High-Quality Cannabis Cultivation and Distribution in Canada and the EU
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Wayland Group Corp. (CSE:WAYL; FWB:75M; OTCQB:MRRCF) is a licensed cannabis producer focused on cannabis cultivation, extraction, formulation and distribution. Having established operations across the globe, the company is building a 217,000-square-foot facility in Langton, Ontario and has formed subsidiaries and partnerships that are operating out of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Malta, the UK, Australia, Colombia and Argentina.
In October 2017, Wayland acquired NanoLeaf Technologies to gain access to the patent-protected VesiSorb delivery technology, which increases the bioavailability of cannabinoids and makes them soluble in water. This allows for the easy integration of both THC and CBD in edibles, gel capsules, functional beverages and topicals. The technology is already used in 40 percent of the world’s lipophilic drugs and Wayland is using it to bring the best of the pharmaceutical world to cannabis.
As a vertically-integrated company targeting the medicinal and recreational markets, Wayland is in the process of establishing distribution agreements across the globe. To date, the company has established partnerships with a network of pharmacies, including a Canada-wide brand, to develop educational programs and materials targeting medicinal cannabis for pharmacists, patients and healthcare professionals. Understanding the need for educating consumers and furthering the scientific insight into cannabis applications, Wayland also hopes to partner with organizations conducting cannabis studies.
In Canada, Wayland has been working on establishing partnerships with the various provinces and territories, as they will each be responsible for determining their distribution processes. As such, Wayland has signed supply agreements with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL), the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) and the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
Wayland is led by a team of executives and directors that have notable experience in both jurisdictions in which the company operates. This includes CEO Ben Ward, a cannabis pioneer who brings extensive experience in business and infrastructure development, as well as the company’s president, Terry Fretz, who has developed and sold two international generic pharmaceutical companies and has noted success in navigating highly-regulated markets. They are supported by Geoff Kosar, VP of Sales and Marketing, who brings insight into marketing brands within regulatory frameworks, having worked for a spirits company.
- The global legal cannabis market is expected to reach US$146.4 billion by 2025.
- Established footprint in both Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
- Spinning out international assets to continue to drive value for shareholders.
- Low-cost 217,000-square-foot Phase 1 cultivation facility currently producing in Langton, Ontario.
- Successfully shipping cannabis to Germany from Langton facility.
- Retrofitting 820,000-square-foot Ebersbach facility in Dresden, Germany.
- Successfully completed first harvest of 120,615 kilograms of dry hemp flower in Germany.
- Licensed in Malta.
- Canada-wide pharmacy partnership to build educational programs for pharmacists.
- Supply agreements in place with four Canadian provinces.
- Supply agreements in place with RavenQuest in Canada and Cannamedical in Germany.
- Establishing distribution and retail agreements across the globe.
- Launched seven unique cannabis brands.
A Global Approach
The global legal cannabis market is expected to reach US$146.4 billion by 2025. The growth of the global market is being driven by new countries looking to legalize the plant as well as new innovations happening in the health and wellness sector and the development of new cannabis-based products.
Looking to capitalize on this rapidly growing industry, Wayland has developed a long-term growth and profitability strategy that is based on expanding into countries looking to eliminate the unregulated black market. Wayland is dedicating its time to providing safe products and innovative delivery forms to consumers and patients across the globe.
In December 2018, Wayland announced a potential plan for spinning out its international holdings in order to unlock value for the company’s shareholders. Currently, the company is reviewing their options before committing to a course of action.
The following month, Wayland announced that they would be selling 49.9 percent of the company’s international assets to International Cannabis Corp. (ICC). Under the terms of the agreement, Wayland will sign a three-year supply agreement with ICC for 30,000 kilograms of cannabis and the company’s international holdings will be jointly owned by the two companies as a subsidiary. Wayland’s Canadian holdings will remain with the company.
“This transaction ascribes value to our international assets that is in line with our expectations as the value of our international assets is now greater than the entire company’s present market capitalization. The transaction also provides an opportunity at the appropriate time to fully integrate our international operations with ICC’s to cover all aspects of the value chain, including medical plant production, extraction, active pharmaceutical ingredient isolation, finished dose manufacturing and distribution,” said Wayland CEO Ben Ward.
Langton cultivation facility
Wayland’s Langton fully-licensed cultivation facility sits on 97.5 acres of land, one hour away from London, Ontario. Wayland has received its Health Canada licenses for the cultivation, sale and export of its products.
Wayland has recently completed Phase 1 building of its 217,000-square-foot facility, which has a yearly production rate of 22,500 kilograms. The facility includes a 10,000-square-foot research and development facility, comprehensive extraction solutions, as well as GPP-compliant product manufacturing. Wayland has received an additional seven licenses from Health Canada for its Phase 1 grow rooms.
In August 2018, Wayland successfully exported its first shipment of dry cannabis flower to Germany, where it underwent additional testing and met all specifications and requirements.
Wayland has commenced construction on the Phase 2 expansions, which will include an additional 719,550 square feet of grow space, raising capacity to a projected total of 100,000 kilograms per year.
Low-cost, high-efficiency facility
Under a mandate to conduct cultivation in an energy-efficient, low-cost approach in what is otherwise an energy-intensive industry, Wayland has partnered with global brands focused on incorporating automation into cannabis cultivation, including Rockwell Automation. Having implemented a unified platform to improve compliance and quality, as well as a building management system that helps increase energy efficiencies and reduces environmental impact, Wayland is able to reduce the required labor force for its facility by up to 90 percent, thus further reducing costs.
The Langton facility has also been categorized as being ‘88-percent-to-net-zero’, which means it has minimal reliance on external resources of power and water. The property has a natural gas well on sight, reducing electricity costs from $0.20 per kilowatt hour to $0.05 per kilowatt hour, on average. Wayland has also built a 1.55 million-liter cistern that collects rainwater and snowmelt. This water is then used across the facility, requiring little external water for cultivation. In addition to that, the company has also incorporated solar panels into its design.
The building has also been categorized as an R38 envelope, which means that it has significant insulation value, particularly when compared to other cultivation facilities that usually range between R2 and R10.
This model helps to reduce the overall cost of production, thus giving cannabis companies like Wayland the opportunity to provide high-quality cannabis at competitive prices.
Provincial supply agreements
Wayland has signed provincial supply agreements in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario. As per the terms of the agreements, Wayland will be supplying at least 550,000 grams of various cannabis products to the MBLL, up to 3,375 kilograms of cannabis products to the AGLC, approximately 3,622 kilograms of non-medical cannabis to the BCLDB and will be supplying the OCS with 37 listings with a wide range of sizes, formats and strains.
RavenQuest supply agreement
In addition to the provincial supply agreements, Wayland has also signed one with RavenQuest BioMed Inc. (CSE:RQB). Under the terms of the agreement, Wayland will be purchasing up to 8,000 kilograms of dried flower from RavenQuest.
“We are thrilled to be working with George and his team at RavenQuest to provide their specialty indoor product to recreational cannabis consumers across Canada through our existing distribution network. This agreement provides for efficiencies for both companies, constructively working together to meet Canadian demand through our existing resources. At the same time, this allows us to channel our existing supply to the European market,” said Ward.
Understanding that as cannabis becomes more commoditized, the value of cannabis products will lie in the pharmaceutical realm, Wayland has developed partnerships with national and regional pharmacy operators. Within Canada alone, the company has entered into a partnership with a national retail network.
The pharmacy partnership initiative includes educational programming for both patients and healthcare practitioners as well as medicinal-cannabis training for pharmacists. The program maintains the wellbeing and education of patients at its core.
Expanding its footprint beyond Canada, and understanding the potential of Europe’s much larger population, the Wayland has developed partnerships and operations in the continent in order to supply the growing demand for medicinal and recreational cannabis within Europe. In November 2018, Wayland entered the UK with the acquisition of Theros Pharma Ltd., an early-stage cannabis company that imports medical cannabis for patients.
Currently, cannabis is illegal in the UK unless prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons. However, reforms are being demanded and the government is looking into legalizing recreational cannabis in the future. At this time, the medical market in the UK is forecasted to reach 8.8 billion euros by 2028.
Germany alone has the largest economy in Europe, is a global leader in a variety of industries and spent approximately $25.8 billion euros on healthcare in 2017, making it an attractive market for companies looking to enter the European cannabis market.
To date, only medical cannabis has been legalized in the country and there are over 13,000 applicants wishing to enter medical cannabis programs. Additionally, insurance companies will cover approximately 60 percent of the costs associated with using medical cannabis.
Founded in December 2016, Maricann GmbH has been focused on retrofitting their Ebersbach facility located near Dresden, Germany to include drying equipment capable of processing 1,000 kilograms of cannabis per hour. The facility is GMP and GPP-compliant and will have 820,000 square feet for cultivation, processing and extraction activities. So far, the company has completed an initial 49,000 square feet of the retrofit, which will be dedicated to narcotics import and wholesale.
Wayland is one of only six licensed producers which have been granted GMP certification. This allows the company to export product to Germany, where cannabis prices average approximately 24 euros per gram. As the German tender process is still under work, licensed producers with the ability to export to the European nation still have an opportunity to remain competitive in the market.
In October 2018, Maricann completed its first harvest where 120,615 kilograms of dry hemp flower was recovered and processed into resin, exceeding company expectations. To date, a total of 3,000 kilograms of dry flower has been extracted, producing 450 kilograms of resin that will need to be further distilled.
Wayland’s 95 percent-owned subsidiary, Mariplant, develops non-THC cannabis nutraceutical products and runs a 405-acre outdoor hemp cultivation operation in Saxony, Germany. As part of their operations, Mariplant develops isolates of CBD and CBG into food supplements that are then distributed across Germany and the EU.
“We believe that this large-scale outdoor cannabis cultivation and extraction operation has the potential to reduce our costs of production significantly, specifically for isolate CBD, CBN and CBG,” said Ward. “Through this initiative, we expect to be able to produce our own active ingredients for our products, reducing material costs of active ingredients for Mariplant products that we currently purchase from third parties. Our expectation is that this will result in a further competitive advantage for Mariplant, benefiting in a differentiated product through VesiSorb’s patented delivery technology, with the end result of value creation for Wayland Group Corp. shareholders.”
Mariplant is in the process of developing an extraction laboratory, which will be used to process hemp. Consumers can purchase CBD capsules and other products from Mariplant through their website and pharmacies in Germany.
Cannamedical supply agreement
In October 2018, Wayland signed a supply agreement with Cannamedical Pharma GmbH, a licensed and privately-owned importer and distributor of cannabis in Germany. Under the terms of the agreement, Wayland will provide Cannamedical with a minimum 9,000 kilograms of EU-GMP certified cannabis for three years. Cannamedical will then distribute that cannabis to over 2,200 pharmacies in Germany.
In May 2018, Wayland finalized the acquisition of Switzerland-based Haxxon AG, a company focused on the development of feminized, high-CBD cannabis plants with less than 1 percent THC. Haxxon conducts its cultivation activities in a 64,500-square-foot indoor facility in Regensdorf, Switzerland. Since the acquisition, Wayland has successfully exported THC distillate to Switzerland from its cultivation facility in Langton, Ontario.
In addition to Wayland’s cultivation operations, the company also has a retail operation in Zurich, Switzerland. The location will host an enhanced experience center where consumers will be able to sample and test different strains and devices.
According to Ward, Switzerland has seen notable growth in demand for low-THC cannabis and hemp as substitutes for tobacco consumption and Wayland wants to provide high-quality products that meet this demand. The legal medical cannabis market in Switzerland is forecasted to reach 1.2 billion euros by 2028.
Wayland has signed a definitive joint venture agreement with CBD Italian Factory SS, a Group San Martino company, for the production of high-quality cannabis products in Italy.
CBD Italian Factory will contribute their mass-scale agricultural skillset and expertise in biomass energy production. This will allow the joint venture to sustainably produce high-quality CBD and THC products from a naturally-derived fuel source. Wayland will also be licensing its VesiSorb technology to the joint venture.
Additionally, the joint venture partnership has a relationship with the University of Eastern Piedmont, which will serve as a research center for developing cannabis-based wellness products for animals and humans.
In 2013, the Italian government legalized medical cannabis use in the country, but it wasn’t until recently that the country allowed domestic cultivation. Recreational use is also permitted in the country. It is forecasted that the medical cannabis market will reach 7.5 billion euros and the recreational cannabis market will reach 8.2 billion euros by 2028.
Wayland has received its license to manufacture finished-dose medical cannabis from the Maltese government. The license allows Wayland to supply its Maltese operation with the raw materials needed to create pure cannabis distillates, allowing for true pharmaceutical manufacturing. Along with its license, Wayland has initially received 2,750-square-meters of industrial space.
“Wayland continues its path of organic growth and value acquisitions throughout the European Union, accessing key markets for differentiated products through Malta,” said Ward. “We will continue to implement our template for success across Europe, as we expand from operations in Germany, Switzerland and Malta to new markets. We’ve seen parabolic growth in new markets over the past two years, and will expect to continue to see new markets open.”
Malta decriminalized cannabis in 2015 and legalized medical cannabis in March 2018. Medical cannabis is prescribed by a doctor and in order to cultivate medical cannabis, companies must receive a license from the government. Malta’s cannabis market is expected to reach 30 million euros by 2028.
Latin America Operations
Wayland has acquired Colma Pharmaceutical SAS, a licensed cannabis producer that holds four licenses for cultivation and processing on leased land in Ibague, Colombia. Currently, Colma cultivates THC year-round from their 125-acres of cultivation space and has an additional 415,000 square feet in processing, cloning and greenhouse facilities. The company expects to have two full harvests per year.
Wayland intends to perform the extraction process in Colombia before exporting their product for further distillation at their active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facilities in Germany. This will provide the company with a platform to create a complete range of isolates and adds to a sustainable supply of cannabinoids for extraction and further distillation.
“Our move to outdoor cultivation in Colombia is the first step in creating a reliable and consistent mass supply of cannabinoid isolates for the global market, including THC and CBD, and importantly commercial quantities of lesser known CBG and CBN. We will be establishing a robust outdoor flowering operation as a source of products to be manufactured for global distribution from Ebersbach, Germany. We continue to move aggressively in the international market, creating a global presence, built on a rational business platform of geographic cost centers,” said Ward.
Recent estimates show that Colombia could supply as much as 44 percent of the global demand for medicinal cannabis in 2018. Paired with a large population and a comprehensive regulatory framework that allows exportation, Colombia is an attractive destination for cannabis companies around the world.
Wayland has acquired 819-hectares of developed agriculture land in San Juan Province, Argentina, which is an ideal location for cannabis cultivation due to the province’s climate and altitude. Argentina has legalized cannabis research and the use of cannabis for medical purposes in March 2017. However, production remained illegal in the country until July 2018.
“We have been welcomed warmly by the government of San Juan and the people of Argentina. We look forward to developing this major global project which will directly impact and benefit the local community, state and country. We are committed to long term economic development that supports our global plan, to enhance lives through cannabis,” said Ward.
Wayland has acquired a 50.1 percent interest in Tropicann Pty Ltd., a privately-owned Australian company located in Darwin to partner with industry leaders in Australia’s cannabis industry.
“Globalization of cannabis continues, and we are present in relevant markets, with Asia-Pacific now added to our international footprint. The Northern Territory is the ideal location for our new Asia-Pacific hub. The location provides Wayland with ideal climate conditions in a globally respected and sovereign country with a large and fast emerging market of over 250 million people just four hours north. This acquisition accelerates Wayland’s growth strategy in becoming a truly global cannabis company,” said Ward.
Australia’s legal cannabis market is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2027 as the government refines its laws regarding licensing and regulating the industry. Australia has only legalized medical use of the plant and plans on being a hub for medical cannabis research.
In October 2017, Wayland acquired NanoLeaf Technologies, the developer of the globally patented VesiSorb delivery technology. Differentiating Wayland from its competitors, VesiSorb increases the bioavailability of cannabis by making cannabinoids water-soluble.
A proven pharmaceutical technology, VesiSorb allows extracts of both THC and CBD to be effectively incorporated into beverages, edibles, capsules and transdermal products, addressing the needs of both the medicinal and recreational markets. By enhancing bioavailability, VesiSorb technology reduces the onset time of cannabinoids from 60 to 90 minutes, to 10 to 15 minutes. It also makes it much easier for doctors to prescribe and administer precise doses to patients.
Kiwi is a straight-forward, modern approach that will help Canadians learn and experience cannabis in a jargon-free way. The brand hosts four dried flower variants that are easy to follow regardless of the consumers expertise or background. Each strain will deliver reliable, consistent sensations that are easy to enjoy.
Northern Harvest has something for any cannabis consumer that appreciates authentic, local quality and is designed for light to medium users. The brand will offer consumers a collection of mid- to high-THC products.
High Tide is a collection of high-THC cannabis strains designed for experienced and medium to heavy users. Wayland’s goal with High Tide is to create their most potent cannabis to date.
Solara C offers the best in holistic and health benefits that CBD can offer. Wayland intends to continually develop new products, formats and delivery systems to cater to unique needs. Additionally, all products will be designed and tested under rigorous standards to ensure the product’s quality.
Lost at Seed
Lost at Seed is a meticulously curated collection of the finest and rarest cannabis genetics. The brand is designed for medium to heavy users who are looking for highly desirable and impossible to find strains.
In January 2018, Wayland entered into an exclusivity agreement with Rare Dankness LLC to bring the latter’s cannabis strains and products into Canada. Under the agreement, Wayland will have exclusive distribution and retail rights for the Rare Dankness products and genetics over five years. The company will also have the right of first refusal to act as Rare Dankness’ distributor in Europe.
Rare Dankness is a brand that Wayland has curated with its partner Rare Dankness LLC. The brand will target experienced cannabis users who are knowledgeable about strains, potencies and profiles. It will also offer a wide range of award-winning strains that users won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Rare Dankness owns a genetic bank that spans three decades and includes high-quality, specially-bred strains. The company has utilized its expertise to develop new genetics which have won multiple High Times Cannabis Cups.
Maricann is Wayland’s medical cannabis brand. It offers consumers dried cannabis and cannabis oils and strives to be on the cutting edge of medical cannabis innovation.
Benjamin Ward—CEO and Director
Ben Ward leads all facets of the company’s operations, including its strategic direction and execution, finance and industry relations. He brings extensive domestic and global experience in business development, infrastructure development and capital markets to his leadership of Wayland Group Corp. He holds a BA (Honors) and an MBA from Bradford
University School of Management (England), the latter with a dual concentration in Operations and Finance.
Bhupinder Brar – Chief Strategy Officer
Bhupinder has over a decade of experience working in the pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries, developing long-term business strategies in Canada, Europe and International markets. As a Certified Management Accountant (CPA, CMA), Brar brings a wealth of financial expertise to the company, specializing in capital management, M&A, and internal financial planning. With an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, he drives strategic performance as Chief Strategy Officer at Wayland Group Inc.
Geoff Kosar—VP of Sales and Marketing
Geoff Kosar has played a key role in shaping the marketing and strategic direction of many iconic household brands in Canada for the past 20 years. Most recently, he was the Head of Marketing at Diageo, Canada’s largest Spirits company. He understands selling and marketing brands in regulated industries.
Terry Fretz is a long-time pharmaceutical executive who was integral in establishing and running two privately held generic pharmaceutical companies. Under his leadership, both organizations were recognized as the fastest growing pharma companies in Canada. Both companies were subsequently acquired by publicly traded multinationals. He served as President and General Manager of Watson Pharmaceuticals – Canada before assuming his responsibilities as President at Wayland Group Corp.
Scott Langille has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in both Canada and the United States. Scott has held CFO positions at publicly traded pharmaceutical companies including Tribute Pharmaceuticals, and Virexx Medical Corp. Past financial experience includes Vice President at Biovail Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Director, Corporate Finance at Biovail Corporation. He has a professional accounting designation and an MBA from the University of Toronto.
Morten Brandt – General Manager, Europe
Morten Brandt in an internationally experienced Executive in Healthcare and has 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector in General Management roles. Previously, he was the Vice President Medium Sized Markets – Norgine, managing company affiliates in Europe, MENA and South Africa, Management of Distributor relationships in South East Asia, Europe and MENA, General Manager and Vice President Germany, Austria, Switzerland – Norgine, Sales & Marketing Director Germany and Austria, finance and admin roles. He is a longstanding active member in German Pharmaceutical Industry Association and board member for the Regional Board of the BPI in Hessen.
Mathew McLeod—General Counsel
Mr. McLeod holds a BEng and an MBA from the Royal Military College of Canada as well as a JD from Western University. He was previously a corporate lawyer with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in New York City and most recently worked with Sigma Systems based in Toronto, Ontario where he held the role of Head of Legal and Compliance. Mr. McLeod’s merger and acquisition experience will be invaluable to the Company and this latest appointment further strengthens the Company’s corporate expertise and will allow Wayland Group to continue its global expansion.
Paul Pathak is a partner at Chitiz Pathak LLP, a Toronto law firm. Paul practices principally in the areas of corporate, securities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and commercial law. He represents and provides sophisticated guidance to private and public corporate clients in a broad range of industries, including mining, technology, cannabis, manufacturing, venture capital and merchant banking.
Past partner of Ernst and Young’s German practice, Gerhard Müller was responsible for the Technology, Media & Entertainment sector at Ernst & Young for the Germany, Switzerland, Austria (GSA) Region. He is a Certified Public Auditor and Tax consultant who studied economics and English in Munich and Manchester (UK). He is the deputy chairman of m4e AG, a German listed Media company. Gerhard is an independent member of the company’s Board of Directors.
Michael Stein currently acts as a financial consultant and advises clients on various matters, including acquisitions, divestitures, corporate financings, reorganizations and restructurings. He is currently the President, Secretary and director of Applied Inventions Management Corp. He is former Director of U.S. Money Market for a federally chartered Trust company and former institutional money banker for a US Savings and Loan Association based in California. He majored in economics and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from York University.
Dr. Eric Silver—Director
With extensive experience using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain, Dr. Eric Silver co-founded L.E. Medical in 2002, a nutraceutical and natural health supplement company. He is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Teacher in the Department of Family
and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, with a focused practice in interventional pain management.
Clay Homer – Director
Clay Horner is a principal of HBH Strategic Advisors which consults on significant business and corporate matters for several large private equity firms and domestic and international corporations. Until February 2018, Horner was a senior partner of law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. His practice included many of Canada’s most significant M&A transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $300 billion over the past 25 years, including landmark Canadian transactions and cross border transactions with the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, China, Russia and South Africa. He was the Chairman of Osler and Chairman of the Business Law Department for almost two decades.
In 2011, he was named one of the 15 most influential M&A lawyers in the world by the International Bar Association. He has a BA from Queens University, an LLB from the University of Toronto Law School and an LLM from the Harvard Law School.
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The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Wayland and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.