As a responsible cannabis operator, Cresco Labs is committed to ensuring its advertising and marketing efforts are directed only to those above the legal consumption age and carried out in a socially appropriate manner

Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco” or “the Company”), one of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, announced the launch of the U.S. cannabis industry’s most comprehensive advertising and marketing code with guiding principles to ensure that Cresco Labs always markets and promotes its brands and products responsibly. As an industry leader, Cresco holds itself to the highest ethical standards and is dedicated to building a culture of responsible consumption and fostering continued consumer trust, education and confidence in cannabis offerings. This code provides guidance on commercial communications to prevent underage appeal and helps advertisers like Cresco make appropriate claims surrounding cannabis’ benefits. In addition, these standards offer best practices for the development of consumer-facing promotional events and merchandising.


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The creation of Cresco Labs’ Responsible Advertising and Marketing Standards (RAMS) is another step that supports the Company’s mission to normalize, professionalize and revolutionize the U.S. cannabis industry. Cresco’s intention for these standards is to encourage partnership with other cannabis companies around responsible marketing, professionalize the advertising practices within the industry and create a robust marketplace of quality products. Cresco Labs’ Responsible Advertising and Marketing Standards (RAMS) is available online at https://www.crescolabs.com/brands/#rams .

“Since the Company’s inception in 2013, we have been guided by a vision to bring a level of professionalism, ethics and hard-nosed business discipline to this emerging product category and industry, and it has been our mission ever since to normalize, professionalize and revolutionize cannabis,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and Co-founder. “That approach has guided us through seven years of incredible growth. As our house of branded products, retail brand and overall market reach grows, and cannabis becomes an important part of people’s everyday wellness, there is a need to advertise, market and communicate with the public. However, we must do so in a responsible and compliant manner that is disciplined, ethical and fact-based and upholds the high standards of conduct on which the company was founded. As we focus on building the most important cannabis company in the U.S., these standards will define how we conduct ourselves in our everyday marketing and advertising efforts, hold us accountable in all our work in this area, and hopefully serve as a north star for all other operators within our industry.”

Cannabis is currently legal for adult use in 11 states and medicinally in 33 states, with many more discussing some form of legalization. Legalization began less than 20 years ago, and now cannabis represents one of the fastest-growing consumer product categories in the U.S. At present, there are no federally issued regulations for the cannabis industry that typically exist in other emerging categories. Compliance to regulations is an entirely state-by-state exercise, and this holds true for standards for marketing and communications. Each state that has legalized medical or recreational cannabis often has its own unique requirements. Cresco Labs established RAMS as a complement to existing state regulations, and compliance with this code is mandatory for all its marketing, sales, promotion and communications efforts, including both traditional and digital media.

“We are fortunate to be able to work in an industry that impacts so many people, and with that great opportunity comes the responsibility to demonstrate best-practice leadership in the area of advertising and marketing,” said Greg Butler, Chief Commercial Officer at Cresco Labs. “Similar industries to cannabis—alcohol, healthcare, pharmaceutical and food—have self-imposed, voluntary rules that are followed by some of the most iconic brand marketers in the world. As a leader in this industry, we want to lay the foundation for the U.S. cannabis industry, which today is demonstrating tremendous potential of where it will be in the next couple of years. As more cannabis operators build brands and introduce new products, these standards will help expand the quality of marketing from the industry and support the use of new advertising mediums and channels.”

Cresco Labs is deeply committed to creating positive change in the advertising and marketing of cannabis to consumers. The Company encourages other cannabis organizations to adopt and build upon these guiding principles to help build a responsible cannabis industry together.

About Cresco Labs:

Cresco Labs is one of the largest vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States. Cresco is built to become the most important company in the cannabis industry by combining the most strategic geographic footprint with one of the leading distribution platforms in North America. Employing a consumer-packaged goods (“CPG”) approach to cannabis, Cresco’s house of brands is designed to meet the needs of all consumer segments and includes some of the most recognized and trusted national brands including Cresco, Remedi, High Supply, Reserve, Good News and Mindy’s Chef Led Artisanal Edibles created by James Beard Award-winning chef Mindy Segal. Sunnyside, Cresco’s national dispensary brand, is a wellness-focused retailer designed to build trust, education and convenience for both existing and new cannabis consumers. Recognizing that the cannabis industry is poised to become one of the leading job creators in the country, Cresco provides the industry’s first national comprehensive Social Equity and Educational Development (SEED) program designed to ensure that all members of society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in the cannabis industry. Learn more about Cresco Labs at www.crescolabs.com .

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains “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 the Company’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as, ‘may,’ ‘will,’ ‘should,’ ‘could,’ ‘would,’ ‘expects,’ ‘plans,’ ‘anticipates,’ ‘believes,’ ‘estimates,’ ‘projects,’ ‘predicts,’ ‘potential’ or ‘continue’ or the negative of those forms or other comparable terms. The Company’s forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks discussed under “Risk Factors” in the company’s CSE Listing Statement filed with SEDAR; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Because of these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. No assurances are given as to the future trading price or trading volumes of Cresco’s shares, nor as to the Company’s financial performance in future financial periods. The Company does not intend to update any of these factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the Company’s forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, any future event or otherwise. Except as otherwise indicated, this press release speaks as of the date hereof. The distribution of this press release does not imply that there has been no change in the affairs of the Company after the date hereof or create any duty or commitment to update or supplement any information provided in this press release or otherwise.

Media:
Jason Erkes, Cresco Labs
Chief Communications Officer
press@crescolabs.com

Investors:
Jake Graves
Senior Analyst, Investor Relations
investors@crescolabs.com

For general Cresco Labs inquiries:
312-929-0993
info@crescolabs.com

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The Transaction is subject to several closing conditions, including but not limited to: (i) satisfactory due diligence by both Ionic and Lobe; (ii) completion of a definitive agreement with binding terms and conditions for the Transaction, including finalization of the specific Assets that will be sold and certain Cowlitz assets that may be retained by Lobe; (iii) all respective directors and officers of Lobe and Ionic entering into support agreements for the Transaction; (iv) approval by the boards of directors of both Lobe and Ionic; (v) the completion of a share consolidation by Ionic on a minimum of one new Ionic common share for every four and a half (4.5) old Ionic common shares (the “Ionic Consolidation“); (vi) the conversion of all Ionic debentures (with principal amount of approximately CAD$14.7 million) into a secured equity or a similar instrument (“Debt Conversion“); (vii) completion of a concurrent financing by Ionic for gross proceeds of at least US$2 million (the “Ionic Concurrent Financing“); (viii) Ionic having all cease trade orders issued against it lifted(2); (ix) Ionic applying to the CSE for requalification and qualifying for listing and resumption of trading(2); and (x) the receipt of all required shareholder and regulatory approvals, including the approval of the CSE. Following the closing of the Transaction, Ionic’s board of directors is expected to be comprised of five (5) members and Lobe will have the right to appoint two (2) directors to the Ionic board.

The sale price for the Assets shall be a minimum of CAD$23 million, payable through the issuance of Ionic post-consolidation common shares (being approximately 49% of Ionic’s estimated $47 million capitalization post-restructuring (after giving effect to the Ionic Consolidation and Debt Conversion)), prior to giving effect to the Ionic Concurrent Financing. Following the closing of the Transaction, it is expected that the Lobe will own approximately 49% of Ionic’s common shares, on a post-consolidation and pre-Ionic Concurrent Financing basis. Ionic is expected to have a minimum total capitalization valuation of CAD$47 million, pre-Ionic Concurrent Financing.

As previously announced, Lobe has been pursuing strategic alternatives for Cowlitz, aimed at maximizing its value to the Company. Cowlitz reported over US$14.6 million in gross sales revenues for the nine month period ended September 30, 2020, according to data provided on reports to the Washington State Department of Revenues(1). Lobe generates revenues through licensing and leasing agreements in place with Cowlitz.

Ionic is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange(2) (the “CSE“) (CSE: IONC) and is a growing US-based cannabis company that focuses on premium cannabis products with current operations in Washington and Oregon. Ionic has completed a number of strategic synergistic acquisitions since 2019 aimed at growing revenues as a multi-state operator, and increasing their overall product lines and intellectual property portfolio. Ionic’s strategy has been focused on building a regionalized multistate operation of cannabis brands in the Pacific Northwest markets with an eye to expansion into other recreational markets and aggressive national expansion.

John Gorst, CEO of Ionic said, “We are excited about this opportunity to expand our presence in Washington State. Cowlitz has tremendous brand presence and following in Washington State, which we feel is a natural fit, complementing our existing operations. The combination will make us one of the largest premier cannabis companies in the Pacific Northwest markets. The acquisition of the Cowlitz Assets will represent a complimentary synergistic acquisition that achieves our goal of operational expansion and growth of our product portfolio.”

“The proposed transaction with Ionic is accretive to both parties, successfully meets our M&A initiatives and keeps Lobe active in the cannabis and overall transformation psychedelic medicine space,” states Tom Baird, CEO of Lobe. “The Transaction provides Lobe with significant ownership and board presence in Ionic. With its already significant operations in Washington State and Oregon, we feel Ionic’s proposed product expansion initiatives together with the addition of the Cowlitz Assets can lead to aggressive growth.”

About Ionic Brands Corp.

Ionic is dedicated to building a regionally based multi-state consumer-focused cannabis concentrate brand portfolio with strong roots in the premium and luxury segments of vape concentrates and edibles. The cornerstone brand of the portfolio, IONIC, is the #3 vaporizer brand in Washington State and has aggressively expanded throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The brand is currently operating in Washington and Oregon. Ionic’s strategy is to be the leader of the highest-value segments of the cannabis market.

About Lobe Sciences Ltd.

Lobe is a growth-oriented research, technology & services company that provides financial, management, IP and branding support to businesses. The Company operates a portfolio of companies focused on developing transformational medicines and applies refined strategies to help partner companies reach their full potential. Based in Vancouver, BC, Lobe Sciences creates value through acquisitions and development of assets, products and technologies by leveraging its scientific, engineering, branding and operational expertise supported by strong capital markets acumen.

For further information please contact:

Lobe Sciences Ltd.
Thomas Baird, CEO
info@lobesciences.com
Tel: (949) 505-5623

THE CSE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR ADEQUACY OF THIS RELEASE.

Disclaimer for Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the future operations of the Company and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release, including statements regarding the future plans and objectives of the Company, the Company’s expectations surrounding its development of treatments and/or therapeutics for mTBI and PTSD, the proposed Transaction and terms with Ionic and estimated capitalization of Ionic and share value to Lobe, Ionic having its cease trader orders lifted and resumption for trading on the CSE, future sales and expected revenues of Cowlitz and enhancing its value to the Company, are forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. Readers are cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of the forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, including changes to the regulatory environment; and that the current Board and management may not be able to attain the Company’s corporate goals and objectives. As a result, the Company cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and the Company does not intend to update any of the included forward-looking statements except as expressly required by applicable Canadian securities laws.

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