AUDACIOUS (CSE: AUSA) (OTC: AUSAF), an emerging global cannabis company with an expanding suite of multinational operations, announced today it has entered into a letter of intent (LOI) with First Americans, LLC of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in upper New York state for the joint development and operation of a cannabis operation on tribal land. The agreement will create a partnership to operate cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities, as well as two retail dispensaries, on tribal land.
“This is our first move into the New York state cannabis market, which with a population of approximately 20 million people represents a truly enormous opportunity. We are delighted to be partnering with First Americans to help develop a thriving cannabis operation in this high-traffic area of northern New York state,” said Terry Booth, CEO of AUDACIOUS. “This deal expedites adult usage sales in New York State. With the statewide start of adult use sales not expected to commence for at least another 18 months, this partnership creates an incredible early-mover advantage that we and our First Americans partners will look to capitalize on.”
The region in which the operation will be established will serve a population of approximately 300,000 people. The first dispensary will be located immediately opposite the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Resort and its approximately 2.4 million annual visitors. The New York state cannabis market is estimated to reach $3 billion per annum1 within the first few years of launch of legal adult use sales, according to data analyst firm Headset. With a population of approximately 20 million people, the state is close in size to Florida, where medical sales alone already account for $1 billion2 in sales and almost twice the size of Illinois, which posted adult use sales in excess of $1.2 billion through November 20213. With limited legacy market infrastructure, New York state represents a huge opportunity for new market entrants, such as AUDACIOUS, with the experience and skill set to execute on high-quality operations.
“With a casino right opposite our first planned dispensary, which already hosts more than two million visitors per year, we anticipate attracting a sizable amount of the canna-tourism that this will attract. This makes for a project with great potential,” said Leah Bailey, Chief Business Development officer of AUDACIOUS. “We are very pleased to be contributing to the further economic development of the region and assist our partners in further expanding their already impressive business ventures.”
The partnership will develop an AUDACIOUS “Achieve12” cultivation facility (producing more than 10,000 pounds of dried flower per year), including processing and manufacturing of derivatives. Utilizing the resources of its recent acquisition of ALPS, a global Sustainable Controlled Environment Agriculture consultant, the AUDACIOUS team will provide a customized design along with multiple services that allow operators to maximize yield and quality while minimizing inputs and resources. Combined with AUDACIOUS’ manufacturing, retail and marketing expertise, the operation will produce high-quality products that resonate with broad consumer demographics. The First Americans team has deep retail experience, currently running multiple stores, including convenience, liquor and others.
The partnership with First Americans, LLC aligns with the AUDACIOUS commitment to support New York’s cannabis social and economic equity plan, including encouraging applications from and awarding the majority of licenses to those communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, as well as to individuals/groups that promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. This is the approach AUDACIOUS takes in each of the states it operates and is one that fully bonds the AUDACIOUS relationship with First Americans and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.
“Teaming up with the AUDACIOUS team, including ALPS, brings crucial experience in the cannabis industry that we believe will provide us with very significant competitive advantages in this market,” said Rick Hamelin, president of First Americans. “We are very pleased to be working with the AUDACIOUS team and look forward to providing consumers in New York state with first-class cannabis products in the adult usage arena before most of our competitors , while creating significant new employment in this community.”
Key principal and President of First Americans is Rick Hamelin, who is the sole owner of Speedway Plaza www.speedwayplaza.net. He also is the Managing Director of a 110 room Choice Branded Hotel, the developer and owner of a multi-use Commercial building. (www.themercantileofmassena.com), as well as serves as President of The Akwesasne Convenience Store Association.
Rick has turned the small convenience store into a multi business retail plaza. Some of the businesses in the plaza include Verizon, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, licensed Husqvarna retail and repair center, NY State Inspection station, Mobil Oil change facility, and a full service automotive and small engine repair center. He also owns the first NY State Licensed Liquor store on the Territory. He currently employees over 100 employees in his many businesses.
Rick acted as facilitator for the investment group responsible for planning the casino located on the Saint Regis reservation, which attracts close to 2.4 million visitors per year. As facilitator he worked with The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the State of New York to obtain all necessary permits, licenses, and Tribal and State approvals. After the project was approved, he was involved in all aspects of the design, construction, and operation of the casino.