Search Results for: Green Growth Brand

Aphria Agrees To Accelerate Expiry Of Green Growth Brands Bid And Terminate Its Option With GA Opportunities Corp

CANADA: Aphria announced that it has entered into a series of transactions that will accelerate the expiry date to April 25, 2019 for the previously announced take-over bid by Green Growth Brands Inc. and will terminate the arrangements with GA Opportunities Corp. for consideration of $89.0 million.
 
Irwin D. Simon, Aphria’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer stated, “We are very pleased to move forward with this favorable resolution as we continue to focus on the long-term growth of our leading cannabis business. We plan to use the $89.0 million in proceeds from the transaction to fund our strategic global expansion initiatives. On behalf of our Board of Directors and management team, we continue to recommend that Aphria shareholders reject the GGB offer and do not tender their Aphria shares to the GGB offer.”
 
Aphria has entered into a shortened deposit period agreement with GGB to facilitate the acceleration of the expiry of GGB’s offer to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of Aphria. In that regard, Aphria has agreed to reduce the initial deposit period of the bid to 92 days from January 23, 2019, the date that GGB commenced the GGB Offer. GGB will be mailing a Notice of Variation providing that the GGB Offer will expire at 5:00 p.m. on April 25, 2019. Based on the closing price of $3.86 per GGB share on the Canadian Securities Exchange on April 12, 2019, the implied consideration under the GGB Offer would be $6.07 per Aphria share, representing a significant 54.7% discount to Aphria’s closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange of $13.41 per share on the same day.
 
In light of the foregoing and for the reasons previously disclosed, Aphria continues to recommend that Aphria shareholders reject the GGB Offer and do not tender their Aphria shares to the GGB Offer. 
 
In connection with the foregoing, GGB has entered into a share purchase agreement with GAOC pursuant to which GGB has agreed to purchase for cancellation 27.3 million shares held by GAOC, for an aggregate purchase price of $89.0 million. The terms of the Share Purchase Agreement include, among other things, that GGB will pay in cash $50.0 million of the Purchase Price to GAOC within 30 days of the date hereof and will issue a promissory note to GAOC for $39.0 million due in six months from the Closing Date. GGB has granted a security interest to GAOC to secure its obligations under the Share Purchase Agreement and the GGB Note. The completion of the Share Repurchase is conditional on the Purchase Price, on a per share basis, not being greater than the simple average of the closing price of the GGB shares on the CSE for the 20 trading days prior to the Closing Date.
 
Aphria and GAOC have also entered into a debt/call option settlement agreement pursuant to which Aphria has agreed to settle the debt owed under a promissory note issued by GAOC to Aphria in the amount of $55.0 million and terminate its rights under a related call option in consideration for total consideration of $89.0 million payable by GAOC upon the receipt of funds received under the Share Purchase Agreement and the GGB Note. GAOC has granted a security interest to Aphria to secure its obligations under the Settlement Agreement.

Green Growth Brands Partners With Simon Property Group To Launch America’s First Chain Of CBD Shops

OHIO: Green Growth Brands announced that it has entered into an agreement through which the Company will gain access to 108 prime shop locations in U.S. malls owned and operated by the Simon Property Group.  Pursuant to the arrangement, GGB will further expand its chain of CBD-infused personal care product shops under the Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy brand and other GGB brands. The Seventh Sense brand offers high quality CBD-infused products at affordable prices.

“Our partnership with Simon allows GGB to launch our brands and CBD products in premier shopping destinations across the U.S.,” said Peter Horvath, CEO of GGB. “Our management team has had decades of experience working closely with developers and operating premium retail stores in their properties. We know this arrangement gives us access to the best locations, foot traffic, and consumers. We look forward to introducing our remarkable retail experience and line of CBD products to Simon shoppers in the near future.”

Simon is the largest shopping mall operator in the United States, and its high-profile properties include Roosevelt Field in metro New York; The Galleria in Houston, TX; and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, NY. The expansive nature of the relationship with Simon makes it the first of its kind in the CBD industry and will give GGB access to entire markets of new customers at many of the nation’s most productive retail locations.

“We are constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge new concepts, like the GGB shops,” said John Rulli, President of Simon Malls. “We are committed to adding new and dynamic retailers and uses to our shopping destinations, and the GGB shopping experience is exactly the type of innovation our customers want and expect from us. We’re excited to work on the GGB launch, and look forward to a long and deepening relationship as we build this network together.”

The first shop is expected to open in March, 2019 at Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. The remaining shops will be opened over the course of 2019.

Aphria’s Board of Directors Rejects Green Growth Brand’s Hostile Takeover Bid As Significantly Undervalued And Inadequate

CANADA: Aphria announced that its Board of Directors has rejected the hostile bid by Green Growth Brands to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of the Company including any Common Shares that may become issued and outstanding after January 22, 2019, but prior to the expiry of the hostile bid upon the exercise, conversion or exchange of options, warrants, debentures or other securities of the Company exercisable or convertible into Common Shares, other than Common Shares owned by GGB or its affiliates, in exchange for 1.5714 shares of GGB.

aphria logoBased on the 20-day volume-weighted average price of GGB shares immediately before GGB’s announcement of an intention to acquire the Common Shares of the Company, the Hostile Bid reflects a 23% discount to the Company’s share price over the same period. The Board made its recommendation after careful consideration and receipt of the recommendation of a committee of its independent directors (the “Independent Committee”), who were advised by financial and legal advisors.

In the Board’s view, the Hostile Bid:

  • Significantly undervalues Aphria relative to its current and future worth, offering Aphria shareholders a substantial discount to its current and future value as opposed to a premium observed in other transactions in the cannabis sector involving Canadian licensed producers.
  • Would have negative repercussions, including delisting from the TSX and NYSE and a potential reduction in interest from strategic partners, that could destroy value for Aphria shareholders, with minimal offsetting operational, financial or strategic benefits.
  • Would result in Aphria shareholders effectively giving GGB shareholders a 36% interest in Aphria in exchange for shares in a company with limited operations or other experience in the cannabis industry.
  • Does not account for Aphria’s bright outlook, either as an independent company or in partnership with a strategic partner, which offers Aphria shareholders substantial value creation.

Aphria Responds To Unsolicited Proposal By Green Growth Brands

CANADA: Aphria responds to the unsolicited proposal by Xanthic Biopharma d.b.a. Green Growth Brands to acquire all of the Company’s outstanding common shares in an all-stock transaction.

Based on the 20-day volume weighted average price of GGB shares and the expressed exchange ratio of 1.5714 common shares of GGB for each Aphria share, the proposed bid would be approximately 23% below the Company’s average share price over the same period.  Aphria shareholders should be aware that the value of GGB‘s per-share offer is based on a hypothetical valuation of its own shares, with no relation to the current price.

GGB’s management presented the offer to Aphria the morning of December 27, 2018, and immediately went public with its proposal, less than six hours later and after the market closed on the same day.  The Board believes that GGB is attempting to acquire the company through a highly conditional offer at a significant discount to its current and future value.

Irwin Simon, Chair, said, “While we appreciate GGB’s interest in the value we have created at Aphria and our significant growth prospects, their proposal falls short of rewarding our shareholders for participating in such a transaction.  Further, the proposed offer is quite risky given GGB’s condition to complete a brokered financing at a price that is more than double the recent average of their share price, as a key term to the proposal.”

Added Simon, “The Board has determined that the GGB proposal, as it currently stands, significantly undervalues the company.  Aphria has a tremendous market opportunity as a leader in the sector and a strategic vision to meet those opportunities.  Our focus is to realize that value for the benefit of all our shareholders.”

The Aphria Board of Directors has established an independent committee of directors to consider this proposal and any formal offer received.  As previously disclosed, Aphria holds a passive investment in Green Acre Capital Fund II, which we understand has invested in numerous emerging cannabis companies, including GGB.  The independent committee is comprised of directors with no relationship to Green Acre Capital Fund II or GGB.  Aphria will continue on the execution of its current corporate strategy, including its international expansion plan, and the growth of its unique assets.

Canopy Growth to Acquire The Supreme Cannabis Company

CANADA: Canopy Growth Corporation and The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement under which Canopy will acquire all of Supreme Cannabis’ issued and outstanding common shares in a transaction valued at approximately $435 million on a fully-diluted basis.

Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, Supreme Cannabis shareholders will receive 0.01165872 of a Canopy common share (the “Exchange Ratio”) and $0.0001 in cash in exchange for each Supreme Cannabis Share held. The Transaction provides Supreme Cannabis shareholders with a premium per Supreme Cannabis Share of approximately 66% based on the closing prices of the Supreme Cannabis Shares and Canopy common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) as of April 7, 2021.

The Transaction is expected to provide several benefits to both Canopy and Supreme Cannabis shareholders. Notably, following completion of the acquisition, Canopy will possess a strengthened brand portfolio including one of Canada’s leading premium brands, 7ACRES. Brand growth is anticipated with distribution supported by Canopy’s robust sales and distribution network as well as superior consumer insights and R&D capabilities. In addition to receiving a market premium, Supreme Cannabis shareholders will also benefit from Canopy’s US CBD business and conditional positioning for continued exposure to the US market expansion. Further value will be derived through the scalable Kincardine, Ontario production facility, which has a demonstrated record of producing premium flower at low cost.

Key Transaction Highlights

  • Solidifies Canopy’s leadership position in the Canadian recreational market, well-positioned for growth: The Transaction combines Canopy’s preeminent position with Supreme Cannabis’ Top-10 position in Canada to create a pro forma Canadian recreational market share of 6%(1), including 7ACRES holding Canada’s number one premium flower brand position, number one in PAX vapes, and Top-5 in pre-rolled joints(2).
    • Combined pro forma market share estimated to be 23.3% of the premium flower segment in Ontario and 21.4% in British Columbia(3).
  • Adds premium brands to Canopy’s portfolio: The addition of Supreme Cannabis’ premium brands, 7ACRES and 7ACRES Craft Collective, complement Canopy’s current consumer offering and will strengthen Canopy’s brand portfolio, with both brands expected to continue to grow with further investment and expansion. Supreme Cannabis’ Blissco and Truverra brands also add breadth to Canopy’s market presence in both the recreational and medical markets.
  • Brings a premium, low-cost and scalable cultivation facility to Canopy’s production capabilities: Supreme Cannabis’ hybrid-greenhouse cultivation facility at Kincardine, Ontario has a demonstrated capability of consistently producing premium flower from sought-after strains at low cost with significant potential for scaling.
  • Secures an immediate attractive premium for Supreme Cannabis shareholders: The Transaction provides Supreme Cannabis shareholders with a premium per Supreme Cannabis Share of approximately 66% based on the closing prices of the Supreme Cannabis Shares and Canopy common shares on the TSX as of April 7, 2021.
  • Participation by Supreme Cannabis shareholders in the future of Canopy: The Supreme Cannabis shareholders will receive Canopy common shares pursuant to the Transaction and will have access to Canopy’s consumer insights, advanced R&D and innovation capabilities as well as the opportunity to participate in the future growth of the US market based on the Company’s conditional positioning for rapid market entry. Post-Transaction, Canopy’s industry-leading balance sheet and cash position of approximately $2.5 billion positions the company for further expansion and product development.
  • Opportunity to achieve potential cost synergies estimated at approximately $30mm within two-years: Canopy anticipates post-Transaction cost synergy opportunities across both cost of goods sold and sales, general and administrative expenses, as it optimizes and integrates Supreme’s operations and shared services.

“As we continue to expand our leading brand portfolio, we’re excited to reach more consumers through Supreme’s premium brands and high-quality products, further solidifying Canopy’s market leadership,” said David Klein, Chief Executive Officer of Canopy. “Supreme’s deep commitment to superior genetics, top-tier cultivation and strict quality control, paired with Canopy’s leading consumer insights, advanced R&D and innovation capabilities, is expected to create a powerful combination that aligns with our strategic focus to generate growth with premium quality products across key categories.”

“This transaction is a testament to the value created by all the teams at Supreme and will be beneficial to all of our stakeholders,” added Beena Goldenberg, President and CEO of Supreme Cannabis. “We have been successful at delivering great products that achieved strong customer loyalty, and operating at levels of efficiency that are industry-leading. We have also built a highly sought-after premium brand in 7ACRES. Combining Supreme Cannabis with Canopy – a Canadian market leader with exposure to the United States – presents a significant value creation opportunity for both companies. We look forward to working with Canopy to complete this transaction.”

Transaction Details

The Transaction will be effected by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act, requiring the approval of at least two-thirds of the votes cast by the shareholders of Supreme Cannabis voting at a special meeting of shareholders to consider the Transaction expected to be held in June 2021. Canopy has entered into voting support agreements with certain of Supreme Cannabis’ directors and officers pursuant to which they have agreed, among other things, to vote their Supreme Cannabis Shares in favour of the Transaction.

In addition to shareholder and court approvals, the Transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals including, but not limited to, TSX approval and approval under the Competition Act (Canada) and the satisfaction of certain other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature. The Arrangement Agreement includes customary provisions, including non-solicitation, “fiduciary out” and “right to match” provisions as well as a termination fee of $12.5 million payable by Supreme Cannabis to Canopy in certain specified circumstances.

Assuming timely receipt of all necessary court, shareholder, regulatory and other third-party approvals and the satisfaction of all other conditions, closing of the Transaction is expected to occur by end of June 2021.

A full description of the Transaction will be set forth in the management information circular of Supreme Cannabis (the “Circular”), which will be mailed to Supreme Cannabis shareholders and filed with the Canadian securities regulators on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) at www.sedar.com.

Approvals and Recommendation

The Transaction was approved by the board of directors of each of Canopy and Supreme Cannabis, and Supreme Cannabis’ board of directors recommends that Supreme Cannabis shareholders vote in favour of the Transaction.

Each of BMO Capital Markets and Hyperion Capital provided the Supreme Cannabis Board of Directors with an opinion, dated April 7, 2021, to the effect that, as of the date of such opinion, the consideration payable pursuant to the Transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Supreme Cannabis shareholders, in each case, based upon and subject to the respective assumptions, limitations, qualifications and other matters set forth in such opinions.

None of the securities to be issued pursuant to the Transaction have been or will be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws, and any securities issuable in the Transaction are anticipated to be issued in reliance upon available exemptions from such registration requirements pursuant to Section 3(a)(10) of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable exemptions under state securities laws. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

Advisors and Counsel

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is acting as strategic and legal advisor to Canopy.

BMO Capital Markets is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Supreme Cannabis and provided a fairness opinion to the Supreme Cannabis board of directors. Hyperion Capital Inc. provided an independent fairness opinion to the board of directors of Supreme Cannabis. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is acting as legal counsel to Supreme Cannabis.

  • Source: Provincial Boards; Headset Note: This market share data differs from Canopy’s internal market share data provided during Canopy’s previous earnings calls due to different methodologies and time periods. Market share data represents 01-Oct-20 through latest available data: Provincial Board data for ON online, PEI, NS (27/28-Mar-21) and NB (17-Mar-21); and Headset data for ON retail (28-Feb-21) and AB, BC and SK (31-Mar-21).
  • Market share data represents 01-Oct-20 through latest available data: Provincial Board data for ON online, PEI, NS (27/28-Mar-21) and NB (17-Mar-21); and Headset data for ON retail (28-Feb-21) and AB, BC and SK (31-Mar-21).
  • Internal Canopy Growth management estimate.

 To view the Investor Relations Presentation click here. 

Viola Closes $16 Million Investment Round Led By Gotham Green Partners

CALIFORNIA: Viola, a national leader in the production and sale of premium quality cannabis products founded by NBA veteran Al Harrington, today announced the closing of a $16 million funding round led by Gotham Green Partners. The investment firm, known for its financial support of some of the most reputable cannabis companies in the industry, is the first institutional investment in the company. 

Al Harrington Viola

This latest round of funding will assist with the acquisition of a 34,500 sq. ft cultivation, processing and distribution facility in Adelanto, California as well as the completion of Viola’s 48,000 sq. ft facility in Detroit, Michigan. The funds will also enable Viola to continue to advance the growth of the company’s personnel with key new hires that will continue to establish Viola as a leader in the cannabis marketplace.

Viola emerged on the scene with a commitment to making an impact by promoting social equity through increasing minority participation in the cannabis industry and positively impacting communities by reinvesting in individuals most affected by the war on drugs. Viola raised $15 million prior to this round of funding, which enabled the company to grow its product offerings and footprint within the cannabis industry. The company is currently operating in CaliforniaColoradoOregon and Michigan, with plans to expand into MarylandNevada and Arizona in 2020.

“Over the last five years, Viola has been dedicated to creating and producing quality herbal experiences for our customers,” said Al Harrington, CEO of Viola. “With the financial support and investment of Gotham Green Partners, our ability to dedicate more physical space to growing and cultivating our flowers and team will make the possibilities endless.”

“We are thrilled to be aligned with Viola as the company expands its lifestyle brand into new markets,” said Jason Adler, Managing Member of Gotham Green Partners. “As the firm’s visionary, Al has successfully launched the concept and subsequently surrounded himself with a top-notch management team. Further, Al’s background and the company’s mission resonate with a broad and engaged consumer base, and we are excited to see Viola products on more retail shelves across the country.”

CCTV Expands Footprint, Programming Offerings Via GreenScreens Deal

COLORADO:  GreenScreens, based in Boulder, Colorado, industry leaders for in-store information boards and California-based Cannabis Club TV, the only digital cannabis infotainment network backed by Tommy Chong, have entered into an agreement to combine resources providing cannabis dispensaries with a one-stop shop for digital footprint management.

According to a joint press release, the new partnership features the first and the largest Direct Out Of Home (DOOH) and Over the Top TV (OTTtv) portable broadcast network devoted to the cannabis industry. It provides the customer a visual path to brand awareness, the budtender an opportunity to up-sell, the cannabis brand an outlet to tell its story, and the dispensary a sales lift to the brands in the store.

“Combining our business model with GreenScreens just made sense, Cannabis Club TV is all about providing customers with more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and quality service,” said Danny Keith, Cannabis Club TV CEO. “Providing the dispensary with entertainment and menu boards guide consumers to better purchases and empowers staff with solutions to increase sales.”

The deal will leverage the executive staff and sales teams of both companies to manage the existing 10 states (WA,OR,CA,CO,NV,MI,MD,FL and AZ) and about 350 screens in those markets. The opportunity to expand both networks exponentially will allow this new collaboration to grow to over 700 screens by the end of June 2018.

“It is a perfect synergy!  Coming off our 2017 results, where we’ve opened over 40 stores in Colorado alone.  We are excited to partner and aggressively grow our store base outside of Colorado.  We see this key partnership with CCTV as one important piece of our growth strategy” -Ryan Sterling CEO GreenScreens.

One Love dispensary in Long Beach, CA  owner and COO Jeremy Abrams, a quick adopter of the combined technology play says: “I couldn’t be happier with how beautiful the digital displays and televisions came out. Everything about it was simple. From the Installation to fine tuning, the process and product couldn’t be any better.”

Dispensaries and medical offices providing services to cannabis patients can contact either company to obtain an unparalleled digital experience with no installation costs.

WeedMD Makes Changes To Leadership, Names George Scorsis Interim CEO

CANADA:  WeedMD, a medical cannabis licensed company operating in Strathroy, Ontario, has a new leader at its helm.

WeedMD announced that George Scorsis will take over as the organization’s Interim CEO. Since 2019, Scorsis has served as WeedMD’s Executive Chairman.  Currently, the company owns and operates a 158-acre state-of-the-art greenhouse and processing facility.

“As we continue on the path of executing our new product strategy and building an expanded distribution network, we are initiating a leadership transition that will position us strongly for this next phase. Additionally, the organization will focus on optimizing all aspects of the business,” Scorsis commented.

During his time at WeedMD, Scorsis has served in a variety of roles and has led initiatives and managed relationships with members and key stakeholders. He has over 25 years of business experience and was instrumental in restructuring Red Bull Canada, growing the company to $150 MM in revenue and also acted as President of Mettrum, a licenced producer.

In addition to this news, most recently, WeedMD announced the expansion of its Cannabis 2.0 product portfolio, with the introduction of terpene-infused vapes to be sold under its Saturday Cannabis branded line-up.  The flavored strains, which come in lemon haze and sour pineapple, are available to consumers through the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The launch of flavored vapes is another way the company is executing on its commercial growth plans.

“We are kicking off 2021 with a focused approach on increasing market share and commercial growth of our Color Cannabis and Saturday brands, while expanding our medical footprint through our Starseed portfolio. This includes an aggressive plan to transition WeedMD into a consumer-facing model of excellence. Ultimately becoming hyper-focused on driving meaningful results, while optimizing the organization for future success to deliver shareholder value,” George Scorsis commented.

The Saturday-branded vapes are produced at WeedMD’s extraction hub in Aylmer, Ontario and  join its line of Color Cannabis.

The debut comes after WeedMD began selling Black Sugar Rose to the Ontario Cannabis Store for adult-use earlier in December. WeedMD is the first cultivar to carry a terpene profile listing.  Black Sugar Rose is an indica-dominant hybrid whose whole flower product is currently available with a terpene profile of 3.6 per cent and THC level of 20 per cent.

Scorsis: “With Black Sugar Rose, we wanted to respond to the call for new cultivars, flower integrity, greater product diversity while responding to consumers’ request for less packaging.  Selling the product is just another way WeedMD is enhancing its appeal and accommodating an ever-evolving, national consumer base.”

Curtis Wallace, Head of Cultivation at WeedMD, added, “Cultivating and releasing Black Sugar Rose in Ontario is a proud achievement and pays homage to WeedMD’s cultivation pedigree and tradition for excellence.”

Terpenes are natural organic compounds that exist in all plants found in nature, including cannabis. They play a key role in aroma and flavour of individual cultivars and can be consumed in combination with cannabinoids.

WeedMD also made the decision to display total terpenes on its packaging at a time when cannabis users, and those who are new to cannabis, are looking for more information.

In an interview, Curtis Wallace said: “We now share full visibility on total terpenes, just like cannabinoids. Consumers and patients that are purchasing Color and Starseed flowers will value this new data point. From our perspective, a flower’s total terpene percentage is another number that matters, and knowledge is power.”

As WeedMD progresses into its next stages, George Scorsis will continue to work closely with the team to enhance customer experience, broaden distribution and work to increase sales on a national level.

 

Eaze Announces Major Expansion Of Social Equity Menu In Los Angeles

Menu expansion promotes Black-owned cannabis brands, establishes industry-leading support for equity license holders, and encourages conscious consumption

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, today announced expanded efforts to support an equitable cannabis industry: A major menu expansion in Los Angeles featuring Black and POC-owned brands, and the Social Equity Partners Program, a multi-point initiative to assist and elevate equity license holders.

Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Menu, which already features well-recognized brands Cloud 9, KGB Reserve, and SF Roots in Northern California, is debuting all of its equity brands in the greater Los Angeles market and welcoming LA-based Dreamt, Blaqstar Farms, and Bay Area-based James Henry SF and Oakland Extracts to the menu.

The menu makes it easy for consumers to support a diverse industry, and address the War on Drugs’ disproportionate effects on the BIPOC community, by putting their dollars toward these brands. Customers can simply visit Eaze.com to order products, which range from unique flower to prerolls to a sleep-aid vape pen.

In a first move for the cannabis industry, Eaze announced its multi-point Social Equity Partners Program, which provides brands with financial and operational support to help them scale and succeed on Eaze and beyond. Specifically, Social Equity Partners are eligible for a variety of benefits, including:

  • Preferred financing and payment structuring
  • Discounted access to Eaze Partner Portal data
  • Incorporation into the Eaze supply chain
  • Marketing and public relations support

Brands on Eaze’s Social Equity Menu must either hold a social equity license, or be actively engaged in the application process for an equity license in a city or county. Since Eaze launched its equity menu in the Bay Area market, social equity brands have been well received by consumers with high and consistent demand. To date, social equity brands have sold nearly $1M of products on the Eaze platform.

“We’re proud to offer these incredible brands industry-leading terms that support their growth by addressing chronic small business challenges that include access to capital, tight cash flow, and customer education,” said Darius Kemp, Eaze’s Head of Equity and Change. “Shopping these brands is one of the best ways consumers can support equity and consume conscientiously.”

“Consumers are more thoughtful than ever about the products they consume and ensuring they come from a brand that aligns with their values, and cannabis is no exception,” said LA-based Blaqstar Farms’ Founder and CEO Bryant Mitchell. “Eaze is an exceptional partner for Black-owned cannabis brands, allowing us to step into the spotlight and reach consumers who not only want a fantastic product but want to know their dollars are going towards a new generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”

Eaze’s equity menu includes:

  • Blaqstar Farms: The son of the first Black police officer in the city of Orange, Texas, Bryant Mitchell grew up and saw many peers, family members and friends lost to and affected by the War on Drugs. It wasn’t until 2001, after he graduated college and went into consulting in the Bay Area, that he became immersed in cannabis and saw the results of pain relief and so many other benefits. These professional and life experiences led Bryant to establish Blaqstar Farms in 2012 in Los Angeles. A selection of Blaqstar Farms products, including premium flower The Glue, Thin Mint and Orange Rose to prerolls Boss OG, Doc OG, Super Sour and F3, are available the week of September 14 on Eaze.
  • Cloud9: Degi Simmons, founder of Oakland-based Cloud9, has been involved in cannabis commerce and culture since the earliest days of Proposition 215. As a beneficiary of Oakland’s Koncepts Cultural Gallery, an organization promoting art and education funded by Better Us dispensary, Degi partnered with cultivator and DJ Clayton Whitaker to form Cloud9 in 2010. A selection of Cloud9 flower, featuring Sour Diesel for sativa and Runtz for indica, are now available on Eaze.
  • Dreamt is an award-winning science-backed sleep aid created by Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, a nationally recognized cannabis scientist. Dreamt’s 45-night pen and 30-night tincture contain THC, CBD, melatonin, valerian root, and terpenes, and are now available on Eaze.
  • James Henry SF: Co-founders Henry Alston and James Victor are on a mission to improve the stigma surrounding cannabis consumption through quality branded products and Black entrepreneurship. By partnering with accomplished medical doctors and scientists who understand the medical value of endocannabinoid therapy, James Henry SF promotes responsible consumption for a responsible lifestyle. A selection of James Henry SF flower, including hybrids Donnie B and True Ryder and social flower Lemon Jack and Tropical Slice, are now available on Eaze.
  • KGB Reserve: KGB stands for killer green bud, the main ingredient used in all of their products. As a self funded equity company based out of Oakland, KGB Reserve is grateful for its place in the legal cannabis space. They stand for unity and believe in equality. Currently known for their top shelf infused products, KGB Reserve has consistently been on Eaze’s list of top 10 pre-roll brands in the Bay Area since its launch. KGB Reserve’s Sauce Pen, Bambino and Torpedo products are now available on Eaze.
  • Oakland Extracts: Oakland Extracts, a Black-owned business, began as a way to bring the community together. Founders Terryn Niles Buxton and Aaron Tran saw prices climbing with legalization and realized there was a need for people in Oakland to have access to quality cannabis at an affordable price. Over the years, they fine-tuned a proprietary technique that allows for maximum terpene retention. Oakland Extracts’ Red Congolese Cookie Crumble Wax is now on Eaze.
  • SF Roots: Founder and CEO Morris Kelly started in the cannabis industry 13 years ago making edibles under Proposition 215 for local collectives, then launched Greencuredelivery cannabis delivery service in 2015. “Equity is about leveling the playing field for companies who paved the way for this economic green rush,” said Kelly. “We’re this industry’s originators, it’s about getting consumers to support equity brands every day. We are partnering with Eaze to ensure that happens.”

Eaze has long worked to help build a more equitable cannabis industry. With access to capital serving as one of many barriers for new entrepreneurs in the space, Eaze launched Momentum—a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders—in September 2019. Eaze’s social impact work also includes a partnership with Code for America to help clear 250,000 low level criminal offenses; a permanent 25% discount for U.S. veterans; partnerships with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project; and a $25,000 contribution to the NAACP, among others.

To learn more about Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Program, read our latest blog from Darius Kemp.

Viola Launches Viola Cares With National Non-Profit Organization Root And Rebound

Social Impact Initiative Aims to Destigmatize Minority Representation and Increase Social Equity Within the Cannabis Industry

CALIFORNIA: Viola, a nationwide leader in the production and sale of premium quality cannabis products founded by NBA veteran Al Harrington, today announced the official launch of its social equity initiative – Viola Cares. Through education, equitable offerings, expungement, and incubation programs, the initiative will result in more than 10,000 jobs, hundreds of new business owners and expanded industry diversity by increasing representation, facilitating community building and providing employment opportunities.

Viola’s first strategic alliance within its Viola Cares program kicks-off with Root & Rebound. Root & Rebound is home to lawyers and advocates committed to restoring power and resources to the communities most harmed by mass incarceration and the War on Drugs. Their work combines direct legal services with systems-changing policy advocacy and public education, in an effort to move society toward greater racial and economic equity, justice, collective liberation and intergenerational healing. Their educational resources like the California Roadmap to Reentry, the Reentry Planning Toolkit, the National Fair Chance Housing Toolkit, and others have supported thousands of people as they work to navigate the collateral consequences of an arrest or conviction history.

Viola, in conjunction with Root and Rebound, will produce a first-of-its-kind toolkit designed specifically for people with cannabis-related convictions, to be entitled: “A New Leaf: A ‘How-To Guide’ for Successful Reentry After A Cannabis Conviction.”

“At Viola, we live and breathe the belief that a cannabis conviction should never be considered a life sentence,” said Al Harrington, Founder, Viola. “In joining forces with Root and Rebound, we will look to help those communities of color who have historically been the victims of cannabis-related incarceration and who have fallen on hard times, and turn those struggles into opportunities for success within this rapidly growing industry.”

Opportunity within the cannabis industry only continues to grow as legalization progresses and passes into law across the country, and Viola is breaking the barrier of entry for minorities to contribute to that growth through cultivation and entrepreneurship.

“We’re honored to be working side-by-side with Viola on such an important initiative–one that positively impacts thousands who have been unfairly stigmatized by their prior cannabis-related incarceration,” Katherine Katcher, Founder and Executive Director of Root and Rebound. “Together we’re changing that conversation, leveling the playing field for minorities and creating opportunities for those deserving of a second chance.”

In celebration of the strategic alliance between Viola and Root and Rebound, Viola will host a welcome reception and panel discussion in support of the launch of “A New Leaf” toolkit at the Viola headquarters in Los Angeles on February 26, 2020. A moderated panel hosted by Viola CMO Ericka Pittman will include Katherine Katcher, Eliana Green, and Sandra Johnson from the Root & Rebound team, along with Al Harrington and Dan Pettigrew, Co-Founders of Viola moderated by Van Lathan.