BURIN, NL – Burin-based Oceanic Releaf Inc. has agreed to a distribution and retail partnership with Hiku Brands Company Ltd.
Oceanic Releaf is in the late stages of receiving licencing approval from Health Canada under federal Accessing Cannabis for Medical Purposes (ACMPR) guidelines and is converting the old fish plant in Burin into a cultivation facility.
Hiku’s subsidiary, DOJA Cannabis Ltd., is already federally licensed to cultivate and sell cannabis and owns two production facilities in British Columbia.
Tyoko Smoke, another Hiku subsidiary, is aiming to operate a network of cannabis dispensing stores across Canada and currently runs non-cannabis dispensing stores selling coffee, clothing and curated accessories in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
“We are excited to be a cornerstone investor in Oceanic, a true pioneer in the Newfoundland and Labrador cannabis industry,” Hiku CEO Alan Gertner said in a news release.
“(Oceanic Releaf co-founder and CEO) Taylor Giovannini and her team’s entrepreneurial operating and partnership philosophy aligns perfectly with Hiku’s. This expansion to the east coast marks a critical milestone for us, and we are thrilled to be able to bring our first-class retail experience across Canada.”
Giovannini said her vision in co-founding Oceanic Releaf was three-fold – to assist people in their medical journey, to remove the stigma around the “misunderstood” medical marijuana industry and to help with the rural revitalization of her home on the Burin Peninsula.
“I am so excited by the opportunity to work with a brand of Hiku’s stature, to learn from them, and to see their significant investment in our province,” Giovannini said.
“It’s a recognition of the compelling value that the cannabis industry sees in our potential – fresh, clean products from one of the last unspoiled areas in North America.”
Oceanic Releaf is presently retrofitting 15,000 square feet within the existing 63,000 square-foot space of the old Burin fish plant.
The current multi-phase production plan will ultimately see upwards of 50 people employed between the Burin facility, management, distribution, logistics and retail operations, according to the news release.
“We are extremely pleased to see a facility of this size and capacity breathe new life after its closure in 2013. We are moving in the right direction to grow the economic footprint here in Burin and on the Burin Peninsula,” said Burin Mayor Kevin Lundrigan.
“We’ve been working closely with Taylor and her team, and we’re really excited to see young entrepreneurs investing and bringing new business to the region.”
Oceanic Releaf is one of only a few applicants with Health Canada under the ACMPR in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The recreational market for the company’s planned growth strategy includes a packaged goods “Oceanic” brand available for purchase by consumers and its own branded Oceanic Releaf retail storefront locations.
Hiku and Oceanic Releaf are looking forward to working with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to secure a local agreement on cannabis production, distribution and retail, the news release states.