Canada's largest retail cannabis brand plans to add franchised and corporate-owned Spiritleaf stores in Ontario market
CALGARY, Dec. 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. ("Inner Spirit" or the "Company") (CSE:ISH), a Canadian company establishing a national network of retail cannabis stores under its Spiritleaf brand, today announced the opening of its tenth corporate-owned retail cannabis store in Fort McMurray, Alberta at the city's Peter Pond Mall set for December 20, 2019. The Company also announced it has accelerated franchise sales and store development activities in Ontario as a result of the recent announcement by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (the "AGCO") that it will start accepting retail operator licence applications from prospective retailers in January 2020.
"We continue to advance the Company's growth strategy by opening Spiritleaf cannabis retail stores in areas where permitted by regulation. Earlier this month we opened franchised stores in the West Hillhurst community of Calgary and in the town of Cochrane as well as a corporate-owned store in Edmonton's Garneau district near the University of Alberta campus. Opening these locations at this time enables us to participate in the busy holiday shopping season and to take part in the pending rollout of Cannabis 2.0 products," said Darren Bondar, President and CEO of Inner Spirit.
Cannabis 2.0 refers to recreational cannabis products such as concentrates, edibles and infused beverages that will start becoming available in Spiritleaf's Moose Jaw store and Saskatchewan e-commerce store (sk.spiritleaf.ca) as early as next week and in other Canadian markets starting in early 2020. Industry observers suggest these products will attract additional business to Spiritleaf's network of retail cannabis stores.
Additionally, the recent AGCO announcement regarding the Ontario retail market enables the Company to accelerate franchise sales and store development activities in the country's largest market. There is currently one Spiritleaf retail cannabis store in Ontario located in the city of Kingston. Inner Spirit has more than 20 franchise partners in Ontario ready to advance their licences once the retail operator licence application process opens on January 6, 2020 and the retail store authorizations process opens on March 2, 2020. It's expected the Company will develop these franchised stores in the coming year as well as open additional corporate-owned stores in Ontario, which are now possible under the province's proposed new regulatory framework.
"Our Spiritleaf cannabis retail network has grown tenfold in 2019. The Inner Spirit team and our franchise partners have done an incredible job as we have increased our network to 42 operating stores with an additional 10 store locations in Western Canada in the pipeline. The new opportunity in Ontario means our franchise partners can proceed along a defined licensing process and provides us the opportunity to support the Spiritleaf brand with additional corporate-owned stores in select cities. We remain focused on strategically expanding our retail network, enhancing financial performance and creating value for the Company's shareholders," noted Bondar.
The Company has the largest retail cannabis footprint in Canada with Spiritleaf stores open and operating in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Visit www.spiritleaf.ca for more information including store locations and operating hours.
About Inner Spirit
Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. (CSE:ISH) has established a growing network of recreational cannabis stores across Canada under its Spiritleaf brand. The Spiritleaf network includes franchised and corporate-owned stores as well as an Ontario retail partnership, all operated with an entrepreneurial spirit and with the goal of creating deep and lasting ties within their local communities. Spiritleaf aims to be the most knowledgeable and trusted source of recreational cannabis by offering a premium consumer experience and quality curated cannabis products. The Company is led by passionate advocates for cannabis who have years of retail, franchise and consumer marketing experience. Key industry partners and shareholders include Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX.V:XLY), HEXO Corp (TSX:HEXO) and Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY). Learn more at www.innerspiritholdings.com and www.spiritleaf.ca.
This news release contains statements and information that, to the extent that they are not historical fact, may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking information may include financial and other projections, as well as statements regarding future plans, objectives or economic performance, or the assumption underlying any of the foregoing. In some cases, forward-looking information can be identified by terms such as "may", "would", "could", "will", "likely", "except", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "plan", "forecast", "project", "estimate", "outlook", "potential", or the negative thereof or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: the objectives and business plans of the Company; the anticipated opening of a corporate-owned retail cannabis store in Fort McMurray, Alberta on December 20, 2019; the expectation that Cannabis 2.0 recreational cannabis products will become available in Canadian markets in late December 2019 and early 2020, and the expectation that such products will attract additional business to retail recreational cannabis stores such as Spiritleaf locations; the expectations that the Ontario retail operator licence application process will open on January 6, 2020 and the Ontario retail store authorizations process will open on March 2, 2020; the expectation that the Company will develop franchise retail cannabis stores and open up to five corporate-owned stores in Ontario; the expectation that the Company will continue its momentum of opening new Spiritleaf retail cannabis stores in 2020; the preparations of the Company to open additional retail cannabis stores in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan in 2020; and the Company focusing on smartly expanding its retail store network, enhancing its financial performance and achieving profitability at its stores, and creating value for its shareholders. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks, including but not limited to: the risk that the Company or its franchisees do not receive retail cannabis licenses or are not able to open additional retail cannabis stores; the risk that the licensed Spiritleaf retail cannabis stores intended to be opened do not open as anticipated or at all; the risk that Cannabis 2.0 products do not become available as anticipated, and if they do become available, the risk that the actual benefits from Cannabis 2.0 products will not be as anticipated; the risk that corporate-owned and franchised Spiritleaf retail cannabis stores do not perform as anticipated; the risk that the open retail cannabis licensing framework announced by the Government of Ontario is not adopted as anticipated, and if adopted, the risk that the Company and its franchisees do not benefit from such system as anticipated or at all; and other factors outside of the Company's control. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors and risks is not exhaustive. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking information addresses future events and conditions, by its very nature it involves inherent risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking information and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits the Company will derive therefrom. The forward-looking information included in this news release is made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake an obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities legislation.
SOURCE Inner Spirit Holdings
For further information: Darren Bondar, President & CEO, Email: [email protected], Phone: 1 (403) 930-9300, www.innerspiritholdings.com