OTTAWA, Aug. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - National Access Cannabis Corp. ("NAC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: META), Canada's best practices leader in delivering safe and responsible access to legal cannabis, and The Second Cup Ltd. ("Second Cup") (TSX:SCU), Canada's second-largest retailer of specialty coffee, today announced an update to their national strategic alliance in response to the Ontario government's announcement to roll out a private retail cannabis model starting April 1, 2019.
NAC and Second Cup originally announced their strategic alliance in April 2018, through which the two companies will develop a network of NAC-branded and operated recreational cannabis stores in provinces where legally permissible.
Based on the Ontario government's announcement earlier this week, NAC and Second Cup have begun actively reviewing potential Second Cup locations in the province for conversion to NAC-operated cannabis retail stores, under the brand and banner Meta Cannabis Supply Co.™ (aka META).
There are more than 130 Second Cup locations across Ontario, with a significant number of sites in high-traffic, densely populated municipalities, including Ottawa and Toronto. As more details become available through legislation, the companies will continue to assess locations for Ontario retail opportunities. Conversion of any Second Cup café to a META recreational cannabis store will be conditional on obtaining a retail license from provincial regulators and the approval of Second Cup and the applicable franchisee and landlord.
"The recent provincial announcement for private cannabis retail in Ontario provides an opportunity to enhance the national plans we have with Second Cup to build and operate private retail stores in Ontario under our new and exciting META brand," said Mark Goliger, Chief Executive Officer of National Access Cannabis. "Second Cup has exceptional quality real estate in locations throughout Ontario and we plan to leverage this to provide safe and responsible access to legal cannabis. Our alliance is the perfect fit for the province, and we hope to join the Ontario government in its consultations and provide a retail environment that supports the primary goal of public safety."
"Our strategic alliance with National Access Cannabis allows Second Cup to leverage our real estate assets to increase value for our franchisee partners and our shareholders while maintaining focus on our primary objective of being the specialty coffee brand of choice across Canada," said Garry Macdonald, Second Cup's President & CEO. "NAC has developed a strong reputation as a leading operator in the cannabis industry and the opportunity to activate our partnership in Ontario, Second Cup's largest region, is a strong growth opportunity for our two businesses."
In addition to the opportunity in Ontario, NAC's META retail brand is targeting 2018 openings of 50-70 retail stores in the western provinces of Manitoba (where it was awarded one of only four licences through a provincial RFP process), Alberta and British Columbia, and is currently recruiting up to 700 employees to be trained for Canada's retail launch which is expected to begin on October 17, 2018.
About National Access Cannabis
National Access Cannabis is Canada's best practices leader in delivering secure, safe, and responsible access to legal cannabis. Through its Canada-wide network of care centres, pharmacies, NAC Bio's clinical research division, and Meta Cannabis Supply Co.™ recreational cannabis retail stores, NAC enables patients and the public to gain knowledge and access to Canada's network of authorized Licensed Producers of Cannabis. National Access Cannabis Corp. is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol (TSXV: META). For more information, visit www.nationalaccesscannabis.com and www.nacbio.com and www.metacannabis.com
About Second Cup Coffee Co.
Founded in 1975, The Second Cup Ltd. is a Canadian specialty coffee retailer operating franchised and company owned cafes across Canada. The company's vision is to be the Canadian specialty coffee brand of choice across Canada, committed to superior quality, innovation and profitable growth. For more information, please visit www.secondcup.com or find the company on Facebook and Twitter.
This news release contains forward looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words "expect", "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "objective", "ongoing", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "plans", "intends" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking statements or information. Forward-looking statements and information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning the conversion of Second Cup cafes to NAC operated cannabis retail stores under the META brand, participation in consultations with the Ontario government regarding Ontario's provision retail cannabis environment, the build out of cannabis retail locations across western Canada, the completion, operation or location of cannabis retail stores, the recruitment of NAC employees and the ability of NAC to obtain additional licenses or maintain existing licenses to retail cannabis products. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements and information are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements and information because the Company cannot give any assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements and information address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those that are currently contemplated by these statements depending on, among other things, risks relating to the ability to obtain or maintain licenses to retail cannabis products; future legislative and regulatory developments involving cannabis; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; the labour market generally and the ability to access, hire and retain employees; and the medical and potential cannabis industry in Canada generally. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of risks and uncertainties is not exhaustive.
The forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE National Access Cannabis Corp.
For further information: National Access Cannabis Corp., Mark Goliger, Chief Executive Officer, 1-800-411-1126, [email protected]; Investor Relations, Emily Gibbs, LodeRock Advisors Inc., 416-546-8775, [email protected]; Media Inquiries, Alex Cerelli, Maverick PR, 416-640-5525 x 238, Mobile (905) 864-5530, [email protected]