CALGARY, Alberta – Calgary-based Westleaf Inc. (TSX-V:WL) (OTCQB:WSLFF) has been actively preparing for Cannabis 2.0. Construction of the company’s large scale cannabis extraction, processing and product formulation facility, The Plant by Westleaf Labs was just granted its Standard Processing license from Health Canada. The license clears Westleaf to begin processing bulk cannabis to create and market derivative products through a variety of commercial arrangements, including its own innovative retail outlets and online store, augmenting its vertical integration.
Phase I of the 15,000 square foot facility located in Calgary, Alberta has been built to European Union good manufacturing practice (GMP) specifications and is designed to process up to 65,000 kgs of dried cannabis annually, putting it in the top five of Canada’s largest pure processing plants per kilo of input. The oils created using supercritical CO2 extraction will be used to produce high quality edibles, concentrates, vape and oil products, including Westleaf’s first in-house product, a line of vape pens under the brand General Admission, as well as its other house brands, Backstage and wellness brand Loon.
Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf said, “This is a major catalyst for Westleaf to generate material revenue through the sale of derivative cannabis products and by offering contract manufacturing services. The issuance of the Standard Processing License is timely as Westleaf prepares to launch its cannabis 2.0 products upon legalization which is expected on October 17, 2019.”
The Plant has an additional 45,000 square feet of space to expand extraction capacity as well as add additional product lines based on consumer preferences once the additional products are licensed post October, 2019.
Westleaf anticipates strong industry-wide demand for efficient extraction, processing and formulation capacity, and the scalability of The Plant ensures the company is well positioned to capitalize on the expected demand growth for contract manufacturing, tolling arrangements, white labeling, and in-house product formulation. In July 2019, Westleaf signed its first extraction contract with Delta 9 for white label derivative products worth at minimum $4 million per year with an option to increase up to $16 million.
Hurd added, “The Delta 9 contract is the first of what we hope to be a number of similar arrangements between licensed producers, product developers and others who are preparing for the coming legalization of derivative cannabis products such as vapes, edibles, topicals and beverages, or what is called Cannabis 2.0. We are preparing Westleaf to be in a strong position to capitalize on the expected spike in consumer demand for these products later this year and into 2020 and beyond.”
The 80,000 square foot Phase I of Westleaf’s large-scale Thunderchild Cultivation facility in Battleford, Saskatchewan is also fully-funded and on track for completion and submission of its Health Canada evidence package for a cannabis Standard Cultivation license by the end of 2019.
Prairie Records Also Expanding
Westleaf is best known for its Prairie Records retail outlets, which are designed to mimic the look and feel of record stores, a unique buying experience that leverages the instinctual connection between music and cannabis.
Named the Top Retailer in Canada by the Grow UP Conference and Expo, Prairie Records is already generating revenue through three existing stores in the Saskatoon region and one in Calgary, with up to 20 more locations under development including downtown Calgary and Edmonton and a flagship store in Banff, Alberta, in the heart of Canada’s most-visited national park. Cannabis 2.0 enables Prairie Records to offer an expanded product mix and cater to a larger and more diverse customer base. Prairie Records also gives Westleaf the opportunity to interact with consumers, allowing it to gather valuable insight on consumer preferences to more effectively develop new products.