Not for Distribution to U.S. Newswire Servicers or For Dissemination in the United States
Toronto, May 19, 2021 – Halo Collective Inc. (“Halo” or the “Company”) (NEO: HALO) (OTCQX: HCANF) (Germany: A9KN) is pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness (Pty) Ltd. (“Bophelo”) today welcomed Lesotho’s Prime Minister, The Rt. Honorable Dr. Moeketse Majoro and six of his Cabinet Ministers to tour Bophelo’s site. Ms. Louisa Mojela, the Executive Chairman of Halo and the Founder and Chairman of Bophelo, affirmed the groundbreaking opportunity created by the Lesotho Government by being the first country on the African continent to legalize the growing and cultivation of medicinal cannabis. On behalf of Halo and Bophelo, Ms. Mojela expressed her most profound gratitude for the Prime Minister and his cabinet’s momentous visit. This important milestone for the country has brought meaningful and transformative change to the community and contributes to Lesotho’s economy.
The Prime Minister has declared the Mafeteng area as the first Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”) in Lesotho and the first in the world to include medicinal cannabis. Bophelo is currently the only enterprise that is fully operating in the SEZ and has plans to further maximize the benefits afforded by the zone. To the Company’s knowledge Bophelo is the first cannabis company in the world to be part of an SEZ. The Mafeteng Special Economic Zone was created to attract the leading private sector participants to develop a center of innovation for the agriculture and pharmaceutical industries.
Halo and Bophelo have made great strides in developing the local labor force and infrastructure, becoming one of the larger employers in Lesotho with hundreds of local employees.
Andreas Met, Managing Director of Bophelo and Co-Founder of Halo, says, “It was a great honor to show our accomplishments—and specially to introduce our young Basotho leadership team, including Moeti Marai and Puleng Mabula. It’s incredible to be working hand-in-hand with a national government that shares our mission and fully supports the cultivation of medicinal cannabis as a key industry, understanding the huge positive impact cannabis can make in peoples’ lives as both a medicine and an economic driver wealth creation for the people of Lesotho.”
Halo and Bophelo are expected to receive both Good Manufactures Practices (“GMP”) and Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (“GACP”) certifications from the quality growing and manufacturing consultant, Pharmaconsulta Ltd., following multiple site visits and a comprehensive review of the company’s standard operating procedures. With the addition of these certifications, the company will be able to supply the European market with sun-grown quality cannabis and further invest in African economies and provide growing support for the people of these communities.
Ms. Mojela said, “Bophelo is committed to developing young talent through the creation of much-needed jobs, transfer of skills, and enterprise development. I am personally committed to creating a company that has strong environmental, social and corporate governance (“ESG”) principles.”
In addition, Kiran Sidhu, CEO of Halo, states: “We have remained committed to building a strong relationship with Lesotho over the past few years, we have tried a lot of different cannabis strains over the past two years and gained valuable knowledge to be able to produce very profit-oriented cannabis flower on a large scale.”
Sidhu continues: “We are thrilled to be a part of Lesotho’s economic growth and additionally to create work and learning opportunities for young people. This program will only grow with the GACP certification and remains our stated priority.”
Establishment of Lesotho’s First SEZ and the First in the World to Include Cannabis
Bophelo is the first cannabis business globally to be part of a special economic zone that brings significant benefits. SEZ is an area where the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country, located within a country’s national borders aiming to increase trade balance, employment, investment, job creation, and effective administration. To encourage businesses to set up in the zone, financial policies are introduced. These policies typically encompass investing, taxation trading, quotas, customs, and labor regulation. Additionally, companies may be offered tax holidays, where upon establishing themselves in a zone, they are granted a period of lower taxation.[i]
About Halo Collective
Halo is a leading, vertically integrated cannabis company that cultivates, extracts, manufactures, and distributes quality cannabis flower, oils, and concentrates and has sold approximately nine million grams of oils and concentrates since inception. Halo continues to evolve its business and scale efficiently, partnering with trustworthy leaders in the industry, who value the Company’s operational expertise in bringing top-tier products to market. Current growth includes expansion in key U.S. markets, the United Kingdom and Africa, with planned expansion into the Canadian retail market.
Halo is led by a strong, diverse, and innovative management team with deep industry knowledge and blue-chip experience. The Company is currently operating in the United States in California and Oregon. The Company sells cannabis products principally to dispensaries under its brands, Hush, Mojave, and Exhale, and under partnership or license with OG DNA Genetics, Terphogz and FlowerShop*, a cannabis lifestyle and conceptual wellness brand in which G-Eazy is a partner and key member of FlowerShop*.
As part of continued expansion and vertical integration in the U.S., Halo boasts several grow operations throughout Oregon and California. In Oregon, the Company has a combined 9 acres of outdoor cultivation, including East Evans Creek, a six-acre grow site in Jackson County, Blue Sky Farms, a two acre grow site located in Jackson County and Winberry Farms, a one-acre grow site located 30 miles outside Eugene in Lane County. In California, the Company is building out Ukiah Ventures; a planned 30,000-square-foot indoor grow and cannabis processing facility including up to an additional five acres of industrial land to expand this indoor grow site. Recently, Halo partnered with Green Matter Holding to purchase Bar X Farm in Lake County, developing up to 80 acres of cultivation which would comprise the largest grow in California.
Internationally, the Company’s subsidiary Bophelo is currently cultivating medicinal cannabis in Lesotho. Once fully built out, Halo believes Bophelo to be one of the largest licensed marijuana cultivation sites in the world with a future capacity of up to 495 acres. To further Halo’s global presence, the Company has recently acquired CBPM importation and distribution licensing in the United Kingdom via medical cannabis suppliers Canmart. Halo expects the cultivation and manufacturing operations of Bophelo, combined with the importation and distribution capabilities of Canmart, to drive a well-positioned business to serve the U.K. market.
The Company also has acquired a range of software development assets, including technology platforms CannPOS, Cannalift, and, more recently, CannaFeels. Halo also owns the discrete sublingual dosing technology, Accudab. The Company intends to spin-off these assets along with its intellectual property and patent applications into its subsidiary Halo Tek Inc. and complete a distribution to shareholders on a record date to be determined by Halo.
For further information regarding Halo, see Halo’s disclosure documents on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
About Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness (Pty) Ltd.
Bophelo is based in the Kingdom of Lesotho, Southern Africa, and is the holder of one of a limited number of licenses issued in Lesotho for the production of medicinal cannabis products. Situated 70 kilometers from the capital city of Maseru, Bophelo’s operating site is an ideal location with ample labor, free water, flat land area, and low crime rates. The favorable high altitude and low humidity climate provide clean and organic growing conditions within the mountainous region. With the motto “Sechaba se tlisa lerou” translated in English, meaning community brings wealth, Bophelo highlights the value of community and empowerment of the Basotho people, focusing on the development of women and youth. Bophelo is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Halo.
For more information about Bophelo, please visit www.bophelo-bioscience.com
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”. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained herein may include, but are not limited to, statements about the Prime Minister’s visit, establishment of Lesotho’s first SEZ, size of the Bar X cultivation site, size of the Bophelo license, the Company’s prospects and operations in the United States and internationally, Halo’s planned expansion into the Canadian retail market, the ability of Bophelo and Canmart to serve the U.K. market and Halo’s planned spin-off of certain assets into Halo Tek Inc.
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: unexpected costs or delays in the completion of the Company’s proposed dispensaries, facilities and other operations; negative results experienced by the Company as a result of general economic conditions or the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; delays in the ability of the Company to obtain certain regulatory approvals; unforeseen delays or costs in the completion of the Company’s construction projects; adverse changes to demand for cannabis products; ongoing projects by competitors that may impact the relative size of the Company’s growing operation; delays or unforeseen difficulties in connection with the cultivation and harvest of raw material; adverse changes in applicable laws; adverse changes in the application or enforcement of current laws, including those related to taxation; increasing costs of compliance with extensive government regulation; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; risks related to licensing, including the ability to obtain the requisite licenses or renew existing licenses for the Company’s proposed operations; dependence upon third party service providers, skilled labor and other key inputs; 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.