations are at varying stages of development with 17 development permits awarded, and independently Westleaf’s plan for Prairie Records features a rollout of upwards of 30 retail locations by 2020 in markets across Western Canada, including its first Alberta location in Calgary’s iconic Palace Theatre.
"The synergy that exists between Canndara and Westleaf is rooted in our collective vision to build a leading cannabis brand in Canada,” said John Radostits, CEO of Canndara. “Our team’s hard work to build a robust portfolio of strategic locations along with Westleaf’s strong team, the Prairie Records brand and unique retail strategy, have established a formula for success. Together, we are carving out our position as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry with a truly revolutionary cannabis purchasing experience for Canadians.”
Westleaf is proud to service the Saskatchewan community by launching a Prairie Records store in Warman, just north of Saskatoon, with an extended product offering through its e-commerce platform which will serve the entire province. Additional retail plans include evaluating and securing numerous cannabis retail options throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and potentially Ontario (subject to provincial regulations), all in addition to Westleaf being added to the pre-qualified list for the Manitoba lottery for cannabis retail licenses.
The transaction closes out a year of impressive growth for Westleaf, which successfully inked strategic partnerships with Tilray, VIVO Cannabis, and Delta 9 Cannabis, secured favourable debt financing with ATB Financial, and crafted a partnership with Thunderchild First Nation of Saskatchewan.
Westleaf anticipates closing the reverse takeover transaction with IGC on December 28, 2018, with the resumption of trading to occur in early January 2019.
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