Ascent Industries Corp. (CSE:ASNT) (“Ascent” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce a strategic alliance (the “Alliance”) with Green Sage, LLC (“Green Sage”), a Colorado and California based real estate investment firm focused on acquiring, developing and managing real estate infrastructure in cannabis-legal jurisdictions throughout North America and Europe. The terms of the Alliance are governed by a Strategic Alliance Agreement dated October 9, 2018 between Green Sage and Ascent under which they may jointly pursue opportunities in commercial real estate of benefit to their respective businesses in Canada, the United States and internationally.
The Alliance will allow Ascent to accelerate its business expansion plans by taking advantage of Green Sage’s specialized expertise and resources in cannabis real estate development. In particular, the Alliance effectively provides that:
- Ascent shall offer Green Sage the first right to acquire and capitalize real estate properties that Ascent owns, or proposes to acquire or lease for its businesses; and,
- Green Sage shall provide Ascent with the first right to lease space available (or that shall become available) at any of the commercial properties owned or to be acquired by Green Sage.
- For Ascent, the Alliance establishes a relationship with a significant non-dilutive financing partner with large-scale property holdings focused on cannabis production in the Western United States, including in California, a primary growth market identified by the Company. Ascent’s management believes this relationship with Green Sage will significantly accelerate the Company’s growth objectives, as well as reduce its cost of capital as its business continues to expand.
For Green Sage, the Alliance allows access to a significant pipeline of cannabis focused real estate assets as the business of Ascent expands, including potential investments in Canada and the European market, allowing Green Sage to leverage the world’s first fully legal cannabis market in Canada, as well as early entry to Europe. In addition, both Ascent and Green Sage will be able to leverage the deep pool of operational expertise within each team to further identify mutual growth opportunities.
There is limited traditional financing for capital intensive cannabis production and manufacturing outside the public markets. Ascent’s management believes that shareholders will be served well through this Alliance by allowing a specialist asset finance firm to effectively outsource the ownership of key assets, thereby allowing Ascent to capture the value of the assets while avoiding the long-term costs of ownership and dilution to shareholders compared to funding through equity. By doing this, the Company is able to focus on its core areas of expertise – development of cannabis related intellectual property and the resulting consumer packaged goods that will support the Company’s margins as the global cannabis industry continues to develop.
Blair Jordan, Ascent’s Chief Financial Officer, comments, “The relationship with Green Sage accelerates our ability to finance our capital projects throughout North America at select premier locations. The combination of alternative financing, real estate expertise and cannabis-specific knowledge that Green Sage provides supports our business strategy in expanding our global footprint through a multi-location rollout. Going forward, we will be working with Green Sage on capital projects currently under development and projects in our pipeline”.
Ken Greer, Managing Director of Green Sage comments, “As strategic real estate specialists for the legal cannabis industry, we are pleased to work with a company with the calibre of management and global footprint of Ascent. The company is a premium client given their existing cannabis cultivation, production and product development expertise. Ascent is an excellent match for our capitalization criteria and real estate assets and we look forward to a mutual, long-term relationship”.
Ascent and Green Sage will announce the locations of new facilities as they are identified throughout 2018 and 2019 in legal jurisdictions across Canada, the US and Europe.
In Canada, Ascent (through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Agrima Botanicals) is a Licenced Producer under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations of Health Canada, with licences to cultivate cannabis and produce cannabis extracts. In addition, the Company is a Licenced Dealer under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada), with the ability to produce, package, sell, send, transport and distribute medically focused cannabis products in Canada to other licenced entities and internationally in jurisdictions where medical cannabis is legal. In the United States, the Company holds licences in Oregon (for processing and for distribution of cannabis to any licenced entity in the state) and in Nevada (for cultivation and for production, processing and wholesale distribution of cannabis). In Europe, Agrima ApS, a Danish company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Ascent, has submitted licence applications for a Wholesaler Dealers Licence and Controlled Drug Licence in Denmark, and applications for the approval of eight products to the Danish Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
The Company’s operations currently include licenced facilities in British Columbia, Canada, and in Nevada in the United States. The Company is increasing its cultivation and production capacity from 50,000 square feet to 710,000 square feet in 2018, from which it expects to produce significantly higher amounts of cannabis and cannabis oil to support its expanding operations.
The Company offers a product suite of more than 40 unique products under several consumer-focused brands, including gel capsules, tinctures, medicinal oils, concentrates, vaporizer pens, pre-rolled joints, various edibles and raw flower. Through careful development of its sophisticated cannabis brands, Ascent is positioned to be a leader in branded, commercialized products in both medical and adult-use markets across North America and internationally.
In addition, the Company conducts cannabis-based research with Simon Fraser University, including in the area of unique cannabinoid formulations that produce targeted physiological outcomes.
About Green Sage:
Green Sage is a Colorado and California based strategic real estate investment firm focused on acquiring, developing and managing real estate infrastructure in cannabis-legal jurisdictions throughout North America. Green Sage has been providing financial services to the Cannabis Industry since 2014 and has backed established leaders in key emerging legal cannabis markets throughout the United States, working with some of the largest and most established operators in the Industry. Green Sage currently has real estate investments in Colorado & California and is currently focusing on investing within emerging markets that are legalizing marijuana sales, cultivation and manufacturing.
With over US$100 million in assets under management and an established investment track record in cannabis real estate infrastructure, Green Sage management believes that they are one of the largest dedicated cannabis industry investment firms in the world. With decades of combined experience, the principals of Green Sage have collectively founded and managed numerous companies across several categories, secured over $1 billion in real estate investments, and originated over $60 billion in debt and equity transactions.
Green Sage’s current portfolio includes the iconic Tinnery and Cannery facilities in Oakland, California. These buildings, acquired by Green Sage in 2017, are ideally located in Oakland’s designated ‘green zone’, in an industrial center of Oakland allowing easy access to the San Francisco Bay Area’s large and sophisticated cannabis market. Comprising approximately 500,000 square feet, these two facilities are leased by some of California’s largest and most established cannabis category leaders and brands.
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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION:
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: expectations concerning the Company’s Health Canada licences, the Alliance with Green Sage and the financing and development of capital projects. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, Ascent assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.