Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - December 24, 2018) - FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE: HUGE) (FSE: 0K9) (OTCQB: FSDDF), a licensed cannabis producer, has invested $1.3 million to acquire approximately 9.9% of Huge Shops, a Toronto-based cannabis retailer. Huge Shops has a strategic alliance with privately held Chairman's Brands, based in Toronto, and one of the largest and fastest growing franchising companies in Canada, with a global presence in Europe and the Middle East.
The Chairman's Brands family includes Coffee Time Donuts®, 241 Pizza®, Robin's Donuts®, Eggsmart®, New Orleans Pizza®, The Friendly Greek® and Mia Fresco®. Coffee Time, a well-established operator of retail coffee shops, has more than 75 locations in Canada and other locations worldwide.
Huge Shops has the option to acquire a minimum of ten retail locations under Chairman's umbrella of properties, and, subject to availability and further negotiation, purchase additional Coffee Time sites. Huge Shops has identified ten initial key locations across Ontario, which meet the company's strategic objective to become a premiere recreational cannabis supplier.
Under the province's current model for recreational cannabis, Huge Shops will file expressions of interest with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario in the five designated regions across Ontario for a chance to obtain one of the province's first 25 retail locations which are being offered on a lottery basis. Huge Shops stores will be branded and operated independently of Coffee Time shops, but the agreement provides access to the Coffee Time's highly experienced retail management team and large commercial real estate portfolio.
Anthony Durkacz, Executive Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, FSD Pharma, stated: "Huge Shops' strategic alliance with Chairman's Brands enables the company the ability to quickly create a network, with a well-established consumer base, in key demographic areas throughout the province. FSD Pharma, through its investment in Huge Shops, will offer leading cannabis products to consumers in the province."
As Ontario rolls out its private retail model, Huge Shops, upon receipt of its retail operator license, is planning rapid expansion in key markets throughout the province to meet its target of operating 75 locations, the maximum allowed per operator, pursuant to the company receiving its retail operator license.
Michael Potts, President, Huge Shops, stated: "FSD's investment and our partnership Chairman's Brands will help us achieve our goal of rapidly reaching Ontario's 14 million consumers, an estimated CAD $2.3 billion opportunity. The strategic alliance gives us an advantage by allowing us to avoid cumbersome leasing arrangements, a problem facing many competitors in our industry."
Steve Michalopoulos, Vice President of Brand Development, Chairman's Brands, stated: "The legalization of cannabis in Canada presents tremendous opportunity for companies across a number of industries that have a retail footprint. We've been observing closely what's been happening in the Cannabis space and what other brands have been doing within the coffee space. Aligning our coffee brand with Huge Shops presents opportunity to carefully evaluate our real estate network and potentially maximize the real estate to the benefit of all stakeholders. We were very careful to strategically align ourselves with a group that has the wherewithal and capability of building a sustainable long term business."
FSD Pharma through its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma, is a licensed producer of marijuana under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and is now operating under the recently enacted Cannabis Act. Its facilities, the former Kraft plant, sit on 72 acres of land with 40 acres primed for development and an expansion capability of up to 3.9 million square feet. It is situated on the Toronto to Montreal corridor of Highway 401 with easy access to U.S. border crossings.
FV Pharma management's mission is to transform the facility into the largest hydroponic indoor cannabis facility in the world. The company's phase one growth plan involves the development of 25,000 square feet of indoor grow space and an additional 220,000 square feet, which pending approval by Health Canada, is expected to be operational in the first quarter 2019.
For more information, please visit the company's website, www.fsdpharma.com, or contact Zeeshan Saeed, President and Founder at 416-854-8884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For investor relations email IR@fsdpharma.com.
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