TORONTO — Tweed Marijuana Inc. (TSXV:TWD) has agreed to buy MedCannAccess in an all-stock deal that will allow the medical marijuana producer to connect with its clients face-to-face via three community access centres in Ontario.
Tweed will also acquire from MedCannAccess a 33 per cent stake in CannScience Innovations Inc., a health science research company based out of the MaRS Centre in Toronto that is working with marijuana extracts to provide precise, standardized doses of medicinal cannabis.
The company's lead product in development is a mist that can be sprayed into the mouth.
Shareholders of MedCannAccess, which is not traded on any public stock market, will receive $1.5 million in Tweed shares upon closing, plus another $4.24 million in Tweed shares provided that certain milestones — including international expansion goals — are met.
Tweed has been on a purchasing streak recently. The Smiths Falls, Ont.,-based company snapped up rival cannabis producer Bedrocan Cannabis Corp. in June in a friendly deal that the companies say will make them the largest licensed pot producer in the country.
Tweed says the acquisition of MedCannAccess will make it the first Canadian medical marijuana producer to have direct, face-to-face contact with its clients.
"Tweed has always placed a heavy emphasis on customer service," CEO Bruce Linton said in a statement.
"Until today, that meant people could call us and talk to a customer care associate or find us on social media to learn more about our products and services. Now they can walk into a physical location and get that same level of service, face to face."
MedCannAccess opened the community access centres — located in medical buildings in western Toronto and Guelph and Hamilton, Ont. — roughly a year ago in order to help patients through the process of registering with a licensed marijuana producer.
Rade Kovacevic, the business development officer at MedCanAccess, says Canadians are accustomed to visiting a pharmacy for their health-care needs.
However, Health Canada's regulations prohibit licensed producers from selling marijuana through a storefront. Instead, they ship the product to patients once all of the medical documentation and other paperwork has been submitted.
By opening the community access centres, the company's goal was to replicate the pharmacy experience without running afoul of the rules. Rather than selling the product to patients, staff at the centres help patients complete the paperwork and jump through any bureaucratic hoops, Kovacevic said.
"If you think of someone that's currently going through chemotherapy, for example, the idea of having to find the forms, figure out how to fill them out yourself and so forth can be quite burdensome when you're already having a difficult time in your life," he said.
"Being able to go into a supportive environment where you have a trained social worker on site that's able to help you through the process and connect you with the needed services really makes the process more accessible to people with physical disabilities and severe illnesses."
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Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press