TORONTO, July 29, 2019 /CNW/ – Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp (“FSHC” or the “Company”) today announced that it has received investments totalling $5 million from several strategic partners. 48North Cannabis Corp (TSXV: NRTH) (“48North”) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX-V: VIVO, OTCQX: VVCIF) (“VIVO”) have both made a $1.25 million strategic investment in the Company. Green Acre Capital (“GAC”) has committed an additional $2.5 million investment in addition to its original investment in October 2018.
This investment will provide additional capital to help the Company achieve its aggressive growth strategy, including opening additional cannabis culture accessory stores as well as launching premium adult-use cannabis retail locations across the country.
“For 25 years, Friendly Stranger has been a champion for cannabis, devoted to activism, community and culture. Friendly Stranger has always been more than a store. It’s a home of vision, advocacy, unity and acceptance. We’re on a mission. We want to connect Canadians through cannabis. We want to build a community of togetherness. With the investment from our partners, and the opening of the second Ontario retail lottery, we are able set the stage for many more years of success,” said Robin Ellins, Co-founder of Friendly Stranger.
In addition to the financial investment, 48North, VIVO and Friendly Stranger have entered into a preferred partnership agreement pursuant to which, among other things, the parties have agreed to collaborate on obtaining Friendly Stranger’s cannabis retail licence(s), conducting in-store events, and leveraging co-branding opportunities.
“We are very excited to announce 48North’s strategic investment in the Friendly Stranger. With a focus on high-quality, sun-grown cannabis from Good:Farm, future focused next-generation cannabis products, and premium grown cannabis from its northern facility delshen, 48North looks forward to having its products available for future Friendly Stranger customers. 48North’s partnership with Friendly Stranger takes 48North one step closer to becoming Canada’s most loved, trusted and valued cannabis brand,” said Jeannette VanderMarel, co-CEO of 48North.
“At VIVO we believe that cannabis can help improve the well-beings of individuals and communities and we are proud to accomplish this by providing premium craft cannabis products and service. Our vision aligns with the incredible advocacy and community-building work Friendly Stranger has achieved over the years. We are excited to invest in Friendly Stranger and to establish our preferred partner relationship, which will allow for collaboration to spread our shared belief in the role cannabis can have to help Canadians,” said Barry Fishman, Chief Executive Officer of VIVO. “We believe trusted retailers are integral toward meeting increased demand among recreational adult-users. In conjunction with our medical cannabis business, we have actively sought strategic partnerships with retailers in order to establish strong relationships with leaders in the cannabis industry.”
“We look forward to welcoming VIVO and 48North to the Friendly Stranger family,” said James Jesty, President, Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp. “With these strategic investments, we have additional capital to execute the first phase of our growth strategy to scale and evolve the business. This will include operating several locations fully licenced to sell adult-use cannabis, pending Ontario granting additional licences. Both VIVO and 48North are ideal partners for us based on their commitment to running values-based companies.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friendly Stranger, the iconic cannabis culture shop who is now focusing on breaking down stigmas associated with cannabis use, has launched a new partnership with Cannabis Amnesty with a percentage of proceeds from sales and events this year going towards their great work. Friendly Stranger kicked off their anniversary year with a month-long social media campaign where the company shares memories from the past 25 years. They are also working on releasing a limited-edition wood pipe series (ten total) to commemorate their 25thanniversary by Toronto artisans at Studio Briar along with free commemorative stickers, pins and lighters!
About Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp:
Established in 1994, Friendly Stranger is Canada’s most iconic cannabis culture shop and is widely revered for its friendly and knowledgeable service. In 2018, after an initial investment from Green Acre Capital, Friendly Stranger established Friendly Stranger Holdings Corp (“FSHC”) and announced an expansion plan to open additional retail locations across the country. In 2019, FSHC acquired Happy Dayz and with this merger, FSHC now operates 10 retail locations in Ontario with over 200,000 customer visits per year.
48North Cannabis Corp. (TSXV: NRTH) is a vertically integrated cannabis company focused on the health and wellness market through cultivation and extraction, as well as the creation of innovative, authentic brands for next-generation cannabis products. 48North is developing formulations and manufacturing capabilities for its own proprietary products, as well as positioning itself to contract manufacture similar products for third parties. 48North operates Good Farm, a 100-acre organic cannabis farm that is expected to produce more than 40,000 kilograms of organic, sun-grown cannabis, securing a significant first-mover advantage in the production of low-cost, next-generation, extract-based cannabis products. In addition, 48North operates two indoor-licensed cannabis production sites in Ontario with more than 86,000 square feet of production capacity. 48North cultivates unique genetics at its wholly owned subsidiaries, DelShen Therapeutics Corp. (“DelShen”) and 2599760 Ontario Corp. dba Good & Green (“Good & Green”), both Licensed Producers under the Cannabis Act. 48North has a growing portfolio of brands that include Latitude, a women’s cannabis platform (explorelatitude.com); Mother & Clone, a rapid-acting sublingual cannabis nanospray (momandclone.com); and Avitas, a single-strain vaporizer cartridge (avitasgrown.com).
About VIVO Cannabis™
VIVO, based in Napanee, Ontario, is recognized for trusted, premium cannabis products and services. It holds production and sales licences from Health Canada and operates world-class indoor cultivation facilities with proprietary plant-growing technology at its Canna Farms facility in Hope, B.C., and at its Vanluven facility in Napanee, Ontario. VIVO has a collection of premium brands targeting unique customer segments, including Beacon Medical™, Fireside™, Canna Farms™ and Lumina™. The Company is significantly expanding its production capacity and distribution channels; growing its domestic medical cannabis platform, including Harvest Medicine, its patient-centric, highly scalable network of specialty medical cannabis clinics and services; promoting production and cultivation innovation and pursuing partnership and product development opportunities; and actively focusing on growth in select international markets, including Germany and Australia. VIVO has a healthy balance sheet and is well-positioned to accelerate its growth in Canada and internationally. For more information or Disclaimer for Forward Looking Statements please visit: www.vivocannabis.com
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SOURCE The Friendly Stranger