OTTAWA, May 15, 2018 /CNW/ – National Access Cannabis Corp. (“NAC” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE: NAC), Canada’sbest practices leader in delivering secure, safe and responsible access to legal cannabis, today announced its new brand targeting the Canadian recreational cannabis market. Meta Cannabis Supply Co.™, or Meta™, is the Company’s new innovative and premium recreational brand, which will open retail locations in select provinces as well as an e-shop on the Meta website. In addition to NAC’s existing footprint of 11 coast-to-coast medical clinics and 40 pharmacies, it’s new network of recreational cannabis dispensaries will initially grow across Western Canada, before expanding to include additional provinces where legally permissible.
Meta is dedicated to providing safe and responsible access to the legal recreational, adult-use cannabis market and has submitted applications for licences in metropolitan areas, rural areas in addition to aligning with First Nations for locations on Indigenous land. The premium stores will be built around a model of customer education, immersive retail environments, technology and quality cannabis and cannabis-related product offerings, with a balanced range of pricing and product lines. The brand position is based on health & wellness, inclusivity and positivity for a range of customers interested in cannabis products being a part of their lifestyle.
“Leveraging our deep knowledge of safety, security and harm reduction from our existing national network of medical cannabis clinics, NAC developed the Meta brand to appeal to health-conscious Canadians who embrace the benefits of quality cannabis products,” said Mark Goliger, CEO of NAC. “With strong First Nations and Licensed Producer relationships in addition to our exciting strategic alliance with Second Cup in prime retail locations, NAC is set to develop a broad retail network across Western Canada. Meta will provide our recreational customers with exceptional in store experiences in an environment where education and access to quality products are our top priorities.”
“We’ve built the Meta brand around an essential brand message of “Life Uplifted”, fostering a cannabis culture focused on a lifestyle enhanced through positivity,” said Matt Ryan, NAC VP of Marketing. “Ultimately this means we want to embed a premium experience in everything we do, including the quality of our products, innovation of our store design, complementary technology, service and enriching our customers to feel welcome in our stores and community.”
NAC has developed its Meta retail and digital platform to rethink how cannabis retail and e-commerce consumers will behave and purchase in both the retail and online environments while implementing innovation to drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. The initial store concept designs show a strategic placement of consumer education, in-store technology, merchandising and POS which will aid in the customer experience in a retail environment. Meta retail stores and the Meta e-shop will be carrying leading cannabis products, including products supplied by CannaRoyalty Corp. (CSE: CRZ) (OTCQX: CNNRF), and Tilray.
As the company previously announced, it has established a strategic alliance with The Second Cup Ltd. (“Second Cup”) (TSX:SCU), Canada’s second-largest retailer of speciality coffee, to develop and operate a network of Meta recreational cannabis dispensaries across Western Canada, expanding to include additional provinces where legally permissible. NAC will apply for licenses to dispense cannabis products and upon receipt, work with Second Cup and applicable franchisees to leverage Second Cup’s extensive Canadian retail footprint to construct retail stores carrying leading cannabis products. Conversion of any Second Cup café to a Meta Cannabis Supply Co. branded and NAC operated recreational cannabis dispensary is conditional upon obtaining a retail license from provincial regulators and the approval of Second Cup and the applicable franchisee and landlord.
In February 2018, NAC was successfully awarded one of four licenses by the government of Manitoba to operate privately owned retail cannabis stores in the Province, conditional upon several factors as outlined in the Province’s November 2017 Request for Proposals (“RFP”). Under the terms of the Retail Organization Agreement with the Manitoba Provincial Government, NAC will be permitted to build, develop and operate Meta Cannabis Supply Co. stores in approved municipalities in the Province. The number of Meta locations remains subject to ongoing discussion with the Province. In support of the Company’s retail strategy in Manitoba, NAC intends to leverage the Limited Partnership Agreements (the “Agreements”) signed with five Manitoban Indigenous First Nations. Under the terms of the Agreements, each of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation have partnered with NAC to establish a retail recreational cannabis distribution network in Manitoba, when legally permissible to do so.