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Growing cannabis and community: Westleaf Cannabis Inc. and Thunderchild First Nations announce strategic partnership


Westleaf Cannabis Inc Cison

First Nations Cree band makes $8 million investment in emerging Western Canadian cannabis company

CALGARY, July 24, 2018 /CNW/ – Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf” or the “Company”) has entered into a strategic partnership with Thunderchild First Nation (“Thunderchild”) marked by an $8 million investment in Westleaf by an affiliate of Thunderchild. The investment makes Thunderchild the largest shareholder of Westleaf, and is accompanied by a seat being allocated to Chief Delbert Wapass on the Company’s Board of Directors.

“Since its inception, Westleaf has firmly believed in investing and supporting the communities it operates in and developing meaningful, authentic relationships that are reflective of Canadian values,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO, Westleaf Cannabis Inc. “One of the defining moments for our company was our decision to partner with Thunderchild First Nation, and we look forward to building a partnership that will allow us to put a spotlight on the Canadian production of cannabis, while instilling a sense of pride and ownership in the communities we serve.”

Westleaf is constructing a ~115,000 square foot cannabis cultivation facility on lands owned by Thunderchild located near Battleford, Saskatchewan (the “Battleford Facility”). The Battleford Facility is one of two which are planned for Westleaf and, once fully operational, the intent is for the Battleford Facility to provide significant job creation for the Thunderchild community and to spur long-term economic development in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Employees of the Battleford Facility will work with a team of experts from Westleaf who specialize in building and operating cultivation, processing and extraction facilities. To ensure world class education and training, all Westleaf employees will be required to go through an extensive training program, ensuring they are experts of their craft.

“We believe that the legalization of recreational cannabis creates significant economic opportunities for our country – and our community is no exception. We are proud to be Westleaf’s largest shareholder, as we strongly believe that this relationship will bring significant benefits to our band,” said Thunderchild Chief Delbert Wapass. “Westleaf’s strong knowledge of the industry and its vision to develop high-quality cannabis products in the prairies in collaboration with our members will make our relationship a natural and rewarding fit.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“WCI”) is a private cannabis company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta that is purely and proudly Canadian. With two state-of-the-art cultivation facilities under development in Saskatchewan and Alberta, WCI will deliver superior Canadian-made products curated in world class production facilities and laboratories. Once both of Westleaf’s planned facilities are fully operational, Westleaf will have ~175,000 of square feet devoted to production and manufacturing facilities. WCI intends to develop and manufacture a diverse range of high quality, safe and consistent cannabis products. With a focus on premium retail locations, cannabis cultivation, processing, and extraction practises, WCI will deliver a distinct product offering and in-store customer experience anchored on higher standards. With prospective retail stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan (subject to receipt of retail licenses in respect of the same) WCI has plans to be deeply rooted in the fabric of the communities in which it operates, solidifying its position as a leader in the Canadian cannabis landscape. For more information, please visit http://www.westleaf.com/.

SOURCE Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

For further information: Media Contact: Hannah Korsunsky, for Westleaf Cannabis Inc., Hannah.korsunsky@northstrategic.com, T: 647-922-5550

Saskatchewan First Nation invests $8 million in Calgary cannabis company


Dave Dormer – CBC News

A Calgary-based cannabis company is partnering with a Saskatchewan First Nation to build a pair of production facilities in the two provinces, along with a chain of retail stores across Western Canada.

An $8 million investment by Thunderchild First Nation makes it the largest shareholder of Westleaf Cannabis, a vertically integrated company based in Calgary — meaning it will control its own production and distribution of marijuana.

“The band has supported Westleaf since its inception over 12 months ago, and helped us bring the Westleaf vision to life by providing a large-scale investment during our preliminary business development phase,” said Scott Hurd, president and CEO of Westleaf.

“What’s unique about this partnership is really the authentic relationship that we’ve formed between Th

underchild and Westleaf and it really extends beyond just a business deal. We share similar values, we both have roots in the Prairies and we both want to invest in the communities that we serve.”

Hurd says construction began Monday on a 115,000 sq.-ft. indoor production facility in Battleford, Sask., on land owned by Thunderchild First Nation, which will take 10 to 12 months to complete.

 

 

“At full scale, this project will create approximately 150 … job opportunities and we’re in the process of implementing an institutional-quality training program that will allow for the development and advancement of our employees’ careers.”

Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf Cannabis. (Westleaf Cannabis)

Chief Delbert Wapass will serve as a board member with Westleaf on behalf of Thunderchild First Nation.

Westleaf has also applied to build a 60,000 sq.-ft. indoor production facility in an industrial space in Calgary’s southeast quadrant, and the company expects to begin construction in the next 30 days, which will also take 10 to 12 months to complete.

When in operation, Hurd said the facility will employ up to 80 full-time staff members.

A source with the city confirmed the building permit application and said Westleaf is one of a number of companies that have made applications for a production facility in Calgary.

 

Adam Coates is the vice-president of sales and marketing with Westleaf Cannabis. (Westleaf Cannabis

Westleaf also plans to open a number of retail stores across Western Canada, once recreational marijuana is legalization on Oct. 17, under the name Prairie Records. Along with producing marijuana flower, or bud, the company will create and sell derivative products.

“There’s all different types of products that can be formulated that would be called a derivative, which include edibles, vape pens, topicals, tinctures for oil consumption. We intend to have a fairly wide and diverse product offering,” said Hurd.

Stores across Western Canada

Westleaf has made applications to open five stores in Calgary and two in Edmonton, along with a number of other Alberta municipalities under the Prairie Records label. Hurd says the company holds leases on the locations, contingent on being awarded a retail licence.

Westleaf has also applied for a retail licence in the city of Warman, north of Saskatoon, as they were one of 51 companies selected in a recent lottery.

Companies awarded a retail licence in Saskatchewan will also be able to sell online in that province.

B.C. recently released its regulations around retail outlets and Westleaf plans to apply for three to six locations in that province, with at least one likely being in the Lower Mainland area, said Adam Coates, vice-president of sales and marketing.

One of Westleaf’s applications in Calgary is to open a business at the Palace Theatre. It will have the look and feel of a record store, but will sell marijuana, Coates said.

“It really fits our concept really well of being relevant locally, then creating a unique customer experience, all tied in with music,” he said.

“Music is kind of that universal thing, everyone has a relationship with it. There’s music for different moods and different occasions and we’re going to bring education … to tie that right along with cannabis, once it becomes legal.”

Two other applications have been made for retail stores one block east from that location, however, and there are liquor stores on either side.