By Mario Toneguzzi
A global company, specializing in the development of pharmaceutical and wellness products, is acquiring 19.9 per cent of Compass Cannabis Clinic, based in Kelowna, B.C.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Isodiol will have exclusive CBD distribution rights for its family of brands through the Compass distribution network.
Dave Martyn, president of Compass Cannabis Clinic, said the strategic relationship with Isodiol secures for its patients access to a full line of the highest-quality Cannabidiol products.
“In addition to our supply agreement, Isodiol’s equity participation will help strengthen our profile and support the continued expansion of our footprint and operation. We have already established Compass as a leading private cannabis retailer in Western Canada and we are actively going to pursue additional retail licensing opportunities across the country.”
Compass Cannabis has two separate models of business operations. The retail model will be rolling out post legalization. The clinic model exists today.
“The unknown in terms of the clinics is what will medical look like post legalization in Canada. We know it’s still going to be there and we know it’s going to be an important factor with insurance but we did want to add another line and for us that was retail sale items,” said Martyn. “Isodiol operates on the CBD side of the business. CBD is likely to be de-classified, particularly CBD that comes from hemp.
“The products work exceptionally well. CBD is probably the most under-appreciated business line. We’ll see going forward . . . Isodiol has the ability to deliver the product which is important. I think CBD will have potential for shortages based on the demand that we’re seeing globally at this point. And they’re also working with us on our own line of products which is exciting as well.”
Compass Cannabis currently has 12 clinics that are open. Some operate as full Compass Cannabis Clinics while others operate through medical practitioner offices.
“We’ve got 39 locations right now that we’ve either executed leases on or effectively letters of intent that we’re going to open them up,” said Martyn. “They’re on a staggered timeline. Some of them go all the way out to 2020. But it is one we’re hoping to expand quite thoroughly through Western Canada but we’re also getting a lot of calls from Eastern Canada right now. Ontario in particular is a market that seems ripe.’
Martyn said post legalization many current Compass locations will evolve into a retail business model, where provincial and municipal licensing allow, thus running both business models simultaneously.
He said the Compass medical operation will also begin exploring opportunities in international markets, including expanding into Australia in the third quarter of 2018, through existing operational partnerships.
Previously, Compass Cannabis announced it was hooking up with Starbuds, a leading cannabis retailer in the United States, to create a network of retail locations across Canada. The joint venture foresees up to 40 retail locations, perhaps more, in Western Canada.
“Compass has put together an excellent business plan to capitalize on the upcoming medical and retail opportunities in select provinces and to establish itself as one of Canada's largest and most trusted cannabis clinic operations,” said Marcos Agramont, CEO of Isodiol, in a statement.
“Compass differentiates itself in the marketplace by offering prime locations, free appointments and most importantly exceptional patient education, care and support, which align well with our values.”
The agreement between Isodiol and Compass also includes Isodiol setting up a distribution channel for its family of THC-free Cannabidiol brands and products, pending regulation in Canada. Isodiol will also provide Compass with a private label line of additional Cannabidiol products for its fast growing patient base.
Per the agreement, Isodiol will issue a total of $4 million with $2 million paid in cash and $2 million paid in stock for the 19.9 per cent of equity acquisition, subject to 36-month escrow.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.