OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - National Access Cannabis Corp. ("NAC" or the "Company") (TSXV: META), a best practices leader in delivering secure, safe, and responsible access to legal cannabis in Canada, today announced the official launch of the inaugural recreational store under the Meta Cannabis Supply Co.™ banner ("META").
NAC will open its first META store near downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 17, 2018, with the city getting the country's first look at the immersive retail environment at: 23-584 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB, R3M 3X7
META retail stores will be opening in several Canadian provinces with a strong focus on customer education, technology and quality cannabis and cannabis-related products.
In Manitoba, during the province's first phase of retail cannabis implementation, NAC will open 10 recreational stores in various Manitoba municipalities and an additional four stores on First Nations land – totaling 14 META branded stores. Thirteen of the stores will launch by the end of 2018, and the 14th in early 2019.
"Cannabis legalization is a once-in-a-lifetime moment in this country," said Mark Goliger, CEO of NAC. "META kicks off this new era with an appeal to Canadians who embrace the benefits of quality cannabis products. META will provide recreational customers with exceptional in-store experiences in environments where uniqueness, education and access to a diverse suite of products are the top priorities."
META store locations are fully financed and planned to open in the following provinces and cities over the coming weeks and months:
Manitoba: Winnipeg | Brandon | Stonewall | other Manitoba municipalities | Opaskwayak Cree Nation | Long Plain First Nation | Thompson/Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
Alberta: Edmonton | Calgary | select Alberta municipalities
British Columbia: select municipalities
Future Plans for NAC Retail Rollout
As licenses become available, NAC plans a massive retail rollout across the provinces from British Columbia to Ontario. The company expects to be one of Canada's largest cannabis retailers targeting 50 operating locations by December 2018, with plans to open 200+ stores, subject to financing over the next 18 months, between its META and NewLeaf brands. All locations are pending regulatory approvals and subject to licensing by provincial and municipal governments.
The META Store Experience
In what will be a fiercely competitive industry, META was created with the ultimate retail experience in mind. META was designed to cater to the novice, the aficionado and everyone in between. META stores will feature various ways to purchase, some based on efficiency and others based on education. The stores will have salespeople (referred to as Friendly Guides) that help answer all questions for customers, an Express + Pick Up Bar and a self-ordering in-store experience named Express Yourself. Additionally, for those seeking an educational experience, the stores will have Sensory Stations to look at and sample the aroma of cannabis dried flower in secure containers. Every element of the META store is designed with the customer experience in mind.
What's "In Store" for Customers
META has strong relationships with Canada's Licensed Producers (LPs) and expects to carry a range of high-quality cannabis and cannabis accessories. META stores plan to order and carry several Licensed Producers' products and brands, subject to availability. META stores also intend to sell a diverse offering of cannabis accessories and branded META gear and wearable products (in provinces where regulatory compliance allows).
META Friendly Guides go through extensive initial and ongoing training. With in-store consulting and the latest in educational information online, META will be known for its sound advice. META is an open, welcoming brand and offers a balanced retail environment that is both appealing and inclusive.
E-commerce / Online Store
Additionally, META anticipates launching an online cannabis store in Manitoba as well as an online store for accessories and gear, nationwide, in legal provinces (excluding Alberta and New Brunswick).
First Nations Partnerships
In Manitoba, NAC has partnered with several Manitoba Indigenous First Nations. Under the terms of the agreements, each of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation will establish a retail recreational cannabis distribution network in Manitoba, when legally permissible to do so.
Second Cup Alliance
Building on a strategic alliance from earlier this year, NAC and The Second Cup Ltd. are exploring plans to potentially convert Second Cup locations in several provinces into META cannabis stores. The companies continue to assess locations for retail opportunities.
State of the Art Design with BRNT
META has partnered with BRNT Designs, the leading-edge designer of sleek, innovative, and functional accessories built for the modern cannabis user. BRNT's use of the a six-sided, two-dimensional hexagon in its designs, mirrors META's brand aesthetic, and has inspired BRNT's design of META's in-store display visuals and pieces.
About National Access Cannabis Corp.
NAC is a best practices leader in delivering secure, safe, and responsible access to legal cannabis in Canada. Through its Canada-wide network of care centres, pharmacies, NAC Bio's clinical research division, NewLeaf Cannabis™ 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. NAC is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol (TSXV: META).
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, the planned opening of META stores and the planned opening dates of same, the number of META stores anticipated to open, the locations of META stores, META store features, products and services, the launch of an online META store in Manitoba, NAC's plans to establish retail recreational cannabis distribution networks in Manitoba through partnerships with several Indigenous First Nations, NAC's and The Second Cup Ltd.'s plans to potentially convert Second Cup locations in several provinces into META cannabis stores and the availability of BRNT Designs products in META stores. 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: visit: www.nationalaccesscannabis.com, www.nacbio.com, www.metacannabis.com, www.newleafcannabis.ca; Media Inquiries through MAVERICK PR: Alex Cerelli, 416.640.5525 x 238, M 905.864.5530, [email protected]; Jessica Patriquin, 416.640.5525 x 230, M 416.995.8496, E [email protected]; National Access Cannabis: Mark Goliger, Chief Executive Officer, National Access Cannabis, 1-800-411-1126, [email protected]; Investor Relations: Emily Gibbs, LodeRock Advisors Inc., 416-546-8775, [email protected]