Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX: ALEF, OTC: ALEAF) (“Aleafia Health” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide a comprehensive corporate update on strategic growth initiatives.
“Aleafia Health’s focus on disciplined, sustainable and scalable growth is more important now than ever with the launch of two major initiatives to adapt to patients’ needs during COVID-19,” said Aleafia Health CEO Geoffrey Benic. “With investments made over the last two years in virtual clinic services, we have been able to quickly transition to completing 100 per cent of physician-led patient consultations remotely following the temporary, voluntary closure of our physical clinic locations. Likewise, we have accelerated the launch of our last-mile home delivery to ensure patient access to medicine delivered directly to their own homes.
“In the last week, we have commenced operations at our newly licensed Niagara Facility. At the same time, we are ready to begin the 2020 outdoor cultivation season and are preparing to commence operations in our Paris Facility’s Phase II expansion, the crown jewel of our production ecosystem.”
Deployment of Virtual Clinic Services: On March 16, 2020, patients at Aleafia Health’s network of medical cannabis clinics were notified that all physical clinic locations would be voluntarily and temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and that all patient consultations would be conducted through virtual clinic services. Since that time, approximately 3,300 patient consultations have been completed entirely remotely, ensuring that all patients maintain access to safe, secure and convenient cannabinoid therapy. As announced on October 17, 2018, the Company previously invested in the technology and training to offer scalable virtual clinic services.
Last-Mile Home Delivery: In recognition of the need for safe, contactless delivery of medical cannabis, the Company advanced its already planned introduction of last-mile home delivery for medical cannabis products. Following a soft-launch last week, the Company expects to make last-mile home delivery publicly available for Toronto-based registered Emblem patients next week.
In March, in addition to temporarily closing physical clinic locations, management enacted a series of measures to ensure business continuity and the safety of team members, including:
Barring all visits to production facilities and cancelling all non-essential employee travel
Increased cleaning frequency throughout facility common areas and enforcing work from home for all non-production essential employees
Adjustment to shift start times, shift length and break structure to eliminate the crossover between groups of employees
Production Ramp-Up & Preparation to Commence Outdoor Cultivation
All three of the Company’s production facilities continue to operate. To date there have been no material negative impacts on production due to COVID-19. The Company continues to expand core revenue-generating operations, with new hires completed in product sales, quality control and production in the last 30 days.
Niagara Facility: On April 6, 2020, cannabis cultivation operations began at the newly licensed Niagara Facility. Cannabis starter plants for the 2020 outdoor cultivation season are currently growing at the facility and will be transported to the Port Perry Facility in May. In addition, cannabis intended for sale in the adult-use and medical markets is also being grown at the Niagara Facility.
Port Perry Facility: The Company is well positioned to commence its outdoor cultivation season at the Port Perry Facility as soon as weather permits, with an expected start in May. The Port Perry Facility outdoor site features 86 acres of total cultivation area, including the 60-acre Phase II expansion. The expanded outdoor site is plant ready pending approval of the required Health Canada licence amendment.
Paris Facility: At the Paris Facility, production volumes have increased as the Company aims to meet a recent increase in medical cannabis demand. All medical cannabis products are in stock and production is being ramped up to build increased inventory for both the medical and adult-use markets.
In addition, the licence amendment application for the Paris Facility’s Phase II expansion is undergoing a final review with Health Canada. The Company is now preparing to commence operations in the expanded site, which is entirely dedicated to the extraction, production, packaging and distribution of finished cannabis products.
Aleafia Health is a vertically integrated and federally licensed Canadian cannabis company offering cannabis health and wellness services and products in Canada and in international markets. The Company operates medical clinics, education centres and production facilities for the production and sale of cannabis.
Aleafia Health owns three significant licensed cannabis production facilities, including the first large-scale, legal outdoor cultivation facility in Canadian history. The Company produces a diverse portfolio of commercially proven, high-margin derivative products including oils, capsules and sprays. Aleafia Health operates the largest national network of medical cannabis clinics and education centres staffed by MDs, nurse practitioners and educators and operates internationally in three continents.
Innovation, the heart of Aleafia Health’s competitive advantage, has led to the Company maintaining a medical cannabis dataset with over 10 million data points to inform proprietary illness-specific product development and its highly differentiated education platform FoliEdge Academy. The Company is committed to creating sustainable shareholder value; the TSX Venture Exchange named Aleafia the 2019 top performing company prior to its graduation to the TSX.
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes” or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained in this news release. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including risks contained in the Company’s annual information form filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities legislation.