As U.S. stock markets close in honor of former President George H.W. Bush’s passing and Canadian cannabis markets dealt with ongoing skepticism about Aphria Inc – affecting the rest of the market by extension – one major marijuana company made an announcement that slipped under the radar.
Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced today that they were going to invest a further $2.9 million into leading Canadian cannabis retailer Westleaf.
This investment comes as Calgary-based IGC Resources (TSXV: IGC.H) and Westleaf announced a private placement deal with Tilray to raise funds for expansion possibilities throughout the region. The arrangement will net Westleaf just over $20 million, with Tilray investing a further $2.9 million into the company through the same process.
While not a particularly large sum in comparison to other investments, the decision from Tilray is seen as a stepping stone to securing a strong retail presence in Western and Central Canada, areas that have seen significant cannabis shortages already.
“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 Westleaf CEO and President Scott Hurd. “We are excited about the partnership with Tilray and look forward to continued growth together.”
The proceeds from the investment round will be used by Westleaf to expand its operations. The company plans to open an additional 20 to 30 retail stores between the next 12 to 24 months, as long as it can secure relevant retail locations as well as municipal and provincial approval.
Westleaf also plans to expand service into Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s central-most provinces that is less of a popular target for companies than other areas such as British Columbia and Ontario. Additionally, Westleaf has been added to the pre-qualified list for the Manitoba lottery for cannabis retail licenses, opening up another possible central Canadian market to expand into.
This move is the latest in a series of private placement investments from Tilray, with the company previously investing over $1 million in IntelGenX Technologies (TSXV: IGX) earlier in November.
Westleaf Cannabis Inc Company Profile
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. –Westleaf
Tilray Inc Company Profile
Tilray is a global pioneer in the research, cultivation, production and distribution of medical cannabis and cannabinoids. Tilray was the first licensed producer of medical cannabis in the world to have its facility Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified in accordance with European Medicine Agency (EMA) standards.
The company currently serves tens of thousands of patients, physicians, pharmacies, governments, hospitals, and researchers in eight countries spanning four continents through its affiliated entities in Australia and New Zealand (Tilray Australia New Zealand Pty Ltd), Canada (Tilray Canada Ltd), Germany (Tilray Deutschland GmbH), and Portugal (Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda). –Tilray