Halo Collective Continues to Reduce Overheads as Akanda Bolsters Leadership Team
Local Experts Gustav Trichardt and Greg Beadle Assume Senior Roles in Lesotho; Andreas Met Departs Halo and Akanda to Pursue Other Opportunities
Not for Distribution to U.S. Newswire Services or For Dissemination in the United States
Toronto, October 5, 2021 – Halo Collective Inc. (“Halo” or the “Company”) (NEO: HALO) (OTCQB: HCANF) (Germany: A9KN) today announced a series of leadership moves in anticipation of its previously announced sale (the “Transaction”) of its international assets to Akanda Corp (“Akanda”). The leadership changes include the resignation of Andreas Met, Co-Founder of Halo and Managing Director of Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness Pty. Ltd. (“Bophelo”), and the appointment of multiple local experts to key positions at Akanda in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Halo has accepted the resignation of Mr. Met, who will leave the Company effective October 31, 2021, to pursue new opportunties. Since co-founding the Company in 2017 along with Chief Executive Officer, Kiran Sidhu, and Chief Financial Officer, Philip van den Berg, Mr. Met has been a key partner in building Halo into a leading multi-country operator. He has been focusing his efforts on Halo’s international assets over the past several months on a transition plan. The operations of Halo in North America will continue to be led by SVP Operations, Joshua Haddox, who joined the Halo in November 2020 following Andreas’ secondment to Africa.
Akanda Chief Executive Officer Tej Virk is assembling a new, local leadership team in Southern Africa, consisting of Gustav Trichardt, who will serve as Facilities Manager, and Greg Beadle, who has been appointed as Commercial Director. Trichardt joins Akanda from MGMC Pharma Group, where he managed a Good Agricultural Practice certified cultivation facility previously owned by Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED). Beadle joins Akanda from Highlands Investments, the former operations of Canopy Growth Corp. in Lesotho, where he served as Chief Growth Officer directly after his role as Business Development Director at Canopy Growth Corp. in Africa.
“We thank Andreas for his many contributions in developing the Bophelo campus,” commented Virk. “The additions of Gustav and Greg are part of Akanda’s plan to bring in domain experts from my expansive international cannabis network. I am confident they will successfully carry forward the baton to drive Akanda’s commercial and operational scale-up.”
Added Sidhu, “As previously communicated, Akanda is forging its own path and as part of this, Tej is assembling an exceptional team. Gustav is an outstanding local addition to Bophelo, bringing more than 20 years of experience in taking high value developments to completion and has been actively involved in Lesotho’s cannabis industry since legalization in 2018. When Andreas transitioned to Africa to help establish Bophelo late last year, Halo replaced him with Joshua Haddox from Moxie in Los Angeles, who has been in the industry for over ten years. In his role as SVP Operations of Halo, Joshua has helped to automate, streamline, and reduce costs in our operations in Oregon and California. We are grateful for the many contributions Andreas made to Halo, and we wish him the best in his new venture.”
Closing of the Transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to occur in October 2021.
About Halo Collective Inc.
Halo is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis company that cultivates, extracts, manufactures, and distributes quality cannabis flower, oils, and concentrates and has sold approximately eleven million grams of oils and concentrates since inception. The Company continues to expand its business and scale efficiently, partnering with trustworthy leaders in the industry who value Halo’s operational expertise in bringing top-tier products to market.
Halo currently operates in the United States in Oregon and California, Canada, Southern Africa in the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the United Kingdom. The Company sells cannabis products principally to dispensaries in the U.S. under its brands Hush, Mojave, and Exhale, and under license agreements with Papa’s Herb®, DNA Genetics, Terphogz, and FlowerShop*, a cannabis lifestyle and conceptual wellness brand that includes G-Eazy as a partner and key member.
As part of continued expansion and vertical integration in the U.S., Halo boasts several grow operations throughout Oregon and two planned in California. In Oregon, the Company has a combined 11 acres of owned and contracted outdoor and green house cultivation, including East Evans Creek, a six-acre grow site in Jackson County with four licenses owned and operated by Halo and two third-party licenses under contract to sell all of their product to Halo; Winberry Farms, a one-acre grow site located 30 miles outside of Eugene in Lane County with a license owned and operated by Halo; and William’s Wonder Farms, a three-acre grow site in Applegate Valley, under contract to sell all of its product to Halo pending the closing of Halo’s acquisition of its licenses and business assets. Halo has recently acquired Food Concepts LLC, a master tenant of a 55,000 sq.ft. indoor cannabis cultivation, processing, and wholesaling facility in Portland, Oregon operated by the Pistil Point entities (the “Pistil Point Acquistion”).
In California, the Company is building out Ukiah Ventures, a planned 30,000 sq. ft. indoor cannabis grow and processing facility, which will include up to an additional five acres of industrial land to expand the site. Recently, Halo partnered with Green Matter Holding in California to purchase a property in Lake County, developing up to 63 acres of cultivation, comprising one of the largest licensed single site grows in California. Halo also plans to expand its operations in California by opening three dispensaries in North Hollywood, Hollywood, and Westwood.
In Canada, Halo acquired three KushBar retail cannabis stores located in Alberta as a first in its planned entry into the Canadian market, leveraging its Oregon and California brands. With the KushBar retail stores as a foundation, the Company plans to expand its foothold in Canada.
Halo has also acquired a range of software development assets, including CannPOS, Cannalift, and, more recently, CannaFeels. In addition, Halo owns the discrete sublingual dosing technology, Accudab. The Company intends to spin-off these assets and its intellectual property and patent applications into its subsidiary Halo Tek Inc. and expects to complete a distribution to shareholders on a record date to be determined by Halo.
Halo has recently announced its intention to reorganize its non-U.S. operations into a newly formed entity called Akanda Corp., whose mission is to provide high-quality and ethically sourced medical cannabis products to patients worldwide. Akanda will seek to deliver on this promise while driving positive change in wellness, empowering individuals in Lesotho, and uplifting the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates, all while limiting its carbon footprint. Akanda will combine the scaled production capabilities of Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness Pty. Ltd., Halo’s Lesotho-based cultivation and processing campus located in the world’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) containing a cannabis cultivation operation, with distribution and route-to-market efficiency of Canmart Ltd., Halo’s UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer, and distributor that supplies pharmacies and clinics within the U.K. With a potential maximum licensed canopy area of 200 hectares (495 acres), Bophelo has scalability that is arguably unmatched in the world today.
For further information regarding Halo, see Halo’s disclosure documents on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
About Akanda Corp.
Akanda is a recently formed Ontario corporation that was founded in connection with the contemplated Reorganization. Following completion of the Transaction, Akanda will be an international medical cannabis company, cultivating ethically sourced cannabis of the highest quality at scale, leveraging trusted brands, at a low-cost compared to many of its competitors. Akanda’s initial portfolio will include key businesses such as Bophelo, a cultivation and processing campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, with distribution and route-to-market through CanMart, a UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer and distributor which supplies pharmacies and clinics within the U.K.
Bophelo operates a campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho focused on the cultivation and production of medical cannabis products for international export. Akanda believes Bophelo to be one of the largest licensed marijuana cultivation sites in the world with access to a maximum of 200 hectares of canopy. Through partnerships and licensing agreements with award-winning seed producers, including DNA Genetics, Bophelo will provide Akanda with a low-cost gateway to the broader African continent and access to international markets. CanMart is one of a limited number of fully-approved importers and distributors of medical cannabis products in the U.K. market with supply and distribution to pharmacies and clinics throughout the U.K. CanMart is committed to providing a range of the best possible cannabis-based medicinal products sourced from around the world.
A cornerstone of Akanda’s value system is its fundamental commitment to using its operations as a force for sustainability and social good. Akanda will seek to deliver on this promise by driving positive change in wellness, empowering individuals in Lesotho, and by uplifting the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates – while limiting its carbon footprint. Adhering to best practice ESG sustainability and disclosure standards is among Akanda’s highest priorities.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Halo’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Halo’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to the closing of the Transaction, the Company’s plans to expand in Canadaand California, the expected size and capabilities of the final facility planned at Ukiah Ventures, the size of Halo’s planned cultivation facility in Northern California, the ability of Bophelo and Canmart to serve the U.K. market, the proposed spin-off with Halo Tek Inc. and Halo’s proposed plans to reorganize its non-U.S. operations via Akanda Corp.
By identifying such information and statements in this manner, Halo is alerting the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements. In addition, in connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Halo has made certain assumptions. Although Halo believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurance or guarantee can be given that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. Among others, the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information and statements are the following: delays in obtaining any required regulatory approvals in connection with the Transaction, the inability of Akanda to raise capital on the terms currently expected by management of Akanda, changes in the consumer market for cannabis products, changes in the expected outcomes of the proposed changes to Halo’s operations, delays in obtaining required licenses or approvals necessary for the build-out of Oregon operations, the proposed spin-out with Halo Tek Inc. or the proposed reorganization with Akanda Corp., delays or unforeseen costs incurred in connection with construction, the ability of competitors to scale operations in Northern California, delays or unforeseen difficulties in connection with the cultivation and harvest of Halo’s raw material, changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; and the other risks disclosed in the Company’s annual information form dated March 31, 2021 and other disclosure documents available on the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information or statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected.
The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Halo does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to Halo or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.