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Westleaf Inc. (formerly IGC Resources Inc.) Announces Closing of Reverse Takeover


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CALGARY, Dec. 28, 2018 /CNW/ – Westleaf Inc., formerly IGC Resources Inc. (TSXV: IGC.H) (the “Corporation“) is pleased to announce that on December 28, 2018 (the “Closing Date“), the Corporation closed its previously announced business combination involving Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf“), constituting a “reverse takeover transaction” of the Corporation (the “Transaction“) pursuant to Policy 5.2 – Changes of Business and Reverse Takeovers of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange“). The Corporation as it now exists as a result of the completion of the Transaction (the “Resulting Issuer“) will continue to carry on the business of Westleaf. Subject to receiving final Exchange acceptance, the common shares of the Resulting Issuer (“Resulting Issuer Shares“) are expected to resume trading on the Exchange in early January 2019 under the name “Westleaf Inc.”, on a post-Consolidation (as defined below) basis and under the trading symbol “WL”.

Amalgamation

Pursuant to the terms of an amalgamation agreement dated October 4, 2018, as amended between the Corporation, Westleaf and 2147378 Alberta Ltd. (“Subco“), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Corporation, Westleaf and Subco amalgamated on the Closing Date (the “Amalgamation“) under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta) (“ABCA“) to form a new company under the corporate name “Westleaf Enterprises Inc.” (“Amalco“).

Prior to the Closing Date, on December 27, 2018, the Corporation amended its articles to change its name to “Westleaf Inc.” and to complete a share consolidation (the “Consolidation“) of all of its issued and outstanding common shares (“Common Shares“) on the basis of one post-Consolidation Resulting Issuer Share for every 2.9233 pre-Consolidation Common Shares. In addition, on December 27, 2018 the Corporation continued from a corporation under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) to a corporation under the ABCA.

On the Closing Date, pursuant to the Amalgamation (with each Resulting Issuer Share being issued on a post-Consolidation basis):

 

(a)

each common share of Westleaf (the “Westleaf Shares“) was cancelled and replaced by one fully paid and non-assessable Resulting Issuer Share (such ratio of 1:1 being the “Exchange Ratio“);

(b)

all of the outstanding: (i) Westleaf Share purchase options; (ii) restricted share units of Westleaf; (iii) Westleaf Share purchase warrants of Westleaf; and (iv) performance warrants of Westleaf, in each case that were not exercised prior to the Closing Date, became exercisable for Resulting Issuer Shares in accordance their terms at the Exchange Ratio;

(c)

the common shares of Subco (“Subco Shares“) were cancelled and replaced by common shares of Amalco (“Amalco Shares“) on the basis of one Amalco Share for each Subco Share; and

(d) 

 as consideration for the issuance of the Resulting Issuer Shares to effect the Amalgamation, Amalco issued to the Corporation one Amalco Share for each Common Share issued to the previous holders of Westleaf Shares.

 

Upon completion of the Transaction, an aggregate of approximately 110,386,055 Resulting Issuer Shares are issued and outstanding. The holders of Common Shares prior to completion of the Amalgamation hold 3,645,346 Resulting Issuer Shares (excluding Common Shares issued upon the exchange of the Subscription Receipts (as defined below)), representing approximately 3.3% of the outstanding Resulting Issuer Shares; (ii) the former shareholders of Westleaf hold 82,630,353 Resulting Issuer Shares, representing approximately 74.9% of the outstanding Resulting Issuer Shares; (iii) the former holders of Subscription Receipts hold 23,656,945 Resulting Issuer Shares, representing approximately 21.4% of the outstanding Resulting Issuer Shares; and (iv) the subscribers to the Non-Brokered Private Placement (as defined below) hold 453,411 Resulting Issuer Shares, representing approximately 0.4% of the outstanding Resulting Issuer Shares. All Resulting Issuer Shares issued to the former shareholders of Westleaf for their Westleaf Shares and all Resulting Issuer Shares and Warrants (as defined below) issued to the former holders of Subscription Receipts upon the exchange of the Subscription Receipts are subject to a four-month contractual hold period from the closing of the Amalgamation.

An aggregate of 42,230,000 Resulting Issuer Shares issued to the “Principals” of the Resulting Issuer (as defined in Exchange policies) were placed in escrow pursuant to a Tier 2 value security escrow agreement in accordance with the policies of the Exchange and will be released in accordance with the terms thereof. In addition, 6,115,000 Resulting Issuer Shares issued to Westleaf seed share investors who are not Principals of the Resulting Issuer are subject to resale restrictions in accordance with TSXV Policy 5.4 – Escrow, Vendor Consideration and Resale Restrictions.

Concurrent Financing

Prior to the closing of the Amalgamation, on December 4, 2018, the Corporation completed a brokered financing of 23,656,945 subscription receipts (“Subscription Receipts“) at a price of $0.85 per Subscription Receipt, for aggregate gross proceeds of $20,108,403 (the “Brokered Private Placement“). Canaccord Genuity Corp., as co-lead agent and sole bookrunner, Eight Capital as co-lead agent and GMP Securities L.P. were the syndicate for the Brokered Private Placement. On the Closing Date, each Subscription Receipt was automatically exchanged into one unit of the Corporation (a “Unit“), upon satisfaction of certain escrow release conditions (the “Escrow Release Conditions“). The net proceeds of the Brokered Private Placement were released to the Corporation on the Closing Date in connection with the satisfaction of the Escrow Release Conditions. For further details on the terms of the Brokered Private Placement, please see the joint press release of the Corporation and Westleaf dated December 4, 2018, as filed under the Corporation’s SEDAR profile.

In addition to the Brokered Private Placement, concurrently with closing of the Amalgamation, the Corporation completed a non-brokered financing of 453,411 Units at a price of $0.85 per Unit, for aggregate proceeds of $385,000(the “Non-Brokered Private Placement“, and collectively with the Brokered Private Placement the “Offering“).

Each Unit issued pursuant to the Offering consists of one Resulting Issuer Share and one-half of one Resulting Issuer Share purchase warrant (a “Warrant“). Each Warrant is exercisable to acquire one Resulting Issuer Share at an exercise of $1.30 per share for a period of 24 months from the applicable date of closing of the Offering, subject to adjustment in certain events and an acceleration clause.

The net proceeds from the Offering are intended to be used by the Resulting Issuer for expansion of its operations and for general corporate purposes.

Resulting Issuer

Following the closing of the Amalgamation, Jacqueline Tucker resigned from her positions of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and a director of the Corporation. The board of directors of the Corporation is now comprised of Stephen Mason as Executive Chairman, Scott Hurd, Robb McNaughton, Kareen Stangherlin, and Delbert Wapass. In addition, on the Closing Date, Scott Hurd was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, Taylor Ethans was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and Pat Whelan was appointed as Executive Vice President. Westleaf International Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Corporation, appointed Shon Williams as Chief Development Officer, Ben Kaantaas Chief Operating Officer and Christian Monson as Chief Legal Officer & VP of Strategy.

Acquisition of Canndara

As disclosed in the joint press release of the Corporation and Westleaf dated December 20, 2018, the Corporation and Westleaf entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 21.4% interest in Canndara Canada Inc. (“Canndara“), a premium cannabis retail company with over fifty (50) prospective retail locations across Canada, through the purchase by Westleaf of $7.5 million of the existing Canndara shares for cash (the “Investment“). In addition to the Investment, the Corporation has been granted an option by the Canndara shareholders to purchase the remaining shares of Canndara at a pre-determined value of $48.4 million in an all-share transaction (the “Option“). The Investment and Option are separate from the Transaction and remain subject to applicable approvals, including approval of the Exchange.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

Westleaf is a vertically integrated cannabis company with assets across the cannabis value chain, with an emphasis on engaging cannabis retail and product brands. Focused on innovative retail experiences, Westleaf is rolling out a national retail footprint for its retail concept “Prairie Records”, with stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewanand potentially Ontario. The retail concept leverages the instinctual tie between recreational cannabis and music and redefines the cannabis purchasing experience. For more information, please visit www.westleaf.com or www.prairierecords.ca.

Additional Information

Cautionary Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: final Exchange approval of the Amalgamation, the use of proceeds from the Offering, trading of the Resulting Issuer Shares and the timing thereof, the business and operations of Westleaf and the Resulting Issuer, the Investment and the Option. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; and the delay or failure to receive board, shareholder, court or regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, the Corporation and Westleaf assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

This press release is not an offer of the securities for sale in the United States. The securities have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United Statesabsent registration or an exemption from registration. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange, Inc. nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the polices of the TSX Venture Exchange) has in any way passed upon the merits of the RTO Transaction and associated transactions and neither of the foregoing entities has in any way approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

SOURCE Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

For further information: Westleaf Inc. (Formerly IGC Resources Inc.), Scott Hurd, President & CEO, Phone: (403) 870-4798

Westleaf and Ace Valley partner on cannabis stores


The companies will pursue locations in Ontario that offer a “highly curated” retail experience.

Cannabis retail company Westleaf has established a partnership with cannabis brand Ace Valley to pursue the creation of Ace Valley retail locations in Ontario.

As part of the strategic partnership and brand licensing deal, Westleaf will help create the customer experience in Ace Valley-branded stores, providing guidance on operating procedures and best practices. Ace Valley – founded by the creators of the Ace Hill craft beer brand, with products sourced from licensed producer Flowr – will collaborate with Westleaf on design, merchandising and marketing efforts.

Westleaf is the company behind Prairie Records, a recreational cannabis store that takes inspiration from record stores to not only create a welcoming atmosphere, but helps to guide customers through the cannabis buying experience with “record sleeves” that contain information about different products and strains. It is looking to open the banner in provinces where private sale of cannabis is permitted, including Ontario.

Adam Coates, VP of sales and marketing at Westleaf, says the plan is to still pursue the opening of Prairie Records locations in Ontario. But establishing a partnership with Ace Valley, he says, is a way to connect more directly with consumers in Ontario through a “highly curated” retail experience built on the brand’s existing roots and expertise in the province.

“We have ‘prairie’ right in the name,” Coates says. “One thing that’s really great is Ace Hill already knows that millennial consumer really well and is in tune with the Ontario market. We’re coming from Western Canada and we are going to bring our concept to Ontario, but when you have an opportunity to talk to consumers Ace Valley is already talking to, it made a lot of sense to put together this partnership.”

Coates adds that the track record Ace Hill has with the way it has presented and marketed the brand – a simplified approach that focuses on quality and personalized consumer experiences – and seeing that same approach being applied to Ace Valley also made the brand an attractive partner.

Last week, the Ontario government announced changes to its private cannabis retail plans, introducing a cap on the number of licenses issued at 25 during the “initial phase” of the rollout in April. Who receives those licenses will be decided by a random lottery. The new PC government led by premier Doug Ford scrapped the public retail plans of the previous government after taking power in the summer, though physical retail would not be operating until April 2019 due to the late stage at which the change was made. The government had initially said it would not cap the number of cannabis retail licenses, but said last week it had decided to move towards a “phased approach” in response to supply shortages across Canada.

The last several weeks have also seen municipalities across the province accept the Ford government’s offer of being able to “opt out” of having private retail locations within their borders until they decide to opt in at a later date.

Coates says that while the cap caught many in the industry by surprise and may push Westleaf’s timelines back if the company doesn’t win a license, it doesn’t change it plans to enter Ontario, adding that it was already taking a “long term view.” He also says that the municipalities that opted out were not ones it was planning to be active in anyway, as it is targeting high-density, high-traffic areas, such as major urban centres (many of which have decided not to opt out, as of this writing) and tourist and resort areas.

IGC Resources and Westleaf Announce $7.5 Million Investment and Option to Purchase Cannabis Retailer Canndara Canada


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The strategic investment and associated option to purchase 100% of Canndara will position Westleaf as one of the largest premium Canadian cannabis retail players

CALGARY, Dec. 20, 2018 /CNW/ – IGC Resources Inc. (TSXV:IGC.H) (the “Corporation” or “IGC“) and Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf“), who propose to combine their business operations (the “RTO Transaction“) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 21.4% interest in Canndara Canada Inc. (“Canndara“), a premium cannabis retail company with over fifty (50) prospective retail locations across Canada, through the purchase of $7.5 million of the existing Canndara shares for cash (the “Investment“). In addition to the Investment, IGC has been granted an option by the Canndara shareholders to purchase the remaining shares of Canndara at a pre-determined value of $48.4 million in an all-share transaction (the “Option“).

 

As part of the transaction, Canndara will build out Westleaf’s Prairie Records retail concept in several of its locations in advance of Westleaf exercising the Option. Canndara locations are at varying stages of development with seventeen (17) development permits awarded.

“We continue to be extremely impressed with both the quality and quantity of retail locations that the Canndara team has amassed and look forward to continuing to grow the portfolio with the goal of developing the largest cannabis retail company in Canada,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “Our combined retail expertise and market relationships are expected to enable the continued addition of premium locations, greater market share, and acceleration of our retail development.”

“The synergy that exists between Canndara and Westleaf is rooted in our collective vision to build a leading cannabis brand in Canada”, said John Radostits, CEO of Canndara. “Our team’s hard work to build a robust portfolio of strategic locations along with Westleaf’s strong team, the Prairie Records brand and unique retail strategy, have established a formula for success. Together, we are carving out our position as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry with a truly revolutionary cannabis purchasing experience for Canadians.”

Transaction Highlights

  • Increased Retail Footprint – The Corporation will have one of the largest premium retail footprints in Canada.
  • Premium Retail Portfolio – Premium locations in Western Canada and Ontario located in tier-1 real estate with attractive demographics.
  • Accelerated Build Out – Under a licensing agreement, Canndara will begin building Prairie Records retail stores to accelerate the rollout of the brand and the portfolio.

Transaction and Option to Purchase Summary
Westleaf will purchase $7.5 million of the existing Canndara shares for cash, resulting in ownership of 21.4% of the company, and IGC has been granted the Option to purchase the remaining shares of Canndara for $48.4 million. Subject to completion of the RTO Transaction, IGC may exercise the Option at any time following the Investment, on any day that is on or before the Option termination date, which is 75-days from the closing of the Investment. Consideration under the Option will be in the form of IGC common shares, and the number of IGC common shares will be determined by a volume weighted average price for the five (5) trading days immediately prior to the exercise of the Option.

Prairie Records
Focusing exclusively on densely populated neighborhoods, high traffic areas, and tourist destinations, Prairie Records retail stores will be situated in some of the most premium retail locations across the country. The foundation of the retail concept is ingrained with a desire to create an unparalleled cannabis purchasing experience through tactile in-store features and product offerings that celebrate and promote the inherent relationship between music and cannabis.

Featuring a rollout of upwards of thirty (30) retail locations by 2020 in markets across Western Canada, including its first Alberta location in Calgary’s iconic Palace Theatre. Westleaf continues to be committed to becoming a leader in the cannabis retail market in Canada.

Westleaf is also proud to service the Saskatchewan community by launching a Prairie Records store in Warman, just north of Saskatoon, with an extended product offering through its e-commerce platform which will serve the entire province of Saskatchewan. Additional retail plans include evaluating and securing numerous cannabis retail options throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and potentially Ontario (subject to provincial regulations), all of which is in addition to Westleaf being added to the pre-qualified list for the Manitoba lottery for cannabis retail licenses.

Legal Advisor
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP is acting as legal advisor to Westleaf. McLennan Ross LLP is acting as legal advisor to Canndara.

Westleaf Trading Date
Westleaf further announces that it anticipates closing the reverse takeover transaction with IGC on December 28, 2018, with the resumption of trading to occur in early January 2019.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

Westleaf is a cannabis company focused on innovative retail experiences and engaging cannabis brands. Westleaf is rolling out a national retail footprint for its retail concept “Prairie Records”, with stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and potentially Ontario. The retail concept leverages the instinctual tie between recreational cannabis and music and redefines the cannabis purchasing experience. For more information, please visit www.westleaf.com or www.prairierecords.ca.

About Canndara Canada Inc.

Canndara Canada is a national cannabis retailer keen on elevating the retail experience for customers. Canndara has been focused on sourcing and negotiating leases in key strategic locations across the country. The Canndara team has invested significant time, resources and effort to build a portfolio of great locations which have been selected to ensure maximum success. Canndara continues to make progress in identifying new real estate opportunities in a highly competitive market.

With over 50 years of experience in real estate, controlled substance, retail, hospitality, medical and pharmacy, the founders of Canndara, John Radostits and Ray Yue are entrepreneurs with successful track records in business launch and scale up. Together they lead a passionate and knowledgeable team who want to leave a mark on this new exciting cannabis industry.

Sourcing and securing a portfolio of strategic corporate and franchise locations has been the primary focus of Canndara which now moves to its next phase which is to build out and store openings. Canndara also offers limited opportunities to franchisees and is a member of the CFA (Canadian Franchise Association).

Cautionary Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: closing of the Investment, exercise of the Option, closing of the RTO Transaction, the development of retail cannabis stores, and the business and operations of the Corporation, Westleaf and Canndara. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; and the delay or failure to receive board, shareholder, court or regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, IGC and Westleaf assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

This press release is not an offer of the securities for sale in the United States. The securities have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

 

Chelsea Smyth, chelsea.smyth@northstrategic.com, 403-616-4956

Westleaf Cannabis Inc. and Ace Valley announce deal to bring Ace Valley cannabis retail stores to Ontario


Agreement solidifies Westleaf’s unprecedented approach to cannabis retail by bringing together marquee brands committed to delivering best-in-class customer experiences
Deal combines strong branding, awareness and community of Ace Valley with the retail expertise of Westleaf to benefit Ontario cannabis users

 

CALGARY – December 12, 2018 – Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf” or the “Company”) and Ace Valley have signed a letter of intent to launch cannabis retail stores in the province of Ontario. The strategic alliance and brand licensing deal brings together two customer-centric companies to launch premium Ace Valley retail locations in Ontario. Infusing Westleaf’s impressive cannabis retail expertise with Ace Valley’s strong brand awareness, the arrangement brings the promise of an unrivalled retail environment to Ontario cannabis consumers.

“The agreement showcases our commitment to the Ontario cannabis market, reinforces our aggressive strategy to launch cannabis retail in privatized markets across Canada and allows us to tap into Ace Valley’s dedicated following and strong brand credentials,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “We are thrilled to work with Ace Valley and jointly launch superior retail locations that will ultimately benefit the end user through retail excellence and brand consistency.”

“In this exciting new cannabis marketplace, we look for opportunities that can enhance our relationship with customers and provide long-term profitability,” said Jesse Dallal, Chief Strategy Officer of Ace Valley. “The team behind Westleaf provides retail expertise that will allow us to further capitalize on our brand awareness and customer base, and expand our footprint as a leading cannabis brand.”

Founded by the creators of the iconic Ace Hill, Ace Valley is a premium cannabis brand built on the philosophy of quality and simplicity. An experienced and admired cannabis company in the Ontario market, Ace Valley has cultivated a network of dedicated customers that will now benefit from the retail expertise of the Westleaf team. Together, the brands will provide retail storefronts that elevate the shared values of quality, leadership, and outstanding customer service.

The agreement consists of Westleaf and Ace Valley introducing a unique and highly curated cannabis shopping experience in prominent and engaged communities in Ontario. The new retail stores will be branded Ace Valley, with the team behind Westleaf providing guidance on standard operating procedures and best in class cannabis retail practices. Ace Valley will support the retail platform through collaboration on design, merchandising and branded marketing efforts. The agreement will be structured to comply will all federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations governing cannabis retail.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

Westleaf is a cannabis company focused on innovative retail experiences and engaging cannabis brands. Westleaf is rolling out a national retail footprint for its retail concept “Prairie Records”, with stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, which leverages the instinctual tie of recreational cannabis and music and redefines the cannabis purchasing experience. For more information, please visit www.westleaf.comor www.prairierecords.ca

About Ace Valley

Ace Valleyis a new cannabis brand focused on quality and simplicity. Ace Valley has initially developed a highly curated selection of pre-rolled joints and dried flower with the expert growers at Flowr in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. These products are currently available for sale in Ontario and British Columbia.  In addition, Ace Valley is developing value-add cannabis products, including vape pens and cannabis beverages (to be sold in Canada when allowed by regulations), as well as Ace Valley-branded retail experiences. Ace Valley is created by the team behind Ace Hill, one of Canada’s fastest-growing beer companies. For more information, please visit www.acevalley.com.

More Information:
Chelsea Smyth

chelsea.smyth@northstrategic.com, 403-616-4956

This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates ” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “ might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: proposed retail stores in Ontario and related branding and operational matters related thereof, the terms of the strategic alliance and benefits thereof. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; and the delay or failure to receive regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, Westleaf and Ace Valley assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

IGC Resources and Westleaf Announce Closing of $20 Million Financing Including Investment from Tilray


Funding round includes $2.9 million strategic investment from Tilray, viewed as validating Westleaf’s strategy to roll-out its differentiated cannabis retail concept across Canada, focused on innovative retail experiences and engaging cannabis brands.

CALGARY, ALBERTA – December 4, 2018 IGC Resources Inc. (TSXV:IGC.H) (the “Corporation” or “IGC”) and Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf”), are pleased to announce that IGC has closed its previously announced brokered private placement of subscription receipts of IGC (the “Subscription Receipts”) for gross proceeds of $20,108,403 (the “Offering”) resulting in 23,656,945 subscription receipts issued, including the exercise in full of the over-allotment option, which was increased to 6,008,945 Subscription Receipts. Additionally, Westleaf is pleased to announce that Tilray Inc. (“Tilray”) has made a $2.9 million strategic investment through the Offering. Westleaf views Tilray’s investment as a validation of its innovative approach to retail through its retail banner, Prairie Records, and is a strong endorsement of Westleaf’s strategy and leadership team.

“As a global leader in the cannabis industry, we believe Tilray’s investment in Westleaf reinforces the strength of our approach to cannabis retail and our team’s execution capabilities and is a testament to Tilray’s confidence in our ability to capture market share,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “We are excited about the partnership with Tilray and look forward to continued growth together.”

The net proceeds from the Offering are intended to be used by the Resulting Issuer (as defined below) for expansion of its operations and general corporate purposes.  Westleaf is targeting between 20 to 30 retail store openings over the next 12 to 24 months, subject to securing real estate, finalizing lease agreements, and completing provincial and municipal approvals.

Prairie Records

Targeting densely populated, high traffic and resort-style areas, it is expected that Prairie Records retail stores will be situated in some of the most premium retail locations across the country. The retail concept was founded with a desire to create an unparalleled cannabis purchasing experience through tactile in-store features and product offerings that celebrate the inherent relationship between music and cannabis.

Featuring a rollout of 20 to 30 planned retail locations by 2020 in privatized markets across Western Canada, including its first Alberta location expected in early 2019 in the iconic Palace Theatre in the heart of downtown Calgary, Westleaf aims to be a leader in the cannabis retail market in Canada.

Westleaf is also proud that it expects to service the Saskatchewan community by launching a Prairie Records store in Warman, with an extended product offering through its e-commerce platform which will serve the entire province of Saskatchewan. Additional retail plans include evaluating and securing numerous cannabis retail options throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbiaand Ontario (subject to provincial regulations), in addition to, Westleaf being added to the pre-qualified list for the Manitoba lottery for cannabis retail licenses.

Conditional Approval from the TSX Venture

The Offering was completed in connection with Westleaf’s proposed reverse takeover of IGC (the “RTO Transaction”). For a description of the RTO Transaction, see the October 17, 2018 news release issued by Westleaf and IGC, a copy of which is available on IGC’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. 

IGC is also pleased to announce that it has received conditional approval from the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV”) for the proposed RTO Transaction. IGC has filed on SEDAR its filing statement dated effective November 29, 2018 in connection with proposed RTO Transaction. Subject to satisfaction of all conditions and approvals, including the satisfaction of the conditions of the TSXV, the RTO Transaction is expected to close in early December 2018.

Closing of the Financing

Each Subscription Receipt will be automatically exchanged into one unit of IGC (a “Unit”), upon satisfaction of certain escrow release conditions (the “Escrow Release Conditions”). Each Unit will consist of one common share (“Resulting Issuer Share”) of the issuer resulting from the RTO Transaction (the “Resulting Issuer”) and one-half of one Resulting Issuer Share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a “Warrant”). Each Warrant shall be exercisable to acquire one Resulting Issuer Share at an exercise of $1.30 per share for a period of 24 months from closing of the Offering, subject to adjustment in certain events and an acceleration clause.

The proceeds from the Offering (the “Escrowed Funds”) have been deposited in escrow pursuant to a subscription receipt agreement dated December 4, 2018 (the “Subscription Receipt Agreement”) between IGC, Westleaf, Canaccord and Computershare Trust Company of Canada, as registrar and transfer agent for the Subscription Receipts and as escrow agent to receive the Escrowed Funds. If the Escrow Release Conditions are not satisfied on or before December 31, 2018, the Escrowed Funds will be returned to the subscribers of the Offering in accordance with the Subscription Receipt Agreement and the Subscription Receipts will be cancelled and of no further force or effect.

The Subscription Receipts are subject to a four-month hold period in accordance with applicable securities laws. In addition, the Subscription Receipts, the Resulting Issuer Shares and Warrants issued in exchange for the Subscription Receipts, the Broker Warrants (as defined below), the VIII Capital Warrants (as defined below), the Atlas Warrants (as defined below) and the Resulting Issuer Shares issuable on exercise of the Warrants, the Broker Warrants, the VIII Capital Warrants and the Atlas Warrants are subject to a four-month contractual hold period from the closing of the RTO Transaction.

In consideration for their services in connection with the Offering, upon satisfaction of the Escrow Release Conditions, the Agents will receive a cash commission equal to 6% of the gross proceeds from the Offering from the Escrowed Funds and such number of Agent’s compensation warrants (“Broker Warrants”) equal to 6% of the number of Subscription Receipts issued under the Offering. Each Broker Warrant will entitle the holder thereof to acquire one Resulting Issuer Share at an exercise price of $0.85 for a period of 24 months following the closing of the Offering. Eight Capital will also receive a cash commission equal to 6% of the gross proceeds from the Offering identified by Eight Capital, up to a maximum of $174,000, and such number of warrants (“VIII Capital Warrants”) equal to 6% of the number of Subscription Receipts issued under the Offering as a result of Eight Capital’s efforts, up to a maximum of 204,705 VIII Capital Warrants. Each VIII Capital Warrant will entitle Eight Capital to acquire one Resulting Issuer Share at an exercise price of $0.85 for a period of 24 months following the closing of the Offering. In consideration for advisory services provided in connection with the Offering, 1187959 B.C. Ltd. will receive 300,000 common shares in the capital of Westleaf. In connection with its previous financing activities Westleaf entered into an advisory agreement with Atlas Capital pursuant to which Atlas Capital will receive 175,000 warrants (“Atlas Warrants”). Each Atlas Warrant shall entitle Atlas Capital to acquire one Resulting Issuer Share at a price of $0.85 per share for a period of 24 months from the date such warrant was issued. Canaccord Genuity Corp. acted as co-lead agent and sole book-runner and Eight Capital acted as co-lead agent of the Offering on behalf of a syndicate of the co-lead agents and GMP Securities L.P. (collectively, the “Agents”).

The net proceeds from the Offering, once released from escrow, are intended to be used by the Resulting Issuer for expansion of its operations and for general corporate purposes.

 

Trading Halt

The common shares of IGC are currently halted from trading and are not expected to resume trading until completion of the RTO Transaction.

Additional Information

Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular or filing statement to be prepared in connection with the RTO Transaction, any information released or received with respect to the RTO Transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of IGC should be considered highly speculative.

The Exchange has in no way passed upon the merits of the RTO Transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.
Westleaf is a cannabis company focused on innovative retail experiences and engaging cannabis brands. Westleaf is rolling out a national retail footprint for its retail concept “Prairie Records”, with stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, which leverages the instinctual tie of recreational cannabis and music and redefines the cannabis purchasing experience. For more information, please visit www.westleaf.comor www.prairierecords.ca

Additional Information

For further information, please contact:

IGC Resources Inc. Jacqueline M. Tucker, Interim CEO & CFO

Phone:  (403) 999-1393

Westleaf Cannabis Inc.Scott Hurd, President & CEO

Phone:  (403) 870-4798

 

Cautionary Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: the satisfaction of Escrow Release Conditions and the timing thereof, the use of proceeds, the satisfaction of the conditions to the closing of the  RTO Transaction and the timing thereof, and the business and operations of Westleaf and the Resulting Issuer. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; and the delay or failure to receive board, shareholder, court or regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, IGC and Westleaf assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

This press release is not an offer of the securities for sale in the United States. The securities have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange, Inc. nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the polices of the TSX Venture Exchange) has in any way passed upon the merits of the RTO Transaction and associated transactions and neither of the foregoing entities has in any way approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Delta 9 Announces Letter of Intent with Westleaf Cannabis Inc. for Strategic Partnership and Expansion into Alberta


Delta 9 Cannabis

WINNIPEG, Jan. 29, 2018 /CNW/ – Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. (TSXV:NINE) (“Delta 9” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) with Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf”) to create a strategic partnership for the joint development of a large-scale cannabis production facility located in Southern Alberta (the “Project”).

Pursuant to the terms of the LOI, Delta 9 and Westleaf will each own a 50 per cent equity interest in the Project. The Project includes the retrofit of an existing building intended to be equipped to produce approximately 4,000 kilograms of premium dried cannabis flower per annum, and an extraction lab for the production of cannabis oil and derivative products. Delta 9 anticipates designating the Project as an expansion facility under its existing Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (“ACMPR”) license. The Project is expected to be operational as early as the third quarter of 2018 and is intended to supply cannabis products to the Alberta medical and recreational markets.

The completion of the Project remains subject to a number of conditions including, among other things: the execution of a definitive, binding agreement between Delta 9 and Westleaf; the parties obtaining the debt and equity financing required to complete the Project; and the completion of due diligence regarding the Project by Delta 9 and Westleaf.

“We are excited about this transformational opportunity,” said Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot. “Strategic partnerships with companies such as Westleaf provide Delta 9 with additional production capacity and expansion opportunities into new markets to meet increasing demand as we approach the legalization of recreational cannabis this summer.”

Westleaf President Scott Hurd says the Delta 9 partnership is an important step in his company’s development.

“We are extremely pleased to call Delta 9, one of Canada’s most experienced cannabis cultivators, our partner,” Hurd said. “Collectively, Westleaf and Delta 9 will have large-scale cannabis production facilities that can ably serve the Canadian Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). “Our partnership will allow us to accelerate our time to market and drive synergies through collaboration to bring high quality, safe and consistent cannabis products to our medical and recreational customers.”

The completion of the Project by Delta 9 is also subject to final approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.

About Delta 9 Cannabis Inc.

Delta 9’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Delta 9 Bio-Tech Inc., is a licensed producer of medical marijuana pursuant to the ACMPR and operates an approximately 80,000 square foot production facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Delta 9’s shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NINE”. www.delta9.ca

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

Westleaf is a private vertically integrated cannabis company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. In addition to the Alberta Project, Westleaf is developing a ~200,000 square foot cannabis production facility in Saskatchewan. Westleaf and its affiliates are pursuing retail distribution in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. For more information please contact  info@localhost or visit our website at www.westleaf.com

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which reflect the expectations of management regarding the Company’s future business plans and other matters. Forward-looking statements consist of statements that are not purely historical, including any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Forward looking statements in this news release include statements relating to: (i) the details and anticipated timing of the completion of the Project; (ii) the licensing of the Project; (iii) sales of cannabis produced by the Project; (iv) conditions required to complete the Project; and (v) the future development plans of Westleaf. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements, including that Delta 9’s currently contemplated expansion and development plans may cease or otherwise change, Delta 9’s production of cannabis may be lower than expected, Delta 9 may not obtain the required approvals from Health Canada, demand for Delta 9’s products may be lower than anticipated, Delta 9’s cost to produce its grow pods may be higher than expected and all other risk factors set forth in the filing statement of Delta 9 dated October 25, 2017 which has been filed on SEDAR. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits the Company will obtain from them. Readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this news release and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

 

SOURCE Delta 9 Cannabis Inc.

For further information: Gary Symons, Director of Communications, Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., 250.300.9352, communications@delta9.ca; Taylor Ethans, Westleaf Cannabis Inc., 403.618.5411, info@localhost

Westleaf Announces Closing of a $12.5 Million Non-Brokered Private Placement Equity Financing and Enters into Partnership with Delta 9 for Development of Alberta Facility


Westleaf Cannabis Inc Cision

CALGARY, April 19, 2018 /CNW/ – Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has closed a non-brokered private placement of approximately 25 million units (“Units”) at $0.50 per Unit for gross proceeds of approximately $12.5 million (the “Offering”). Each Unit consisted of one common share and one liquidity warrant. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to fund Phase I of its cannabis cultivation facilities and prospective retail distribution locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as for general corporate purposes.

Concurrently with closing the Offering, Westleaf entered into a limited partnership agreement (the “Limited Partnership Agreement”) with Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. (“Delta 9”) and Delta West Inc. (“Delta West”) for the joint development of a large-scale cannabis production facility located in Calgary, Alberta (the “Project”). Pursuant to the Limited Partnership Agreement, Delta West will act as the general partner and Westleaf and Delta 9 will be limited partners. Westleaf Cultivation Management II Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Westleaf, will act as manager of the general partner.

Westleaf and Delta 9 each own a 50% interest in the Project and will each initially contribute $3 million to the limited partnership which, together with debt financing, will be used for initial development of the Project. Delta 9 will provide certain cannabis genetics products to the Project. The Project is expected to be operational as early as the third quarter of 2018.

“Formalizing our partnership with Delta 9 is an important milestone for both our respective companies,” said Westleaf President and co-founder Scott Hurd. “This strategic partnership allows us to accelerate our growth plans to become a leader in cannabis in the Canadian Prairie region, with a vertically integrated presence across Alberta, Saskatchewanand Manitoba. Our goal is for the ‘Delta West’ facility located in Calgary, Alberta to be a world-class indoor cultivation, R&D, processing, extraction and fulfillment centre which will be capable of growing premium cannabis flower and producing a diversified derivative product offering to supply the Canadian and global markets.”

“We said last year we would be focusing heavily on expanding our footprint in the Prairie Provinces, and this partnership with Westleaf to build an Alberta facility is our biggest step yet in achieving that goal,” said Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot. “Westleaf has an excellent team in place, and combined with our experience and proprietary technology, I believe the Delta West facility will add great value for our shareholders as legalization of cannabis proceeds this summer.”

Further Information

All information contained in this news release with respect to Westleaf and Delta 9 was supplied by the parties respectively, for inclusion herein, without independent review by the other party, and each party and its directors and officers have relied on the other party for any information concerning the other party.

About Westleaf Cannabis Inc. Westleaf is a private vertically integrated cannabis company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. In addition to the Alberta Project, Westleaf is developing a cannabis production facility in Saskatchewan. Westleaf and its affiliates are pursuing retail distribution in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.

About Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. Delta 9’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Delta 9 Bio-Tech Inc., is a licensed producer of medical marijuana pursuant to the ACMPR and operates an approximately 80,000 square foot production facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Delta 9’s shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NINE”. www.delta9.ca

Cautionary Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of securities laws. The use of any of the words “expect”, “anticipate”, “continue”, “estimate”, “objective”, “ongoing”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “should”, “believe”, “plans”, “intends” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information. In particular and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking information concerning; the use of proceeds of the Offering; the development of a strategic alliance between the Company and Delta 9; the Project; the details and anticipated timing of the completion of the Project; the licensing of the Project; sales of cannabis produced by the Project; conditions required to complete the Project; the application for licenses to dispense cannabis products; and the future development plans of Westleaf, including the anticipated use of proceeds from the Offering. Although the Company believes in light of the experience of its officers and directors, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors that have been considered appropriate that the expectations reflected in this forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Since forward looking statements and information address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. These include, but are not limited to, risks associated with general economic conditions; regulatory resistance in certain provinces to opening privately owned and operated recreational cannabis dispensaries; adverse industry events; marketing costs; loss of markets; future legislative and regulatory developments involving cannabis; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; the medical and potential cannabis industry in Canada generally; income tax and regulatory matters; the ability of the Company and/or Delta 9 to implement their business strategies; competition; crop failure; currency and interest rate fluctuations; and other risks. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of risks and uncertainties is not exhaustive. The forward-looking information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws. All information about Delta 9 contained in this news release has not been independently verified by the Company.

 

SOURCE Westleaf Cannabis Inc.

For further information: Scott Hurd, President & Chief Operating Officer, Westleaf Cannabis Inc., scott.hurd@localhost, 403-870-4798

From Palace Theatre to pot palace? Downtown landmark could play home to future cannabis store


Sammy Hudes Calgary Herald

Designated as a provincial and national historic site in 1996, changes to certain portions of the building would require approval from the province, if those parts have been designated for protection.

“It would all just depend on what they’re looking to develop at the site and if it is regulated by the province’s heritage designation,” said Josh Traptow, executive director of the Calgary Heritage Authority.

“I don’t think there would be a concern,” he said. “I think any time that heritage buildings have active use is a good thing. If you can create more opportunities for historical buildings, it’s a win-win for the owners of the site and the property.

The building has undergone a number of changes since it was built in 1921.

Billed as one of the grandest theatres in Western Canada during its early years, it served as the site of then-premier William Aberhart’s first radio broadcasts during the 1920s while forming the Social Credit party.

Until the opening of the Jubilee Auditorium in 1956, it was considered Calgary’s most prominent theatre and concert venue.

The Palace ran as a movie house until February 1990, when it showed its last film, Tango & Cash. It sat vacant until 1998 when it was converted into the Palace Night Club, which closed its doors in February 2004.

The venue was renamed Flames Central in 2007, as the Calgary Flames partnered with Concorde to turn the Palace into a hockey hub, calling it “a modern-day hybrid version of the interactive sports bar.” It went back to its original name in 2017 along with a broader scope.

Traptow said it’s not uncommon for heritage buildings to take on new uses, as a potential cannabis store would certainly do.

“I don’t think it would change the historical nature or anything like that,” he said.

“It’s always been a gathering place for Calgarians when it was a movie palace, and then when it went to kind of a more modern-day movie theatre and then the Flames Central, and now going back to Palace Theatre. It’s always been a place that Calgarians have gone to and I’m sure that it will continue to be as time progresses. Buildings go through natural changes and they find new purposes and new uses.”

Coun. Druh Farrell, whose ward includes the venue, expressed concern on social media Thursday about future pot shops abiding by all the necessary regulations that have been established.

“We have so many cannabis applications, I’m just stressing that we make sure they follow the rules,” she tweeted.

The province has estimated it will issue 250 cannabis retail licences during the first year of legalization, with no single retailer allowed to own more than 37 stores, or 15 per cent of the total licences.

As of late last month, about 250 would-be cannabis retailers had applied to do business in Calgary alone, none of which have been approved in the lead-up to legalization.

Changes to the land-use bylaws on cannabis stores will help determine how many stores end up opening in Calgary.

The city will have a 300-metre buffer zone between cannabis retailers, which will be prohibited from setting up within 150 metres of the property line of schools and emergency shelters.

Marijuana legalization Bill C-45 officially passes Senate vote, heading for royal assent


Monique Scotti Global News

The Senate has voted to accept the latest version of the government’s long-debated legal marijuana legislation, paving the way for the bill to pass into Canadian law.

The Senate voted 52-29 to approve the government’s newest version of Bill C-45 on Tuesday evening.

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, the final step in the legislative process. That could occur within days at the government’s discretion. The government’s desire to see home grown marijuana permitted across Canada eventually prevailed, and a proposal from the Senate to allow provinces and territories to ban them has been stripped from the final bill.

“We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition, that’s historic. It ends 90 years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health, and community health approaches in favour of ‘just say no.’ Approaches that simply failed our young people miserably,” independent Senator Tony Dean said after the vote.

But not all Senators were happy with it.

“This bill does not do what the overarching goal says it does, which is to reduce the marijuana use among young people,” Tory Senator Leo Housakos said.

“The message for me is be very cautious, just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Educate yourself, and take cautious steps because what you do today will invariably have an impact on your life for years to come.”

Bill C-45 has been the subject of heated debate and uncertainty on Parliament Hill over the past several days. The conflict between the elected House of Commons and the unelected Senate ramped up last week with the government’s rejection of several key Senate amendments — most notably one linked to home cultivation.

 

Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut have all decided they don’t want to allow home grows, in spite of the federal government’s desire to permit four plants per household. The Senate decided to side with the provinces, inserting a provision that would allow them to ban home grows if they desired.

Over the weekend and into Monday, however, there began to be indications that the Senate might defer to the government’s position.

In an interview on The West Block on Sunday, Dean, who sponsored the bill in the upper chamber, noted that while the Senate can provide advice, it’s the government that makes final decisions.

Then, on Monday, independent Sen. Andre Pratte, who had publicly supported the provincial bans, told reporters that while he felt the issue was important, “it’s not crucial” and not important enough to provoke a crisis.

“We know that it will come before the courts,” Pratte said. “That’s a case, even in the opinion of the Quebec government, that you’d have an excellent chance of winning.”

Court challenges may indeed be inevitable, and Quebec has already promised it will push back against any federal law that allows home-grows across the land.

A spokesperson for Manitoba’s justice minister told Global News on Tuesday that the minister is “satisfied that provinces have the legal authority to restrict home grown cannabis, up to and including prohibition” and that the Manitoba would be “willing to defend our position if challenged.”

Impaired driving bill still languishing

One other complication also remains: the government’s second marijuana bill, linked to drug-impaired driving. Bill C-46 includes new powers for police and harsher penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but like C-45, it contained some elements that the Senate wasn’t sure should be included.

Specifically, the upper chamber took exception to allowing police to force drivers to submit to random breath tests (without any reasonable suspicion of impairment) that could detect the active ingredient in marijuana.

The Senate removed that mandatory screening provision, which Justice Minister Jody-Wilson Raybould dubbed the “centrepiece” of the legislation, and sent C-46 back to the House of Commons. The government then rejected the Senate’s changes.

As of Tuesday, the issues surrounding Bill C-46 are still not resolved. The House of Commons is set to rise for the summer on Friday.

The enforcement of Canada’s new impaired driving laws, once they take effect, is also somewhat up in the air. Police currently rely on standard field sobriety tests, Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and bodily fluid testing to detect impairment by drugs.

“Drug screening devices will assist with roadside testing,” said Mario Harel, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said an emailed statement.

“At this time, we await approval by the federal government as to which units will meet technical specifications and will be approved by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Until this process has been completed, police services are unable to make purchases and train officers in their use.”

Harel said that regardless of the status of drug screening devices, “we are very confident in our present processes, knowing that they will continually improve with time as we build capacity.”