During the Lift & Co Cannabis Expo in Toronto, INN had the opportunity to catch up with Daniel Yi, SVP of corporate communications for MedMen, a new CSE listing operating cannabis dispensaries in California.
According to the company, as part of its reverse takeover to list on the CSE, MedMen raised C$143 million through a private placement, effectively valuating the enterprise at C$2.14 billion.
Originally revealed at the Canaccord cannabis investor day event held in Vancouver in January by MedMen CEO Adam Bierman, MedMen was ready to raise funds in the Canadian public markets.
At the Lift & Co Cannabis Expo in Toronto, the Investing News Network (INN) had the opportunity to speak with Daniel Yi, SVP of corporate communications for MedMen before the official launch of the MedMen stock on the CSE.
As Yi explained it MedMen will seek to create dispensaries in Canada employing the retail model that has elevated the company in the state of California.
“[A]t the end of the day I think, Canadian … consumer[s] are not going to be very different from American or Californian consumers. You have American stores here in Canada…” Yi told INN.
“MedMen stores have been integral to mainstreaming cannabis, and they have become one of the most well-known and respected cannabis platforms in the US,” Cronos CEO Mike Gorenstein said in a statement.
Watch the video above for more insight from Yi about the initial plans from MedMen and the development of MedMen Canada. You can also read the transcript below. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
INN: Daniel, why don’t we start with the public launch for MedMen. Where are you guys at right now?
DY: Sure. So, were about to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the text symbol MMEN, it would be the largest US-based cannabis company going public in the world actually for the time.
INN: So, MedMen has earned a reputation of brand recognition in the California market. Can you talk about how did you integrate that when you move up to Canada? Thanks to your partnership with Cronos Group.
DY: Sure. So, we signed a joint venture with the Cronos Group to eventually open MedMen branded stores here in Canada by marrying our expertise they are a licensed entity here in Canada and they have grown facilities and manufacture facilities and obviously we come with a very well recognized, dare I say globally recognized retail brand for Canada so we have stores in California, in Nevada, in New York. So you have brand recognition and at the end of the day, I think Canadian consumers are not going to be very different from American or Californian consumers.
You have American stores here in Canada, you have European stores on 5th Avenue in New York and we a have MedMen’s store in 5th Avenue, so at the end of the day the consumer wants the place where they feel they’re getting value, a place where they feel safe, a place they feel familiar. We’ve been compared to the Apple’s store of marijuana and I think what that says is that people when they come to MedMen store, it feels familiar right? It feels like a retail establishment. We didn’t invent retail, I mean people already know how to do retail which is bringing the retail– the best of the retail concept to the cannabis space. So, I think Canada is a natural evolution in MedMen sort of seeking those markets that are [poised] for growth.
INN: On the Cronos partnership, can you provide a little bit of background of how that came about and also once MedMen Canada is fully formed in a retail store, [wherever] you may put them, how would that partnership work?
DY: Sure. So, the cannabis industry obviously is growing by leaps and bounds and eve3ryone who knows the space knows there are a lot of players but at the top, I’ll be honest with you it’s really, it’s a small world, it’s a small village at the top and believers of the cannabis industry. Companies like Cronos, companies like MedReleaf, MedMen, right? So, it’s a small circle and they all talk to each other so Adam Bierman our CEO and Michael Gorenstein of Cronos Group have a relationship and when they saw an opportunity that we could maybe the strengths of both companies [being] on a joint venture, it’s seem very natural, right? And this is what will propel this industry forward, it’s people who are pioneering ideas like that, unique ideas like that will really propel this industry to the next phase.
INN: Okay. Well, Daniel thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate it.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.