M&A News: Cannabis One & ONE Cannabis Unite

Cannabis’ “House of Brands” and U.S. Cannabis Dispensary Franchisor Form a Definitive Arrangement Agreement to Combine Businesses

COLORADO: Cannabis One Holdings and ONE Cannabis Group announced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement to combine businesses. Both are cannabis leaders in their own right, their combined prowess creates a strong, national force among cannabis retail and product brands alike.

Cannabis One is known for its globally-recognized “House of Brands,” comprised of award-winning products with an extensive market footprint across North America. Meanwhile, ONE Cannabis has paved the way for franchising cannabis dispensaries in the United States with more than a dozen deals signed in new and emerging markets nationwide. Franchise partners utilize the company’s deep network of seasoned experts and turnkey franchise blueprint to enter the complex industry with ease.

“As two Colorado born and bred companies, we’re comprised of industry pioneers who have honed best practices across nearly all areas of cannabis over the past decade. Together, Cannabis One and ONE Cannabis will lead the industry into a truly successful Cannabis 2.0 with our winning combination. Our products and services deliver a level of consistency and quality to cannabis consumers that’s unmatched. Connecting these exceptional performers will usher in a wave of game-changing initiatives for the industry as a whole,” said Jeff Mascio, CEO of Cannabis One.

Together, the Colorado-based companies will be focused on expanding its franchise footprint worldwide, which includes agreements signed for 15 dispensary franchises across five states and multiple corporate dispensaries in the United States. They will also continue offering leading cannabis products, including brands such as Honu, Cheech, Evergreen Organix, INDVR and Green Man Cannabis with a distribution platform of over 900 retail dispensary locations nationally.

“Franchising is the most agile and proven way to scale in the cannabis industry,” said Mike Weinberger, COO of ONE Cannabis, which began its franchise program in 2018. “Our franchisees own and operate their own dispensaries, hire locally and keep money in the communities they serve. The ongoing support and resources we provide allows them to scale more quickly [than having go at it alone]. Cannabis One shares our vision of inspiring confidence in cannabis for all, and we look forward to working together to elevate our brands across North America and beyond.”

Both Cannabis One and ONE Cannabis will be exhibiting at MJBizCon from December 11 to December 13 at booth C2948. ONE Cannabis has been nominated for MJBizDaily’s Cannabis Retailer of The Year award, which will be announced at the MJBizDaily award ceremony at 7 p.m. on December 12.

Harvest Health & Recreation To Acquire Verano, Creating One Of The Largest U.S. Multi-State Cannabis Operators

ILLINOIS: Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest footprints in the U.S., is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Verano Holdings, an arm’s length third party, one of the largest privately held multi-state, vertically integrated licensed operators of cannabis facilities, in an all-stock transaction for an estimated purchase price of approximately USD $850,000,000 based on a share price of CND $8.79.

The combined company will be one of the largest multi-state operators in the U.S., as measured by licenses held and facilities permitted. Upon completion of the transaction and regulatory approval, Harvest will hold licenses that will allow it to operate up to 200 facilities in 16 states and territories across the country, including 123 retail dispensaries.

Harvest’s planned acquisition of Verano will include:

  • Licenses and operations in 11 states and territories, including seven cultivation licenses, 37 retail licenses and potential to reach 150+ million Americans;
  • Vertically integrated, cash-flow positive operations;
  • Proven executive team with retail, manufacturing, branding, logistics and operational experience and 300 employees. Hiring for approximately 300 new positions in 2019 with a focus on hiring minorities, women and veterans;
  • Game changing ethanol extraction technology at pharmaceutical grade levels providing new market opportunities for cannabis biotech, food and beverage verticals;
  • Portfolio of premium proprietary brands with 150 + product SKUs sold in 150 + retail locations;
  • Total cultivation expansion capacity of 900,000 sq. ft in Illinois, Nevada & Maryland;
  • Ownership of an interest in nine Zen Leaf™ dispensaries with average annual revenues 2.5x higher than retail cannabis industry averages;

Following completion of the transaction, the combined company is expected to be operating 30 dispensaries, eight cultivation facilities and seven manufacturing facilities, with expected further aggressive operational expansion. By the end of 2019, Harvest expects to have over 70 dispensaries, 13 cultivation facilities and 13 manufacturing facilities in operation. The company expects continued growth in 2020.

“The combination with Verano fits perfectly with our vision of creating the world’s most valuable cannabis company,” said Jason Vedadi, Executive Chairman of Harvest. “We are confident that this is an opportunity to continue to leverage each of our company’s strengths and drive continued shareholder value, while at the same time achieving the scale we know will give us a leadership position in one of the largest cannabis markets in the world.”

“This is a natural match between like-minded entrepreneurs who have built our companies from the initial facilities into two of the largest MSOs in the U.S., with an unwavering focus on operational excellence, superior quality products and service, and delivering value to customers and shareholders,” said George Archos, Verano Co-founder and CEO. “Our growth and unique positioning in key markets allowed us to evaluate some of the largest players in the space, but we only had one unanimous choice for a major transaction and that was Harvest.”

“Verano has been creating a brighter way for cannabis production, products and health and wellness by assembling a stellar team of experts drawn from the cannabis industry and the top echelons of Fortune 500 corporations,” noted Sam Dorf, Verano Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer. “We are excited to join forces with Harvest to leverage each of our strengths to share the benefits of cannabis in innovative new ways with an ever increasing customer base. Verano and Harvest independently have always focused on business fundamentals to drive year over year growth in both revenue and EBITDA. Together, we expect to accelerate that momentum and raise the bar even higher for the industry.”

The newly combined company plans to continue hubs of operation in both Arizona and Illinois and merge key leadership talent to create a team of the most professional operators in cannabis. Both companies have recently attracted management expertise across consumer-packaged-goods, beverage, spirits, logistics, branding, horticulture, and extraction technologies from some of the largest most influential companies in the world, all supporting the companies’ explosive growth. Similarly, the combined company expects to grow new and existing brands throughout its expanded territory.

“From day one, we have operated as a fundamentally sound business focused on consistent revenue and profit growth. We are excited to bring Verano’s premium brands and operations into Harvest,” said Steve White, CEO of Harvest. “We have the unique opportunity to create truly national brands by deploying these products within the future combined footprint of states and dispensaries. Most importantly, we share the same mission as one new company to improve people’s lives through the goodness of cannabis.”

Pursuant to the binding agreement entered into between Harvest and Verano on March 10, 2019, the parties agreed to enter into a definitive agreement within the next 30 days (the “Definitive Agreement”).

Upon closing, Verano shareholders will receive, in the aggregate, a combination of Harvest subordinate voting shares and Harvest multiple voting shares as mutually agreed between the parties, acting reasonably, for a total estimated purchase price of USD $850,000,000 based on a CSE share price of CND $8.79. It is anticipated that the acquisition will close in the first half of 2019.

Closing is subject to the negotiation and execution of a Definitive Agreement, applicable shareholder or unitholder approval, approval of the Canadian Securities Exchange, as well as any other approvals that are customary for a transaction of this nature. There can be no assurances that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all. Harvest and Verano have agreed to a mutual termination fee in the amount of US $20 million in the event either party fails to enter into the Definitive Agreement within 30 days from the date of this agreement (other than as a result of an uncured breach by the other party). The transaction was negotiated entirely at arms-length. Verano has approximately US$3.2 million in long term debt which will remain in place following completion of the transaction. Further, completion of the transaction will not result in a change of control of Harvest.

Eight Capital is acting as Harvest’s financial advisor in connection with the transaction and INFOR Financial Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the special committee of Harvest’s board of directors. In addition, Eight Capital and INFOR Financial Inc. have each provided an opinion to the board of directors of Harvest that, as of the date of the opinion and subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications on which the opinions were based, the consideration being paid by Harvest in connection with the Transaction is fair, from a financial point of view to Harvest.

 

Tilray To Acquire Manitoba Harvest, The World’s Largest Hemp Food Company

Acquisition unites cannabis pioneer with leading natural food CPG company to create hemp and CBD-infused food and wellness products for North America

CANADA: Tilray, a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, production and distribution, has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Tilray will acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of FHF Holdings, from Compass Group Diversified Holdings, LLC and other shareholders of Manitoba Harvest. Under the terms of the Agreement, Tilray will acquire Manitoba Harvest on a cash and debt-free basis, for an aggregate purchase price, including cash and class 2 Common Stock in the capital of Tilray of up to C$419 million pending the achievement of certain milestones after the closing of the Transaction.

Manitoba Harvest productsFounded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest is the world’s largest hemp food manufacturer and a leader in the natural foods industry. It produces, manufactures, markets and distributes a broad-based portfolio of hemp-based consumer products, which are sold in over 16,000 stores at major retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Products in the Manitoba Harvest portfolio include: Hemp Hearts™, Hemp Oil™, Hemp Yeah!™ granola, Hemp Yeah!™ protein powder and Hemp Bliss™ milk. Manitoba Harvest has plans to launch a line of CBD containing Broad Spectrum Hemp Extracts as well as a line-up of Hemp Yeah! wellness bars this summer.

Together, Tilray and Manitoba Harvest plan to grow both companies’ revenue while bringing nutritious hemp foods and supplements to more households across the U.S. and Canada. The acquisition will expand Tilray’s product portfolio into the natural foods category and bring Manitoba Harvest expertise in working with cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD). By leveraging Manitoba Harvest’s established distribution network, Tilray plans to accelerate its expansion into the U.S. and Canadian markets, where legal, for CBD products. Manitoba Harvest also brings to Tilray an experienced team and manufacturing capabilities, including the addition of two high quality BRC AA+ certified manufacturing facilities as well as significant sales and distribution capabilities.

“Tilray’s acquisition of Manitoba Harvest is a milestone for the cannabis industry. It builds on the strategic partnerships we have formed with consumer brand industry leaders and demonstrates our track record of disrupting the global pharmaceutical, alcohol, CPG, and functional food and beverage categories,” said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray President and CEO. “We’re excited to work with Manitoba Harvest to develop and distribute a diverse portfolio of branded hemp-derived CBD food and wellness products in the U.S. and Canada.”

“We are excited about being an important part of the growth strategy for Tilray,” said Bill Chiasson, Manitoba Harvest CEO. “By leveraging our combined strengths and capabilities, we will be able to accelerate our mission of transforming consumer health through the power of hemp.”

Upon completion of the acquisition, Manitoba Harvest will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, leveraging the Tilray team’s global cannabis industry expertise and other strategic partners. Manitoba Harvest will continue to operate its seed-to-shelf supply chain model and leverage its retail relationships across North America. Tilray and Manitoba Harvest will also work together to develop innovative new CBD wellness products and hemp-based consumer food products.

 

 

Cresco Labs Acquires And Opens Hope Heal Health Dispensary In Bristol County, Massachusetts

ILLINOIS: Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, today announced the opening of the Hope Heal Health Dispensary (HHH) in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts. Cresco Labs entered in to a definitive merger agreement with HHH for its Massachusetts cultivation, manufacturing, processing, and dispensary operations at the end of 2018. The merger is pending state regulatory approval.

“With another fast-to-market example of our successful execution, we are pleased to offer relief and comfort to 60,000 certified patients in Massachusetts,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO and cofounder of Cresco Labs. “Massachusetts is a robust and fast growth cannabis market, and HHH expects its first pilot harvest from its Fall River cultivation facility towards the end of the first quarter. Cresco has applied for adult use licensing for our Fall River dispensary, which opened today with a selection of medical-grade cannabis vape cartridges, edibles, tinctures, topicals, concentrates, and flower from three Massachusetts cultivators.”

Patients can purchase up to 10 ounces every two months after being certified by a physician for any one of the Massachusetts state-approved debilitating medical conditions. Cresco Labs’ core mission of patient education and outreach will help inform patients about using medical cannabis as medicine through private one-on-one consultations.

HHH has licensing that allows for cultivation, manufacturing, processing and the establishment and operation of a medical cannabis dispensary, with the ability to obtain up to two additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses and three adult-use dispensary licenses.

The Hope Heal Health Dispensary, located at 1 West Street in Fall River, MA, is open daily, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. For more information call 774-377-9333.

MedMen Expands Footprint In Northern California With Acquisition Of San Jose Dispensary

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Viktorya’s Medical Supplies LLC d/b/a Buddy’s Cannabis; a micro-business license entitling the Company to retail, distribute, cultivate and manufacture cannabis onsite in San Jose, California. This will be MedMen’s second retail store in Northern California.

“MedMen continues to expand its market share in California, the largest and most advanced cannabis market in the world,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen’s chief executive and co-founder. “Our next phase of growth will be focused on going deeper in the markets where we already have a presence and brand equity.”

The dispensary is a two-story building located in San Jose, the largest city in Northern California and the tenth most populous in the United States. This location will serve as the initial hub for the Company’s Northern California platform. San Jose resides in the booming Silicon Valley, home to hundreds of start-ups and global technology companies.

Since becoming a public company in May 2018, MedMen has executed on its stated acquisition strategy. Including pending acquisitions, MedMen now has licenses for 67 retail stores and 14 cultivation and production facilities across the US.

The all-cash transaction is expected to close within 90 days of signing and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

MedMen Doubles Market Reach With Acquisition Of PharmaCann

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises Inc. and Chicago-based PharmaCann have signed a binding letter of intent for MedMen to acquire PharmaCann in an all-stock transaction valued at $682 million.

The resulting pro-forma company (including pending acquisitions by MedMen) will have a portfolio of cannabis licenses in 12 states that will permit the combined company to operate 79 cannabis facilities. The combined company will operate in 12 states, which comprise a total estimated addressable market, as of 2030, of approximately $40 billion according to Cowen Group. Through the transaction, MedMen will add licenses in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan.

medmen“This is a transformative acquisition that will create the largest U.S. cannabis company in the world’s largest cannabis market,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “The transaction adds tremendous scale to our vertically integrated business model by expanding our U.S. retail footprint across important growth markets while strengthening our cultivation and production capabilities. With the revenue synergies that the deal is expected to produce, MedMen is well positioned to continue executing on our growth strategy. This would not have been possible even two years ago and is a testament to how far both the industry and these two companies have evolved. PharmaCann’s leadership has built a world-class organization, and we are excited about the value this transaction is creating for shareholders.”

Founded in 2014, PharmaCann is one of the largest medical cannabis providers in the U.S. It currently operates 10 retail stores and three cultivation and production facilities across multiple states, including New York, Maryland and Massachusetts, and in Illinois, where it is the largest holder of medical cannabis licenses. The company also owns licenses for retail stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan, and cultivation and production licenses in all of its markets, excluding Maryland. PharmaCann is known for its high-quality cultivation and production and has one of the best track records in the industry for cannabis license applications.

“PharmaCann has built highly-efficient cultivation centers and dispensaries to promote a better quality of life for medical marijuana patients,” said Teddy Scott, Ph. D., PharmaCann chief executive officer. “This acquisition validates the dedication and level of sophistication we have used to provide consistent patient outcomes. I am proudest of the top-notch team we have assembled here and their dedication to our mission of serving medical marijuana patients. Our organization is a natural fit for MedMen, and we are excited to join a leading enterprise with a best-in-class management team.”

MedMen currently operates 14 retail stores in the primary markets of California, Nevada and New York. The Company recently acquired a license to open and operate 30 retail stores in Florida and has signed binding agreements to acquire an operating retail store in Illinois, cultivation and retail operations in Arizona, and an additional non-operating retail license in California. The Company has cultivation and production facilities in Nevada and New York, and is building facilities in Desert Hot Springs, California and outside Orlando, Florida. PharmaCann is licensed for 18 retail stores in eight states and eight cultivation and production facilities in seven states. Combined, the two companies will be licensed for 66 retail stores and 13 cultivation and production facilities (including pending acquisitions by MedMen).

MTech Acquisition Corp. And MJ Freeway Announce Merger Agreement

NEW YORK: MTech Acquisition Corp., the first US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company focused on acquiring a business ancillary to the cannabis industry, and MJ Freeway, a leading seed-to-sale technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning platform, announced today they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Following the consummation of the transaction, MTech and MJ Freeway will become subsidiaries of a newly-formed holding company to be listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Following the closing of the transaction, if there are no redemptions by MTech shareholders in connection with the MTech shareholder vote to approve the transaction, it is currently anticipated that the combined entity will be debt free and have over $60 million of balance sheet cash to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities.

MJ Freeway is a seed-to-sale technology provider, with more than 30% of the global cannabis technology market based on management’s estimates. MJ Freeway has tracked more than $10 billion in sales for its clients in Australia, Europe, South America, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, and the United States in 29 states and the District of Columbia. MJ Freeway’s software, MJ Platform®, includes compliance tracking of cannabis from seed-to-sale, as well as enterprise scale business management tools across the entire supply chain. In addition, its Leaf Data Systems® software solution enables governments to track cannabis plants from seed-to-sale to help ensure patient, public and product safety.

“We built MJ Freeway to be the technology infrastructure for the cannabis industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, Co-Founder & CEO of MJ Freeway. “With access to public capital markets and additional balance sheet strength as a result of this transaction, MJ Freeway will accelerate its growth and broaden its product offering as we strive to meet the ever-expanding demands of a highly complex and heavily regulated industry.”

Current MJ Freeway investor and Senior Strategic Advisor to the Board, Roger McNamee, added, “Cannabis companies that want to be leaders are adopting MJ Platform because I believe it is the only product with the technical foundation to support multi-line and multi-location operations. MJ Freeway prepares customers to manage high growth and complexity as the industry transitions from local to global scale. MJ Freeway’s merger with MTech will enable a smart growth strategy to capitalize on the industry’s continuing growth.”

Scott Sozio, Chief Executive Officer of MTech, commented, “We believe technology solutions that empower operators to efficiently and compliantly run their business, with tools that track the full vertical from cultivation to consumer, are critical to the industry’s long-term success. We believe MJ Freeway provides the most robust seed-to-sale software technology available today, positioning the company for enormous growth as the legalization of cannabis expands throughout the country and the world. We are excited for MTech to be able to invest in MJ Freeway at what we believe to be a very attractive valuation.”

“This merger will prove valuable over the long-term. Not only will it allow us to grow our current lines of business, it will accelerate our dominant market share in the cannabis SaaS space and also allow the company to make strategic acquisitions and expand its reach into related industries,” noted Emery Huang, Senior Partner of Batu Capital, a MJ Freeway investor, and a current board member of MJ Freeway.

Aurora Cannabis Finalizes Largest Acquisition In Cannabis Industry History

CANADA: Aurora Cannabis has announced today that with the second take-up under its offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of CanniMed Therapeutics, the Company now owns approximately 95.9% of CanniMed common shares. The Company intends to acquire the remaining outstanding shares it does not already own through a compulsory share acquisition, pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act.

The transaction unites Aurora, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cannabis companies, with CanniMed, a pioneering cannabis company that has been operating in the industry longer than any other competitor, and whose brand strongly resonates with the medical community. The combined entity, under the Aurora banner, creates a global medical cannabis leader, and will continue to pursue an aggressive strategy of rapid technological and product innovation, and international expansion.

Management Commentary

“We are delighted to have finalized the largest transaction to date in the cannabis industry,” said Terry Booth, CEO. “We are now combining CanniMed, the pioneer of the Canadian cannabis industry, with Aurora’s best practices, innovations, funded production capacity, distribution network, and rapidly growing international footprint. This acquisition and the resulting synergies transform Aurora into a leading company in the global medical cannabis space. We believe that our combined assets, capabilities, and brand strength, as well as our consistent execution, position us very well to gain significant share of the global market. We have commenced integrating the organizations, and look forward to reporting on our progress, innovations and other corporate developments in the coming months as we continue to execute our growth strategy.”

Track Record and Reputation with Medical Community Create Platform for Accelerated Growth

CanniMed (previously Prairie Plant Systems Inc.), was granted a contract in 2000 by Health Canada to produce medical cannabis, making it the longest standing federally regulated producer in Canada.

With an 18-year track-record, 13 of which as the sole supplier to Health Canada, and not a single product recall, CanniMed has built an impressive reputation with the Canadian and international medical community, and has developed, organically, a network of over 5,000 referring physicians. Aurora management believes that CanniMed produces and distributes the most physician-prescribed cannabis oil in the Canadian medical cannabis system.

CanniMed’s standing with the cannabis community will also be rapidly elevated following its successful integration with Aurora, through the company-wide adoption of the Aurora Standard, harnessing Aurora’s industry leading best practices, and an inclusive, compassionate, and enlightened approach to cannabis culture and community.

 

Tilray Forms Strategic Alliance With Leading Pharmaceutical Company In Canada

CANADA: Tilray, a federally licensed producer of medical cannabis, announced today that it has signed a binding letter of intent (LOI) to be the exclusive collaborator of a major pharmaceutical company to accelerate innovation and increase availability of high quality medical cannabis products. Through this LOI and the anticipated definitive agreements, Tilray is allied with Sandoz Canada Inc. (Sandoz Canada), an affiliate of Sandoz International GmbH, a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars and part of the Novartis Group.

This strategic alliance represents another major milestone in the recognition of medical cannabis and cannabinoids as conventional medicine. Tilray is a global pioneer in medical cannabis research, production and distribution, and was the first medical cannabis company to obtain current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certification in accordance with the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) standards. Tilray currently supplies tens of thousands of patients with high-quality, cGMP-certified products in ten countries spanning five continents.

This agreement builds on Tilray’s pioneering track-record as a company committed to making pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products available to patients in need. In addition to the agreement with Sandoz Canada, Tilray has formed strategic partnerships with NOWEDA, one of Germany’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, which distributes Tilray products to more than 20,000 pharmacies across Germany, and Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest pharmacy chain.

“This agreement is a major milestone on the long road to legitimizing medical cannabis as conventional medicine,” said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray Chief Executive Officer. “Tilray is pleased to be, what we believe is, the first federally licensed producer of medical cannabis to form a strategic alliance with a local affiliate of a global pharmaceutical company to improve the availability and quality of medical cannabis products for Canadian patients in need.”

Dixies’ Tripp Keber Moves To BR Brands; Co-Founder Chuck Smith Is New CEO

COLORADO:  “Pot Baron” Tripp Keber is turning over the reins of Dixie Brands to co-founder Chuck Smith.  The flamboyant co-founder is relinquishing his CEO role and will “ascend to a new role within Rose Capital affiliate, BR Brands,” according to a company press release.

Dixie Brands is the owner of Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, Therabis, and Aceso Wellness.  The release went on to announce that the company has agreed on terms to partner with Rose Capital, as its ongoing capital and strategic partner. Rose is partnering with Dixie management in a mutually designed market expansion and growth plan and will be providing on-going growth capital, strategic advisory and operational partnership. The new financing has been fully structured and is contingent on final documentation and necessary Dixie shareholder and Rose investment committee approvals. The Rose and Dixie partnership is underpinned by the same vision and thesis for the future of cannabis consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) and the need for best-in-class, responsible, consistent and dependable cannabis CPG manufacturers. This partnership reflects the marriage of the best-in-class product branding, brand awareness, and footprint of Dixie Brands with the best-in-class financial and operational expertise of Rose Capital and their strategic relationships.

As part of the broader strategic partnership, Tripp Keber, Dixie’s current President and CEO, will be joining the team at BR Brands, where he will lead brand partnership / acquisition initiatives. BR Brands will leverage Keber’s extensive network, entrepreneurial background and expansive knowledge of the North American legal cannabis industry to identify, incubate and integrate the strong brands and operators into the BR Brands ecosystem. With Keber’s move, Dixie’s Co-Founder and current Chief Operating Officer, Chuck Smith, will assume the role of President and CEO of Dixie Brands, Inc.

“Today’s announcements are further validation of the brand strength and national recognition we have developed with Dixie,“ said Chuck Smith, President and CEO of Dixie Brands, Inc. “Our partnership with Rose Capital is the exact catalyst we need to take Dixie’s best-in-class product branding, market position, and existing footprint to drive the explosive growth that Dixie is poised to capture.”

“On both a personal, and professional level, I am so honored to be part of this new partnership in this industry,” said Tripp Keber. “Although I am embarking on a new journey with BR Brands, it is truly just an extension of the vision that I saw for Dixie, and the industry, when I established Dixie with my partner and friend, Chuck Smith. I am eager to continue driving the evolution of the Cannabis market forward with BR Brands. I am able to take on this new venture because of the solid position Dixie is in, to execute our explosive growth strategy in 2018 with the leadership of Chuck and the great team of dedicated professionals at Dixie. There is much more to come for both BR Brands and Dixie and I am excited to be able to help shape the future of both.”