Weekend Unlimited Concept Store To Open In California

Retail Store Will Include Weekend Live Lounge & Event Space

NEW YORK: Weekend Unlimited Inc. announces that it has secured a retail location in Long Beach, California to launch the company’s first US concept store.

“It is essential to our growth plan that we establish multiple touch points for our offerings and one of those is at the retail level, where we can inform and learn from customers as they interact with our brands,” said Mr. Paul Chu, Weekend Unlimited President and CEO.

Highlights include:

  • 5000 ftspace will feature 2500 ftretail and 2500 ft2 of Weekend LIVE, lounge space
  • Retail focus on CBD and wellness products, featuring Weekend brands among others
  • Focus on the customer experience and customer feedback on products and brands
  • Community outreach and education seminars to take place in Weekend LIVE space
  • Weekend concept store to open 4/20, Weekend LIVE space to follow

“This space has been designed to provide customers with multiple product lines, featuring Weekend brands, and elevating the experience by having an upstairs Weekend LIVE space that will hold events, education seminars and serve as a lounge with a hemp smoothie bar, coffee and CBD edibles,” added Mr. Chu.

Up Cannabis To launch first Experiential Hub In Ontario Market

CANADA: Newstrike Brands, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Up Cannabis Inc., announce that an Up Cannabis “Experiential Hub” will be featured prominently in Ontario’s first Spiritleaf store, expected to be located in Kingston, Ontario, in connection with a retail agreement entered into between Spiritleaf and a Ontario cannabis retail lottery winner.

Newstrike Brands Ltd--Up Cannabis to launch first Experiential H

Inner Spirit Holdings (“Inner Spirit”) (CSE: ISH) announced earlier today that Inner Spirit’s subsidiary, Spirit Leaf Inc., has entered into an agreement with one of the initial 25 cannabis retail lottery winners in Ontario to open a Spiritleaf cannabis retail store in Kingston.

The Spiritleaf store—the company’s first in the Ontario market—is planned to be located on Princess Street, in the heart of Kingston, and will feature an Up Cannabis Experiential Hub, or a “store-within-a-store,” designed to complement existing Spiritleaf design elements and provide education about cannabis, while showcasing both companies’ love of music and various community and charitable endeavors. An opening date of April 1st is targeted, to coincide with the launch of cannabis retail stores throughout Ontario.

“We are thrilled to partner with Spiritleaf and look forward to seeing an Up Cannabis Experiential Hub in one of the first retail stores in the province,” said Jay Wilgar, CEO of both Newstrike and Up Cannabis. “Up Cannabis’ ties to Kingston run deep as the hometown of our partners, The Tragically Hip, with many special milestones in our company’s history taking place there, and more to come. We’re excited to see the stars aligning for both our brands as the Ontario retail marketplace takes shape.”

The news follows the investment agreement and strategic alliance agreement entered into between Newstrike and Inner Spirit whereby each of the companies acquired equity interests in each other and provides for the retail distribution of Up Cannabis products and the creation and operation of Up Cannabis-branded customer lounges or Experiential Hubs in Spiritleaf stores, as regulations allow.   Inner Spirit currently has four Spiritleaf retail franchise stores with Up Cannabis Experiential Hubs currently operating in Alberta and Saskatchewan with a fifth outlet scheduled to open Calgary on February 14, 2019.

Have a Heart Acquires Leading Cannabis Brokerage Company

Cannabis retailer inks deal with CannaMLS, garnering insight into deal flow across the industry

WASHINGTON: Cannabis retailer Have a Heart today announced its acquisition of CannaMLS, a leading cannabis brokerage company, for an undisclosed amount. The deal comes at a time when acquisitions are sweeping the cannabis sector, as increasing legalization draws the attention of big business.

“The cannabis sector has seen incredible growth, reaching $10 billion this year in the United States alone,” said Ryan Kunkel, Have a Heart’s CEO. “We chose CannaMLS because of their wide reach across the nation with more than 1,000 listings equaling over $1.5 billion in revenues. Their expanding agent referral network and unique agent training program differentiates them as a key player in this space, and provides Have a Heart with a strong strategic expansion advantage.”

CannaMLS was founded in 2015 as a resource for the Cannabis industry. It provides an online forum to view and post cannabis businesses for sale. Clients can post or review listings and/or licenses for cultivation, processing, retail or real estate investment.

“We’re excited about this acquisition,” said Jesse Zesbaugh, CannaMLS partner. “Have a Heart is a company with vision and purpose, and we look forward to being part of its bright future.”

Have a Heart was recently rated by High Times as one of the best cannabis dispensaries in the United States, and earned the distinction as Seattle’s top-selling cannabis retailer from the Puget Sound Business Journal. The company recently closed $25 million in series A financing, the largest private financing round for a pure-play U.S. retail cannabis company to date.

Have a Heart has retail stores across the nation, including in Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, California and now Iowa, with additional stores opening soon in Ohio. The company has more than eighteen applications pending, including in five additional states. In addition, it has more than twenty sites under negotiation with potential merger partners in another four states.

 

Have A Heart Opens First Cannabis Dispensary In Oregon

OREGON: Have a Heart opened the doors of its first store in Oregon. The Salem location will bring 20 jobs to Willamette Valley, in addition to the company’s knowledgeable, friendly staff and vast menu of lab-tested and locally-sourced flower, pre-rolls, concentrate, edibles, and topical cannabis products.

Have a Heart’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Kunkel and Chief Operations Officer, Ed Mitchell were on-hand for the store’s green-ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Our opening in Oregon makes history as the first cannabis retailer to complete continuity of the west coast from Washington to Hawaii,” said Ryan Kunkel, CEO of Have a Heart. “We have successfully executed on phase one of our plan to create the best service and top-shelf cannabis products at economical prices, across the nation.”

The new shop is located at 4618 Portland Rd. NE #110, just off the 99E, next to Dutch Bros coffee and a stone’s throw away from SunRise Espresso, the Original Pancake House and the Oregon Indoor soccer facility. The location provides easy access not only to local Salem residents and visitors but also the surrounding communities.

Founded in 2011, Have a Heart started 2018 with five operating locations in Washington state. Have a Heart was recently rated by High Times as one of the best cannabis dispensaries in the United States, and earned the distinction as Seattle’s top-selling cannabis retailer from the Puget Sound Business Journal. The company recently closed $25 million in series A financing, the largest private financing round for a pure-play U.S. retail cannabis company to date.

Have a Heart has retail stores across the nation including: Washington, Hawaii, Oregon and California, with additional stores opening soon in Iowa and Ohio. The company has more than eighteen applications pending, including in five additional states. In addition, it has more than twenty sites under negotiation with potential merger partners in another four states.

 

MedMen Real Estate Assets Seed New Investment Vehicle

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises announced that it has reached agreement to sell a significant portion of its real estate assets to the newly formed Treehouse Real Estate Investment Trust (“Treehouse”). Treehouse is a real estate investment vehicle that capitalizes on the cannabis industry’s continued growth; initial investors include real estate firms New England Development, Samuels & Associates and Visconsi Companies, in partnership with Stable Road Capital.

medmen

The initial transaction includes three properties and is expected to generate approximately $12.5 million of proceeds to the Company after repayment of debt. Additional real estate assets in MedMen’s portfolio are expected to be sold to Treehouse over the next 12 months. The properties sold to Treehouse will be leased backed to MedMen or its subsidiaries at market rates under long-term leases.

“MedMen owns and controls some of the best real estate in today’s burgeoning cannabis industry and they will serve as an important seed portfolio for Treehouse,” said Brian Kabot, chief investment officer of Stable Road. “Given the investor interest in the sector, this vehicle made a lot of sense. More importantly, this creates liquidity and creates an efficient form of off-balance sheet financing to foster further growth for MedMen and others in the industry who wish to grow.”

“Thoughtful property owners across the country have begun to consider the role that cannabis retailers play in their overall leasing strategy, putting Treehouse at the vanguard of an emerging business opportunity,” commented Scott Baker of New England Development. “Many cannabis operators own prime parcels in highly sought after communities, offering a variety of opportunities for return on investment and future development.”

The three initial properties included in the transaction are:

  • MedMen Abbot Kinney – the only cannabis store in what GQ calls the “Coolest Block in America,” 1308-1312 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, California.
  • MedMen Beverly Hills – the store is in a bustling shopping district adjacent to the city of Beverly Hills, 106-110 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, California.
  • MedMen Downtown Las Vegas – the Company’s first branded store in Las Vegas in the heart of the city’s Arts District and near the Fremont Street Experience, 823 S. 3rd Street, Las Vegas, Nevada.

MedMen Acquires First Dispensary In San Francisco Bay Area

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a licensed dispensary from Berkeley Patients Group in Emeryville, California. As a result of the transaction, MedMen will have one of only two adult-use licenses issued in the City of Emeryville, just outside San Francisco.

medmen

The dispensary is located in a young professional hub of the East Bay, between Oakland and Berkeley. The City of Emeryville is home to the national headquarters of numerous corporations including Pixar Animation Studios, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Jamba Juice and Cliff Bar. The store is expected to open in 2019 and will be located at 3996 San Pablo Avenue, across the street from the Bay Street Emeryville Shopping Center, which features more than 50 businesses with over 450,000 square feet of retail space.

“California is the world’s largest legal cannabis market,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen chief executive and co-founder. “We are very proud of the footprint we’ve already established in our home state and look forward to expanding our reach to all corners of the Golden State, starting with our first store in Northern California.”

MedMen, based in Los Angeles, currently operates eight dispensaries in Southern California. The Emeryville dispensary is located in the commercial heart of the East Bay. It is positioned at the intersection of three major interstate highways that see over 600,000 daily commuters from Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and other cities.

As consideration for the acquisition, the Company will pay a combination of cash at closing and shares of MedMen Enterprises, Inc. in an undisclosed amount*. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days of signing and is subject to customary closing conditions.

 

 

Have a Heart, UFCW 21 Forge Washington State’s First Adult-Use Cannabis Union Contract

WASHINGTON: Have a Heart and the UFCW 21 today signed Washington state’s first collective bargaining agreement between the union and an adult-use cannabis retailer.

“This relationship is quite unusual, in a very positive sense,” said Todd Crosby, UFCW 21 President. “It’s rare for an employer and their employees to reach a first contract so quickly and one that is so promising for current and future employees. These partnerships strengthen individuals, families and communities – and lead to superior service for customers.”

Screenshot 2018-08-26 08.27.35

Ryan Kunkel, CEO of Have a Heart, said his company is proud that its agreements with UFCW 21 emphasize equal pay and fair treatment in the workplace regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or cultural background.

“At Have a Heart, we believe in ‘doing good,’” Kunkel said. “We consistently strive to have a positive impact in the neighborhoods where we do business, and we see our partnership with UFCW 21 as part of our commitment to creating a safe and empowering workplace.”

Under this agreement, 134 current – and countless future – Have a Heart employees will receive above-average compensation for the industry, comprehensive health and welfare coverage and other benefits, including trainings, mentoring programs and staff-development opportunities. As a fast-growing part of Washington’s burgeoning cannabis industry, Have a Heart expects to generate even more family-wage jobs, along with other economic and health advantages.

Last year, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) found that more than 10,000 people were employed by legal cannabis businesses in 2016, and legal cannabis businesses paid almost $300 million in wages during the industry’s first two and a half years.

MedMen Las Vegas Location Approved by Clark County Board

CALIFORNIA: MedMen, a leading cultivator, producer and retailer of state-sanctioned cannabis in the U.S., announced that the anticipated location for a new MedMen store in Las Vegas has received land-use and zoning approval by the Clark County Board of County Commissioners.

The store is expected to be located at 4503 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169, near major casinos such as the Hard Rock Hotel, the Thomas and Mack Center and Las Vegas International Airport.

medmen“MedMen continues to successfully put cannabis stores in premium locations with high consumer traffic. This is what mainstreaming marijuana looks like,” said Adam Bierman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MedMen.

With the site receiving the special use permit, the Company expects to move an existing license to this new location later this year, subject to customary state and local regulatory approvals.

Colorado To Cannabis Retailers: How We Doing?

COLORADO:  The State of Colorado wants to be a better partner it’s legally-licensed pot shops, and in an effort to better understand their needs has tapped the expertise of Clear Voice Research to conduct a first-ever research study.  Designed to help inform how the Colorado Department of Health and Environment can be a better partner to the state’s marijuana retailers, and make improvements to its Good to Know campaign, the state is scheduling 75-minute focus groups for April 10 and 11 across Colorado, and is seeking industry participants.  If you qualify for and complete the focus group you will be rewarded $60 cash.

Good To Know

The purpose of the study is to better understand customer experiences in predominantly recreational marijuana dispensaries across the state. For that reason, this survey be completed by staff members who work in the “front of house” and is responsible for handling customer interactions and transactions.

Think that’s you? Click HERE to continue. 

Not you, but you think your staff would be interested? Please forward this email along to them.

Your time and participation are greatly appreciated! If you have any questions or problems with the survey, please contact Kate directly at kate.flaherty@clearvoiceresearch.com or at 303-895-3596.

The fine print: This survey is being conducted by ClearVoice Research, Inc. an independent research firm based in Denver, Colorado. ClearVoice Research respects your privacy and any answers or information you share with us will remain completely confidential. This email contact is for research purposes only. Nothing you share with us will ever be used for sales or marketing purposes.

Higher Leaf To Open 2nd Pot Shop in Bellevue WA

WASHINGTON: Washington cannabis licensee Higher Leaf  has announced it will open its second recreational marijuana store in Bellevue, WA  in early 2017. Construction on the new site has been underway since the fall and final inspections by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the City of Bellevue will occur within the next few weeks. Higher Leaf’s first store is located in Kirkland.

Higher Leaf will be the first marijuana store to open in Bellevue since February 2015, despite a recent Bellevue City Council ordinance limiting marijuana retailers in the city. Higher Leaf is the fourth marijuana retailer to open in Bellevue.  Higher Leaf in Kirkland is already the most popular store on the east side (per state sales data) and the 6th most popular store in the state.  With the second location opening in Bellevue, Higher Leaf becomes the first multi-store chain to operate on the Eastside. The store’s street entrance is located next to the drive-through Starbucks on 156th Ave SE and is just down the road from the Washington State Patrol office.

The Bellevue location is a bright, open retail space with six points of sale. Visitors can park on site or take advantage of several area bus stops within walking distance. The new store will stock many of the same vendors currently available at Higher Leaf in Kirkland and customers can expect the same high level of service that they have come to expect from Higher Leaf and they may see a few familiar faces from the Kirkland shop.

MJNewsNetwork had the chance to ask owner Molly Honig a few question about the new store:

Q: You’ve been quite successful in your Kirkland store.  How will you tailor your experience and inventory to map to Bellevue’s demographics.   

A:  We think consistency is important to customers and we will strive to carry many of our most popular products from our Kirkland store in our Bellevue as well. However, we certainly understand that the thing that is most popular in the Kirkland store might not be as popular in Bellevue, and the most requested items can certainly change over time. In our Kirkland store, we strive to be really customer focused and responsive to customer requests, which we will continue to do in Bellevue. It is hard for us to know exactly how the Bellevue clientele’s preferences will differ from the Kirkland store clientele, but we are prepared to adapt to the needs of our new customer base. 

In both stores, we will continue to put the customer first and we will strive to create a consistently positive customer experience. We want to continue to create an environment all customers feel welcome and get all of their questions answered. We are very proud of our menu and the wide variety of products and price points that we offer. We love carrying everything from top shelf product, to great mid-priced product, to grams that are $6 every day. We take pride in the accuracy of our menu, which is usually re-printed twice a day in our store and updated online on our website throughout the day.  

Q: How many employees/new jobs will be created from your new store?

A: Two years ago, when we first opened our Kirkland location, we had 11 employees. By December of 2016, Kirkland was up to 27 employees. We have already hired for 8 additional positions for our Bellevue store and we anticipate hiring a few more as we open. My best guess is that we will have a total of 40, in both stores, by the early spring.

Higher Leaf Bellevue is located at 3079 156th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 and will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days a week. The store will announce more details about an official Grand Opening celebration on www.higherleaf.com later this month.