YSS Corp., a premier Canadian cannabis retailer operating under the YSS Cannabis and Sweet Tree Cannabis brands, provided a strategic and operational update and to announce that YSS Grande Prairie has passed the final Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission inspection. YSS currently has 16 operating stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan that will grow to 17 upon opening of YSS Grande Prairie, expected in early February.
Strategic and Operational Update
On December 12, 2019, the Government of Ontario released a framework that will, over time, transition cannabis retail in the province from the current lottery-based system to an open market with an expected approximately 20 new Retail Store Authorizations per month initially, starting in April of 2020 (the “Ontario Framework“). With a population of over 14 million, Ontario offers the greatest growth potential in Canada.
YSS has applied for its Retail Operator License with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO“) which opened for applications on January 6, 2020 and the Company is actively advancing expansion plans into Ontario. To open a store, operators must also obtain a store-specific AGCO Retail Store Authorization, applications for which will open on March 2, 2020, with approximately 20 per month expected to be released commencing in April of 2020.
With the news of the Ontario Framework, YSS elected to re-allocate human and capital resources to Ontario and has deferred the construction of three Alberta stores previously planned to open in the first quarter of 2020. This is reflective of the Company’s corporate strategy of remaining nimble within this dynamic industry to facilitate the balance of new opportunities, measured growth and capital controls.
YSS is leveraging experience gained in the roll-out of cannabis retail in Alberta and will continue to focus on quality opportunities that demonstrate potential for quick payback as well as long-term profitability in a mature market. YSS is in the process of screening over 100 potential locations to supplement the single lease the Company currently holds in Ontario.
The initial strategy for YSS will be to identify and pursue at least three premier locations until greater clarity around the licensing timeline is understood. In addition, similar to the strategy deployed in western Canada, YSS will evaluate strategic partnerships and acquisition opportunities in Ontario as the market develops.
Board of Directors Update
YSS also announces the resignation of Sonny Mottahed from the Company’s board of directors to focus on other buisness interests. “Sonny has been a significant supporter of YSS and valuable contributor to the board since its formation in June 2018,” said James Miller, Chairman of YSS. “On behalf of the board of directors, the management team and our shareholders, we thank Sonny and wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
YSS is committed to becoming the trusted destination for cannabis in Canada by creating and delivering a premier in-store retail experience through understanding customer demands and data, implementing standardized procedures, investing in brand and retail design, offering interactive in-store technology, and developing an experienced and welcoming team. The Company views the continued investment in customer experience as instrumental to establishing customer loyalty, brand recognition and ultimately, future business.
For information on store locations and opening dates please visit www.ysscorp.ca, www.sweettreecannabis.com and follow both our operating brands on social media. For additional information regarding YSS and to access an updated corporate presentation, please see the Company’s website at www.ysscorp.ca/investors.