A high-end brand house is one step closer to securing a foothold in the country’s luxury cannabis market.
Hiku Brands Company Ltd. announced on Monday its Okanagan-based licensed producer, Doja, received the Health Canada stamp-of-approval to sell dried cannabis, plants, and seeds, to medical patients.
“Receiving our license to sell is the crowning milestone in our licensing journey that started in 2013,” says Alan Gertner, CEO of Hiku, in a press release. “Becoming only the 28th independent company in Canada with a cannabis sales licence under the ACMPR gives Hiku the distinct advantage of being able to showcase and establish the Doja brand in advance of legal adult-use and retail cannabis sales.”
This development means medical consumers will get a chance to sample Doja bud well before recreational legalization, also giving Hiku a headstart when it comes to the retail landscape.
The brand house is a result of a merger in December of 2017 between Doja and Tokyo Smoke, a Toronto-based cannabis lifestyle brand, facilitated by $12.5 million in financing from Aphria Inc. Hiku currently showcases cannabis-related accessories, clothing, and wellness products in store fronts and coffee chains in Toronto, Calgary, and Seattle, with stores opening soon in Hamilton, Vancouver, Regina, and Montreal.
The amendment to the licence went into effect as of April 6 and Hiku will continue to move forward with plans to complete the next phase of expansion. Development of a second facility in Kelowna, dubbed the “future lab", is well underway and expected to be finished this summer. The expansion will boost Hiku's annual production capacity to over 5,000 kilograms of dried cannabis flower.
“We’re making what we feel is the best cannabis in B.C.,” says Trent Kitsch, president of Hiku, in a phone interview last month. “It is going to go into some really amazing future products and stand on its own as a great flower.”
This announcement is just one in a series of major steps for the brand house, including the full acquisition of Maïtri, a Montreal-based cannabis accessory brand in February, and a brand collaboration with Dosist, a cannabis wellness company in March.