Burin-based Oceanic Re­leaf signs cannabis dis­tri­bu­tion and re­tail part­ner­ship

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial -

Burin-based Oceanic Re­leaf Inc. has signed a dis­tri­bu­tion and re­tail part­ner­ship with Hiku Brands Com­pany Ltd., ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease is­sued by the com­pany last week.

Oceanic Re­leaf says it is in the late stages of re­ceiv­ing li­cenc­ing ap­proval from Health Canada un­der fed­eral Ac­cess­ing Cannabis for Med­i­cal Pur­poses (ACMPR) guide­lines and is con­vert­ing the old fish plan in Burin into a cul­ti­va­tion fa­cil­ity.

Hiku’s sub­sidiary, DOJA Cannabis Ltd., is al­ready fed­er­ally li­censed to cul­ti­vate and sell cannabis and owns two pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in British Columbia.

The news re­lease also stated that Tyoko Smoke, an­other Hiku sub­sidiary, is aim­ing to op­er­ate a net­work of cannabis dis­pens­ing stores across Canada and cur­rently runs non­cannabis dis­pens­ing stores sell­ing cof­fee, cloth­ing and cu­rated ac­ces­sories in British Columbia, Al­berta and On­tario.

“We are ex­cited to be a corner­stone in­vestor in Oceanic, a true pi­o­neer in the New­found­land and Labrador cannabis in­dus­try,” Hiku CEO Alan Gert­ner said in the re­lease.

“(Oceanic Re­leaf co-founder and CEO) Tay­lor Gio­van­nini and her team’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­er­at­ing and part­ner­ship phi­los­o­phy aligns per­fectly with Hiku’s. This ex­pan­sion to the east coast marks a crit­i­cal mile­stone for us, and we are thrilled to be able to bring our first-class re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence across Canada.”

Gio­van­nini said her vi­sion in co-found­ing Oceanic Re­leaf was three-fold – to as­sist peo­ple in

Tay­lor Gio­van­nini is the co-founder and CEO of Burin-based Oceanic Re­leaf Inc.

their med­i­cal jour­ney, to re­move the stigma around the “mis­un­der­stood” med­i­cal mar­i­juana in­dus­try and to help with the ru­ral re­vi­tal­iza­tion of her home on the Burin Penin­sula.

“I am so ex­cited by the op­por­tu­nity to work with a brand of Hiku’s stature, to learn from them, and to see their sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in our province,” Gio­van­nini said in the news re­lease.

“It’s a recognition of the com­pelling value that the cannabis in­dus­try sees in our po­ten­tial – fresh, clean prod­ucts from one of the last un­spoiled ar­eas in North Amer­ica.”

Oceanic Re­leaf is cur­rent retrofitting 15,000 square feet within the ex­ist­ing 63,000 square-foot space of the old Burin fish plant.

The com­pany’s plan is to em­loy up to 50 peo­ple. In ad­di­tion to the pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Burin, em­ploy­ees will be hired for man­age­ment, dis­tri­bu­tion, lo­gis­tics and re­tail op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

“We are ex­tremely pleased to see a fa­cil­ity of this size and ca­pac­ity breathe new life af­ter its clo­sure in 2013. We are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion to grow the eco­nomic foot­print here in Burin and on the Burin

Penin­sula,” said Burin Mayor Kevin Lun­dri­gan.

“We’ve been work­ing closely with Tay­lor and her team, and we’re re­ally ex­cited to see young en­trepreneurs in­vest­ing and bring­ing new busi­ness to the re­gion.”

Oceanic Re­leaf is one of only a few ap­pli­cants with Health Canada un­der the ACMPR in New­found­land and Labrador.

The recre­ational mar­ket for the com­pany’s planned growth strat­egy in­cludes a pack­aged goods “Oceanic” brand avail­able for pur­chase by con­sumers and its own branded Oceanic Re­leaf re­tail store­front lo­ca­tions. Hiku and Oceanic Re­leaf also said in their press re­lease they are “look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the Govern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador to se­cure a lo­cal agree­ment on cannabis pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion and re­tail.”

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