Emblem (TSXV:EMC, OTC:EMMBF) (“Emblem” or the “Company”), announced today that it has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities in Natura Naturals Inc. (“Natura”) that it does not already own for $25 million in cash, $12.5 million in mortgage financing and 26,102,941 common shares of Emblem (the “Transaction”). Based on Emblem’s 45 day VWAP of $1.36, the implied transaction value is $76 million (inclusive of Natura shares already owned by Emblem). On completion of the Transaction, Emblem will further its aggressive approach to sales growth both domestically and internationally backed by robust supply from the Natura greenhouse.

Based in Leamington, Ontario, Natura operates a 662,000 sq ft licensed greenhouse that is currently undergoing a phased conversion and retrofit that is expected to bring up to 15,000 kg of annualized cannabis production online in 2018. Once completed in 2019, the facility is expected to bring total annualized cannabis production capacity to approximately 70,000 kg per year.


The entering into of the LOI follows Emblem’s recently announced $3 million equity investment in Natura and the entering into of a 3,000 kg per year supply agreement.

“Through the due diligence process of investigating Natura as a supply partner, we uncovered significant synergies between the two organizations” said Nick Dean, CEO of Emblem Corp. “Providing high quality products to Emblem’s medical and adult-use audiences continues to be our top priority. With the added capacity from Natura, we are able to aggressively pursue our focus on product innovation, building great brands and finding distribution partners domestically and internationally.”

With more than 40 years of greenhouse production expertise, Natura will bring a wealth of expertise and talent to Emblem’s production side, with the capacity to produce high-quality, greenhouse-grown cannabis at a lower cost than an indoor facility. Natura will also bring 32 proprietary cannabis strains to Emblem’s library, significantly increasing Emblem’s intellectual property.

Emblem currently has supply agreements with Shoppers Drug Mart nationally, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and has an LOI to form a joint venture with German pharmaceutical wholesaler Acnos Pharma GmbH. Emblem also has submitted an application to supply the Ontario Cannabis Stores in Ontario. Under Emblem’s portfolio, it is expected that Natura will be a stand-alone brand in the adult-use market, joining Symbl, Emblem’s recently launched recreational brand.

The final terms and closing of the Transaction is subject to the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement and certain other customary conditions including the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.  The Transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

In light of the Transaction, Emblem has made the decision to suspend greenhouse construction plans at their Paris Road location. The construction of Emblem’s GMP certified lab located at their Woodslee location will continue with an anticipated completion date of December 2018.

About Natura Naturals
Based in Leamington, Ontario, Natura Naturals is a  licensed cultivator of medical cannabis pursuant to Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (“ACMPR”). The company’s cultivation facility is capable of producing plants in a 662,000+ square feet greenhouse facility under optimal growing conditions. Natura  grows high-quality hydroponic cannabis which can be used for various medical and recreational applications. Natura has an extensive genetics library and continues to develop innovative products for the Canadian and International marketplace.

About Emblem
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 ACMPR. Emblem’s state-of-the-art indoor cannabis 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 further information contact:

Ethan Karayannopoulos
Investor Relations
Emblem Corp.
647.748.9696
ethank@emblemcorp.com

Alex Stojanovic
Chief Financial Officer
Emblem Corp.
416.923.1331
alexs@emblemcorp.com

Alexander Logie
SVP Business Development
Natura Naturals Inc.
647.216.8997
logie@naturanaturals.ca

Ian Atacan
Chief Financial Officer
Natura Naturals Inc.
416.562.3220
ian@naturanaturals.ca

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, including statements with respect to the Transaction. 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 risk that the Transaction may not be completed or that the ultimate terms and conditions of the Transaction may differ from the statements contemplated herein and  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.  In addition, the terms and conditions of the Transaction may change based on, among other things, the receipt of tax, corporate and securities law advice.  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 Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Press release.

Click here to connect with Emblem (TSXV:EMC, OTC:EMMBF) for an Investor Presentation. 

Source: globenewswire.ca

Multi-state cannabis leader highlights events, partnerships, and activities to coincide with Juneteenth holiday

Trulieve Cannabis Corp . (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States and its dispensary group Solevo Wellness, today announced the sponsorship of expungement clinics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as additional initiatives celebrating the Juneteenth holiday.

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A summertime series of expungement events, employee volunteerism, documentary filmmaking, fundraising and more demonstrate the importance of commitment to reform and restorative justice to build an equitable, inclusive cannabis industry

Today, on the 50 th anniversary of when America started its longest war—the War on Drugs— Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco” or “the Company”), a vertically integrated multistate operator and the number one U.S. wholesaler of branded cannabis products, announced the launch of a summer-long social justice campaign supported by its Sunnyside retail brand and flagship cannabis brand, Cresco . Through community expungement events, employee volunteerism, a film documenting the impact of unjust prosecution, and financial contributions from the Company and our third-party vendors, the “Summer of Social Justice” campaign aims to influence reform to help shape a future cannabis industry with limitless opportunities for everyone. The campaign will amplify the ongoing restorative justice, community business incubator and education and workforce development programming facilitated by the Company’s established SEED (Social Equity & Education Development) initiative.

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Florida’s legal cannabis program has gained plenty of investor attention as the potential for this segment of the US cannabis market continues to expand.

The US cannabis industry is largely fragmented because the plant remains illegal at the federal level. Despite that obstacle, several states across the country have implemented medical and recreational cannabis legislation allowing for cultivation, processing, commercial sale and consumer use.

While this legislation differs greatly from state to state, one state’s medical cannabis industry has seen unprecedented growth: Florida.

 

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The coastal state’s journey to cannabis legalization has been a challenging one. In 2016, over 70 percent of Floridians voted for a constitutional amendment to allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

However, in the 2017 legislation that created the state’s legal medical cannabis framework, then-Governor Rick Scott banned smoking medical cannabis. It wasn’t until March 2019 that Ron DeSantis, the current governor of Florida, lifted the ban on smokable marijuana.

In the face of those challenges, the Sunshine State has developed one of the most attractive medical cannabis markets in the country. In fact, Florida’s medical marijuana space is one of the fastest growing in the country.

Read on to learn more about the investing opportunities in Florida’s legal cannabis space and the top marijuana stocks to look out for.

Florida medical cannabis: High-growth market

Florida’s large population — the third biggest in the US — is a factor in the attractiveness of its cannabis market. The state is also the fourth largest economy in the US with a gross domestic product of just over US$1 billion in 2020.

A 2020 report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics shows the US legal cannabis industry is expected to grow by 18.2 percent between 2019 and 2025 to reach US$33.9 billion. Florida ranks among the jurisdictions that will contribute the most to that growth.

“The Total Available Market, or TAM, is one of the most critical factors for any industry,” states Dustin Robinson, founding partner of Mr. Cannabis Law, in an article written for Green Entrepreneur. “Florida’s marijuana industry happens to have one of the strongest TAMs in the world.”

As of a June 2021 update from Florida Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), the state had 569,450 qualified medical marijuana patients and 2,542 qualified physicians.

Florida’s patient count is a small percentage of its population of 21 million, but it has been steadily growing since the drug was legalized in the state in 2016. In fact, the patient figure has more than doubled in the past two years.

According to Robinson, there are almost 300 retail locations in Florida, with another 500 locations expected by the end of 2022.

Beacon Securities analyst Russell Stanley has said Florida boasts a healthy list of addressable medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis, unlike the medical marijuana programs in other states.

“Some other states have had trouble expanding their programs, in part because it’s been very difficult for patients to get access to product,” Stanley told the Investing News Network. “Other states have had restrictions on which healthcare practitioners can recommend it and what they can recommend it for.”

 

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Florida cannabis market: High barriers to entry

The 2017 Florida medical marijuana law established a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries and required that each center be vertically integrated — they all had to manage their own operations, from cannabis cultivation and processing to distribution and sales.

The cap on the number of dispensaries expired in April 2020. While the vertical integration requirement portion of the law underwent a three year court battle, the Supreme Court of Florida recently upheld the legislation, meaning this requirement will continue to shape the Florida cannabis market for years to come.

During a panel discussion, Steve Hawkins, CEO of Horizons ETFs Management (Canada), said he views vertical integration as one of the key benefits for US companies compared to the Canadian cannabis market. Only players that have been able to develop cannabis production, manufacturing and distribution capabilities can compete in the marketplace.

As of March 2021, the state had 22 licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) and five laboratories licensed for third party testing. The low number of licenses currently awarded creates high entry barriers, which is a big plus for the currently operating companies that have already established a strong foothold in the market.

Robinson believes that “the 22 Licensees are in a great position to build multi-billion-dollar companies in Florida’s growing marijuana industry.”

These 22 established licensees will also have an advantage if and when recreational cannabis becomes legal in the state. “In Florida, the medical marijuana license allows the current MMTCs to build out as big of a footprint as possible in preparation for adult use (recreational) legalization,” he said.

Florida cannabis market: Top Florida cannabis stocks

As the legal cannabis industry grows in Florida, some players have begun to stand out in the state.

Florida native Trulieve Cannabis (CSE:TRUL,OTC Pink:TCNNF) holds the lion’s share of the market and has continually been a top-performing stock in the state.

Trulieve opened Florida’s first medical marijuana dispensary back in 2016, and since then it’s grown into a force in the industry, with a current market capitalization of US$5.52 billion.

As of June 4, 2021, Trulieve had 82 dispensing locations in the state, according to data released by the OMMU. In one week’s time it sold more than 76.5 million milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products and 1.6 million milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) products, in addition to 32,295 ounces of dried flower.

Shortly after smokable marijuana was legalized, Trulieve began selling flower and was the first in the state to do so. Trulieve has also benefited from a vertically integrated structure that includes cannabis cultivation, production and distribution, which is essential since cannabis cannot be moved across states lines just yet.

Surterra Wellness comes in at a distant second place with 39 dispensing locations and sales of over 22.2 million milligrams of THC products and 1.6 million milligrams of CBD products, in addition to 6,911 ounces of dried flower. Surterra is owned by Parallel, one of the largest privately held multi-state cannabis operators (MSOs) in the country.

 

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Parallel recently announced its intentions to go public through a definitive business combination agreement with Ceres Acquisition (NEO:CERE,OTCQX:CERAF), a special purpose acquisition company.

Another big player in the state is Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings (CSE:CURA,OTCQX:CURLF). Though not native to Florida, Curaleaf’s presence in the state’s cannabis business is substantial. Of the MSO’s total 101 dispensaries, 37 are in Florida, putting it in third place behind Trulieve and Surterra.

The vertically integrated company also launched the state’s first medical cannabis tablets in September 2019, followed by the first sublingual tablets in July 2020.

Curaleaf put up impressive revenue numbers for 2020, reporting retail revenue of US$423.2 million compared to US$138.7 million in 2019. The company attributed the 205 percent increase to new store openings in its operating states, including five opened in Florida in 2020.

Liberty Health Sciences, which was acquired by Ayr Wellness (CSE:AYR.A,OTCQX:AYRWF) in February 2021 in all-stock transaction, also has a considerable stake in Florida. According to the OMMU, Liberty currently has 36 dispensing locations in the state.

Ayr Wellness plans to increase that footprint to 42 dispensaries by the end of 2021, and has a target of roughly US$4 million in annual retail revenues per store for 2022. In May 2021, the company announced the launch of its Origyn premium concentrate line in the state. The product line includes wax, crumble, Rick Simpson oil and shatter. Ayr has also begun construction of a 10 acre outdoor cultivation expected to be completed in Q3 2021.

Florida cannabis market: Investor takeaway

As its medical marijuana industry continues to grow, Florida has a lot to offer in terms of investment opportunities. BDS Analytics projects that Florida’s medical cannabis market will hit US$1.5 billion in sales in 2021, up 53 percent over 2020 sales.

The research firms predicts that recreational cannabis could be legal by 2023, which would set Florida on a path to become the third largest US legal cannabis market by 2026. Regardless of whether adult use gets the green light that soon, investors should still consider the Sunshine State as a premier cannabis jurisdiction.

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Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) (“Trulieve” or “the Company”), a leading and top-performing cannabis company based in the United States announced today the opening of a new Florida dispensary, the Company’s 90th nationwide.

The latest dispensary, located in the Florida Keys, supports Trulieve’s goal of ensuring medical cannabis patients across Florida have safe, reliable access to the medications they rely on. The Tavernier dispensary joins the nearby Key West dispensary, as well as several others throughout the Miami area.

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Company to Donate: $30,000 to Assist with Elk Grove Village’s Community Events and Outreach Programs; Additional $15,000 to Go Towards Supporting Alexian Brothers Medical Center’s Foundation, Elk Grove Village Police Drug Education Program and Kenneth Young Youth Center

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