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Aurora Cannabis and Alcanna Applaud Ontario Government Decision to Open Province to Private Retail of Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (“Aurora”) (ACB.TO) (ACBFF) ( Frankfurt : 21P; WKN: A1C4WM) and Alcanna Inc. (“Alcanna”) (CLIQ.TO) applaud the Ontario Government on its new plans for the responsible sale of recreational cannabis products through government-operated online sales, and the private sector.

Aurora and Alcanna have entered into a license agreement which – as soon as regulations permit – will allow Alcanna to open retail cannabis stores under the brand name “Aurora”. Alcanna has made considerable progress in preparing for this exciting opportunity and has identified over 100 potential retail locations throughout the province already. This agreement represents a significant competitive advantage and will allow for the rapid establishment of a robust network of cannabis retail stores that comply with all provincial and municipal requirements, making product, consumer and public safety a top priority.  Together, the two companies have the technology, relationships, and supply chain and retail expertise to quickly establish a full network of stores across the province as soon as they are permitted.

“Allowing a private retail channel in Ontario for recreational cannabis is good news for industry, consumers, and taxpayers, and will go a long way to making a meaningful impact on the grey market,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth . “It’s the right thing to do, and we commend Premier Ford and his government for taking this bold step. Through Alcanna, the nation’s largest private retailer of a controlled substance, we will leverage long-standing relationships with landlords, regulators and other stakeholders, and through superior capitalization, we will rapidly establish a significant presence in the province.”

“Alcanna has made considerable progress in preparing for this exciting opportunity. We started leveraging our existing relationships with commercial landlords across Ontario the day after the June 7 th election. We have identified over 100 potential retail locations throughout the province already, and we will be ready to go with fully functional stores as soon as we are permitted,” said James Burns , CEO of Alcanna. “For the last six months, our expert teams in store development, merchandising, training and product knowledge have been working steadily toward bringing the first cannabis retail stores to life in Alberta . We’re thrilled about the prospect of bringing that expertise to Ontario and will open as many stores as the government will allow after April 1, 2019 .”

Aurora and Alcanna will reimagine the customer retail experience with fully immersive, state-of-the-art stores that offer an inviting and educational brand experience. Highly trained Category Specialists will engage new and experienced customers with superior product knowledge and socially responsible advice.

In February, Aurora announced its strategic investment in Alcanna (formerly Liquor Stores NA), the Edmonton, Alberta -based beverage alcohol retailer with approximately 230 retail outlets in Western Canada and Alaska , with a view to establishing a leading brand of cannabis retail outlets. This forward-thinking partnership leverages Aurora’s brand leadership, high-quality products, customer care and scientific innovation with Alcanna’s well-established retailing infrastructure and expertise, particularly it’s 25-year history of safely selling controlled substances in retail settings requiring strict compliance with government regulations. In preparing for the roll-out of this network, the companies have entered into an agreement governing the branding and operational aspects of the new cannabis stores.

Highlights

  • Alcanna will build and operate the new cannabis stores, leveraging its 25-year track-record of operating an extensive network of retail stores, selling a government-controlled substance (alcohol)
  • The stores will operate under the Aurora name, providing immediate brand recognition based on the company’s high visibility as a producer of high-quality cannabis products, combined with its reputation as a provider of an industry leading customer experience.
  • Alcanna has leveraged its deep connections with commercial landlords and, initially, is targeting approximately 90 locations throughout Ontario , if permitted. Locations have been selected based on an in-depth economic analysis, of household income, population density and anticipated growth rates, and have been cross-referenced with LCBO data on its top-performing locations.
  • Alcanna has deep connections to general contractors and trades, enabling it to quickly mobilize teams in its various locations to develop new retail outlets.
  • All staff will be trained by Aurora through CanvasRx, CanniMed and MedReleaf, which have deep experience working with cannabis users, and unparalleled data regarding efficacy and customer experience.

About Aurora

Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta , with funded capacity in excess of 570,000 kg per year and sales and operations in 14 countries across five continents, Aurora is one of the world’s largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across every key segment of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis and hemp production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution.


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