VANCOUVER, BC / June 10, 2019 / EastWest Bioscience (the “Company” or “EastWest”) (TSX.V: EAST) announces that it has signed a Letter of Intent for a Joint Venture with Benchmark Botanics Inc. (“Benchmark”) (CSE: BBT) for the purposes of Cannabis Act licensing, joint product development, and product distribution to national and international markets. EastWest and Benchmark are excited to be aligning their Canadian businesses across multiple stages of the product lifecycle.
Benchmark Botanics’ 100% owned subsidiary, Potanicals Green Growers Inc. is a Health Canada licensed producer under the Cannabis Act , located in Peachland, BC, a 45- minute drive from the facility owned and operated by EastWest in Penticton, BC. Benchmark also continues with their greenhouse construction in Pitt Meadows, BC.
The Joint V enture between EastWest and Benchmark is intended to accelerate acquisition of Processor, Analytical and Research and Development licenses under the Cannabis Act in EastWest’s Penticton facility. These three classes of the Cannabis Act license will allow Benchmark and EastWest to build out an extensive extraction, laboratory, and research facility at EastWest’s Health Canada- certified Penticton facility. Rodney Gelineau, CEO of EastWest, notes that “EastWest is excited for the opportunity to integrate our expanding portfolio of consumer products and our Penticton facility’s infrastructure with Benchmark’s extensive licensing, technical capabilities, and Asian market opportunities. This venture will further EastWest’s tradition of providing consumers with innovative, high quality products.”
In addition to the core licensing and product distribution aspects of the J oint V enture, EastWest and Benchmark will jointly complete the build- out of an extraction center and existing laboratory in Penticton. The extraction center is d esigned for rapid development of Benchmark’s cannabis products and CBD infusion into EastWest’s existing 200+ NPN products, which will be done within Health Canada regulations. To expedite the application process, Benchmark will leverage its resources and apply for the licenses on behalf of the Joint Venture. EastWest will provide the funding of the analytical testing equipment for the testing lab which is currently built out. Benchmark will provide the funding for the buildout and equipment for the extraction line in the facility. The Joint Venture will also provide new tenancy for the facility, expanding the facility’s revenue-generating capacity.
A period of negotiation and exchange of information is required to finalize terms and the definitive and binding Joint Venture Agreement will be complete on or around July 31 , 2019.
About EastWest Bioscience Group
EastWest Bioscience is a vertically -integrated wellness company with the infrastructure to become a global giant in the Hemp & CBD consumer health market. Since it was founded in 2016, EastWest continues to grow as a high-quality producer, manufacturer and distributor of multiple lines of premium health and hemp products. Eastwest currently has more than 200+ NPN’s in its stable of products.
EastWest’s consumer product lines are divided into four distinct brands: 1) Natural Advancement – natural biopharmaceutical health supplements; 2) Earth’s Menu – all-natural hemp superfoods; 3) Natural Pet Science – pet food and pet supplements; and 4) ChanvreHemp – all-natural health and beauty products.
EastWest has a 34,000 Sq. Ft, Health Canada- licensed, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)- certified manufacturing facility and produces premium nutraceutical brands offering natural products for a preventive care lifestyle.
EastWest is entering into a joint venture with Azema Sciences, securing for EastWest first rights on Azema’s output of bulk CBD and finished CBD products manufactured, and which are ready for sale in the USA and globally. EastWest Science USA (“EastWest USA”), EastWest’s US operating division, will be the preferred distributor for Azema’s finished goods. These finished products will include CBD creams, tinctures and salves which are products not currently in EastWest’s catalogue. Additionally, EastWest will have first right of refusal to all potential opportunities relating to Azema’s Kentucky based CBD processing facility.
About Benchmark Botanics Inc.
Benchmark Botanics is a diversified multi-licensed cannabis producer focused on a three-way vertical business model targeting the medical, pharmaceutical, and recreational markets in Canada and the EU. The Company’s business plan also includes a strategy to become a Canadian licensed producer to pioneer selling medical cannabis and hemp in China and throughout Asia.
Benchmark Botanics is focused on producing the highest-quality, indoor-grown cannabis for patients and adult recreational consumers, as well as developing international business partnerships to extend the Company’s global footprint.
Benchmark Botanics’ 100% owned subsidiary, Potanicals Green Growers Inc. is a Health Canada licensed producer under the Cannabis Act and its regulations (formerly ACMPR). The Company is producing at its indoor Peachland Cannabis Complex and is in the design stage for a Phase II expansion there. Along with cultivation and production, the company’s Peachland BC facility also provides propagation, cultivation, cloning, storage, research and development, genetics and is progressing towards CBD oil extraction and an EU-GMP certification.
As part of its expansion strategy the company is building a second facility, a 4-acre Pitt Meadows Greenhouse Operations in BC through a joint venture (earn-in agreement) with 1139000 BC Ltd.
The Company has established several European Union partnerships including the rights to “The Bulldog” trademark in Canada. The Bulldog trademark has a long-established successful history as one of the most well-known cannabis cafe brands in Amsterdam and around the world.
Benchmark Botanics has also established German commercial partnership to potentially export the Company’s products into the EU markets.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
EASTWEST BIOSCIENCE GROUP
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director
TSXV – Symbol: EAST
NEITHER THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the terms and conditions of the Acquisition. 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; and delay or failure to receive board, shareholder or regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that such 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 forward-looking statements. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.