The Valens Company Inc. (TSX: VLNS) (OTCQX: VLNCF) (the “Company,” “The Valens Company” or “Valens”), a leading manufacturer of cannabis products, today announced that Pommies (otherwise known as Southern Cliff Brands) has been issued a micro-processing licence from Health Canada for its manufacturing facility located in the Greater Toronto Area (the “GTA Facility”). With this licence, Valens active manufacturing platform now extends from Western to Eastern Canada, increasing speed-to-market capabilities while optimizing distribution cost-savings and efficiencies.

The GTA Facility provides Valens with an additional 30,000 square feet of licensed production and manufacturing space to execute on its cannabis-infused beverage commercialization and distribution strategy. The facility can support 8 million units per year on a single shift and can produce cannabis-infused beverages in both cans and PET bottles across various sizes and formats including carbonated and non-carbonated juices and waters, drops and single shots. The facility is right sized for the Canadian cannabis industry today and was designed with ample space for expansion if and when required, with minimal additional capital expenditures. The facility is strategically positioned north of Toronto and near Pearson International Airport. This positioning provides for optimal shipping into Canada’s largest markets while utilizing significant amounts of automation. This is anticipated to enhance margins on beverages as they are currently being manufactured out of Valens’ Kelowna campus in Western Canada.

Products developed and manufactured in the GTA facility will utilize Valens’ powered by SōRSE™ emulsion technology, resulting in consumer products that are free of cannabis taste and aroma with predictable onset and offset timing. Valens R&D team has been active in formulating new products soon to be available in the Canadian market and is excited to introduce its innovative pipeline into the beverage and other 2.0 and 3.0 categories.

In Q3 2021, Valens’ estimated share of the cannabis-infused beverage category grew to approximately 9.0% from 5.5% in Q1 2021 in AlbertaBritish Columbia, and Ontario, based on Hifyre data, with only one customer in this category to date. Upon commencing commercial operations at the GTA Facility, Valens will seek to grow its market share in the beverage category by accelerating the penetration of its internal brand portfolio, increasing its partnership network and expanding its product portfolios with existing customers.

“Despite delays caused by the pandemic, we have achieved a major milestone in our domestic expansion strategy with the receipt of this micro-processing licence,” said Tyler Robson, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, and Chair of The Valens Company. “As one of the first companies to launch cannabis-infused beverages in Canada, we quickly learned what was required to succeed in the category – quality and innovation. We have been working tirelessly to strengthen our resources and capabilities to continue successfully serving the cannabis-infused beverage market in Canada. With the ability to utilize the GTA Facility, we are ready to put our best foot forward and lead the category with a variety of exciting new products which will be available to our customers and consumers over the coming quarters.”

All production equipment at the GTA Facility is fully operational and is expected to be commissioned in the coming weeks. Valens expects to begin manufacturing, commercializing and shipping products from the GTA Facility in the first fiscal quarter of 2022 and anticipates an increase in utilization over 2022 as the demand for its products continues to grow. Additionally, Pommies expects to imminently submit a sales licence application for the GTA Facility.

The micro-processing licence was issued in accordance with the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations and was based on the approval of the site evidence package that was submitted earlier this year in February.