~Company also provides update on initiatives to improve financial performance~
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Namaste Technologies Inc. ("Namaste" or the "Company") (TSXV: N) (FRANKFURT: M5BQ) (OTCMKTS: NXTTF), today announced its wholly owned subsidiary, CannMart Inc. ("CannMart"), has added premium craft cannabis brand Kief Cannabis Co. ("Kief") to its product line and signed a supply agreement with Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis ("AGLC"). Additionally, Namaste continues to make strides to improve its overall financial performance and increase efficiencies through consolidation of specific web properties.
Namaste welcomes Kief, a pure craft cannabis company in which Namaste holds a minority position and certain product purchasing rights, to its marketplace. Kief recently received its Health Canada licence and its premium quality leaf products are expected to join the CannMart family of premium brands offered for medical patients on CannMart's website and through its network of B2B sales channels.
CannMart has also signed a supply agreement with AGLC, the agency responsible for regulating and distributing cannabis to Alberta's licensed retailers and the sole legal online retailer for recreational cannabis at www.albertacannabis.org. Alberta represents the fifth provincial government to contract with Namaste's CannMart for cannabis product distribution with more licensed retailers than any other province.
"We are committed to offering a diverse selection of cannabis products across the full spectrum of consumer segments throughout Canada and therefore we are very excited to be working with Kief and the province of Alberta," said Meni Morim, CEO of Namaste Technologies Inc. "The addition of Alberta is particularly important as we are seeing repeat orders from our provincial agency customers. The company believes that there is a growing demand for premium cannabis brands as consumers seek both the quality and consistency that is painstakingly cultured by the craft grower. While our B2B business continues to flourish with the agreement with Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, we also continue to take decisive action to improve our overall business performance by streamlining our legacy lines of business and adding new brands to CannMart."
CannMart prides itself by offering customers a wide range of high-quality cannabis products at a fair price and has developed an impressive catalogue of product offerings through sales, distribution, and consignment agreements with leading cannabis brands. A prime example of a leading brand is Kief, the newest member to CannMart. Kief offers sought-after, true craft premium flower and concentrates. The Kief management team is made up of cannabis enthusiasts collectively dedicated to pushing every strain to its highest potential and represents the evolution of the industry to offer premium products at a premium price. CannMart works with each brand included in its portfolio to ensure high-quality products are available to medical patients online at cannmart.com or in licensed retail cannabis stores in select provinces.
CannMart continues to strive for excellence in product production, packaging and delivery of cannabis products in a highly regulated environment. From the initial legalization of medical cannabis to Cannabis 2.0, CannMart seeks to uphold a reputation for offering high-quality brands and products, with efficient and approved packaging and superior distribution performance. This is the appeal of CannMart to licensed producers, cannabis brands and provincial agencies, which are looking to Namaste's CannMart to supply a broad range of high quality products in approved packaging on a timely basis.
Provincial Sales Channel
In the second half of 2019, CannMart expanded its business by aggressively entering the B2B sector and signing distribution agreements with provincial cannabis distributors. With the recent addition of the province of Alberta, CannMart now distributes cannabis products throughout Western Canada utilizing the respective provinces' brick-and-mortar cannabis stores or retail distribution chains. CannMart recently entered into a supply agreement with the AGLC, the government agency in Alberta which oversees the distribution of cannabis products to licensed retailers around the province and operates the only legal online cannabis website in Alberta, www.albertacannabis.org. With over 400 retail locations open throughout the province, Alberta has more licensed retailers open for business by a wide margin than any other province.
CannMart has also executed supply agreements with the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba, and sells cannabis products through the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority ("SLGA") to permitted wholesalers in the province of Saskatchewan. In addition, CannMart has signed a supply agreement with the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation also referred to as the Ontario Cannabis Store ("OCS"). The OCS is the sole legal online retailer and wholesaler for recreational cannabis for Canada's most populous province.
Namaste believes that more and more licensed producers and provincial agencies are recognizing CannMart's value proposition and expertise in e-commerce, production, packaging and distribution in a highly regulated industry. With recent policy changes in the province of Ontario, Namaste and CannMart are looking to expand its growth potential by offering these services to a wider market including retail dispensaries.
Technology continues to be a core tenet of Namaste and it continues to expand its powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to improve the overall online customer buying and consuming experience. An example of this progress is NamasteMD, which provides easy, secure and direct access to health care professionals for consultations. NamasteMD has been completely redesigned and re-implemented, improving performance, user experience and enabling rapid deployment into new markets. A significant change to the NamasteMD patient process flow is the integration of our AI powered cannabis recommender, into the Namaste MD flow. Patients completing their NamasteMD consultation, now see AI powered, personalized recommendations as the last step of the process, and can be automatically directed to CannMart for product fulfillment. This reduces friction and optimized the customer experiences across these two assets.
Namaste continues to work to control costs and pursue those opportunities that bring the most value to the Company. Data analysis of internal key performance indicators and a thorough review of legacy businesses has identified opportunities to consolidate certain divisions and online websites that are not meeting the financial scrutiny necessary to succeed in the competitive cannabis markets, as standalone sites. The Company is streamlining its online businesses to focus on fewer sites, while setting up more diverse options for customer marketing, as a stepping stone towards our vision of creating a global cannabis marketplace. The net result is Namaste is consolidating 14 international websites, driving cost efficiencies with minimal impact to revenue and customers. The following six websites remain with the highest concentration of customers and revenues, where our international customer base can continue shopping without interruption:
Namaste Vapes UK
Namaste Vapes Canada
Namaste Vapes France
Namaste Vapes Germany
Finally, expansion to certain markets such as the United Kingdom has been paused due to changing domestic medical cannabis government and insurance regulations that make such expansion financially risky. As Namaste enters 2020, it continues to concentrate on opportunities with a clear path to positive return on investment and seek out new opportunities around the globe to leverage the Company's advanced technology and expertise in highly regulated markets.
Namaste today announces that it has granted, effective December 7, 2019, an aggregate of 200,000 stock options (each, an "Option") to the Company's chief financial officer in accordance with the terms of the Company's stock option plan. Each Option is exercisable into one common share in the capital of the Company (each, a "Share") at a price of $0.325 per Share, being the closing price of the Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange on December 6, 2019, for a period of five years from the date of grant. The Options will vest in equal tranches every six months over a 36-month period from the date of grant.
About Namaste Technologies Inc.
With headquarters in Toronto, ON, and offices in both B.C. and around the globe, Namaste Technologies is a leading online platform for cannabis products, accessories, and responsible education. The company's 'everything cannabis store', CannMart.com, provides customers with a diverse selection of hand-picked products from a multitude of federally-licensed cultivators, all on one convenient site. Namaste's global technology and continuous innovation address local needs in a burgeoning cannabis industry requiring smart solutions. For further information about Namaste, please visit NamasteTechnologies.com
Information on the Company and its many products can be accessed through the links below:
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION – This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. All statements contained herein that are not historical in nature contain forward-looking information. Forward-looking information can be identified by words or phrases such as "may", "expect", "likely", "should", "would", "plan", "anticipate", "intend", "potential", "proposed", "estimate", "believe" or the negative of these terms, or other similar words, expressions and grammatical variations thereof, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" happen. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this press release and is based on assumptions management believed to be reasonable at the time such statements were made, including management's perceptions of Namaste's standing in the online marketplace for cannabis products, the Company's goals regarding B2B and B2C clients, the Company's pursuit of agreements with additional government agencies, the significance of the arrangements with government agencies, the Company's goal of offering CannMart's e-commerce, production, packaging and distribution services to a wider market, future growth, results of operations, operational matters, historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, and management's beliefs that there is a growing demand for premium cannabis, that additional brands on the CannMart platform will improve overall business performance, that NamasteMD's re-design will have a positive effect on the user experience, that offering fewer online sites will drive cost efficiencies with minimal revenue impact and that Namaste's technology and innovation address local needs in the cannabis marketplace. While we consider these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to management, there is no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. By their nature, forward-looking information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific and which give rise to the possibility that expectations, forecasts, predictions, projections or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that assumptions may not be correct and that objectives, strategic goals and priorities will not be achieved. A variety of factors, including known and unknown risks, many of which are beyond our control, could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information in this press release. Such factors include, without limitation: risks relating to the Company's ability to execute its business strategy and the benefits realizable therefrom, risks specifically related to the Company's international operations, and risks relating to the market price of the Common Shares. Additional risk factors can also be found in the Company's current MD&A and annual information form, both of which have been filed under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
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 or has in any way approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.