LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD. (CSE: TAAT) (OTC: TOBAF) (FRANKFURT: 2TP2) (the “Company” or “Taat”) announces that shortly after entering into an agreement with its first distribution partner for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, it has added new distributorship with California-based West Coast Vape Supply, Inc. (“WCVS”) with a one-year comprehensive distribution agreement that took effect on July 24, 2020. WCVS has a flagship retail location in Huntington Beach, CA, in addition to an e-commerce platform with more than 300,000 customers, and a distribution network that ultimately reaches more than 20,000 retail stores across the United States. In anticipation of the planned Q4 2020 launch of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, the Company has prioritized the procurement of distribution partners to maximize early-stage retail availability to the general public.
The Company’s flagship brand Taat Herb Co. has created Beyond Tobacco™, a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional cigarettes that is designed to closely emulate the experience of smoking legacy tobacco products. Between cigarette-style packaging and a cigarette “stick” format, a proprietary blend of tobacco flavouring, and an enhanced volume of smoke, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes have been carefully engineered to closely mimic each and every aspect of the experience of smoking a tobacco cigarette. To potentially assist users in transitioning away from smoking tobacco cigarettes, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes each contain at least 50mg of cannabidiol (“CBD”, a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp) per stick, which has been shown to mitigate tobacco withdrawals and reduce dependency. In the first phase of retail market testing finalized in June 2020, anecdotal responses from test subjects in more than 50 retail stores in California and Nevada generally reflected the sentiment that Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes had no significant experiential differences compared to regular tobacco cigarettes. In addition to an “Original” version with tobacco flavouring, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes are also to be offered in a “Menthol” version which could appeal to smokers of menthol cigarettes, as detailed in the Company’s July 3, 2020 press release.
Founded in 2013, WCVS represents several dozen brands of products for the tobacco-smoking alternative known as “vaping”. Its product categories include vaporizer liquid (commonly referred to as “vape juice”) in regular and nicotine salt varieties, as well as a selection of premium vaping hardware. WCVS’ online store has a database of more than 300,000 customers, with an order processing volume in excess of 1,000 U.S. orders per day. Additionally, between direct and indirect relationships that comprise WCVS’ distribution network, WCVS has access to more than 20,000 retail stores throughout the United States. To offer a customer experience enriched by product knowledge, WCVS posts original expert reviews of vaping products on its blog, as well as video reviews which have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.
To view an image of the homepage of WCVS’ website, please visit: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/634dc7b3-808f-4eaa-87a3-160553b4a4f3
As of this writing, the Company’s production capacity for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes can yield up to one million sticks per day (approximately 4,800 cartons). Taat anticipates that between the focus groups in its recently-announced second research phase, existing and potential new distribution agreements, and finalized availability of production resources, the Company is positioned favourably for the planned Q4 2020 launch of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes.
Mike Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of WCVS commented, “The vaping industry is built around the notion that many current cigarette smokers desire an alternative, whether that may be to switch from smoking to vaping out of preference, or to try vaping in an effort to quit smoking altogether. It is common for smokers to resist vaping because the user experience is so different from smoking a cigarette. This has created some ‘white space’ in the tobacco alternatives category, which Taat has targeted with their Beyond Tobacco™ product. I anticipate that between the ‘Original’ and ‘Menthol’ varieties of Beyond Tobacco™, this product can be appealing to much of our retail and online customer base, in addition to the clientele of our distribution partners. We are pleased to have made this agreement with Taat, and we look forward to the planned launch of Beyond Tobacco™ in Q4 2020.”
“Attaining both an online and retail presence is vital for any new product,” said Joe Deighan, Founder of Taat. “Partnering with WCVS gives us an edge through both of these channels. For online, they have achieved a first-page search engine ranking for many keyword phrases related to vaping, which has helped them to grow a customer base of more than 300,000 users. With respect to retail, they have a flagship storefront in Huntington Beach, CA, in addition to a distribution network that can avail Beyond Tobacco™ to as many as 20,000 U.S. stores. As we get closer to our planned launch of Beyond Tobacco™, distribution is a high priority for us so that we can begin selling at retail at the earliest possible moment. We are excited to begin working with Mr. Ibrahim and his team at WCVS as a distribution partner upon the planned launch of Beyond Tobacco™.”
Amendment: In the Company’s July 20, 2020 press release in which it announced the results of its full-scale production run of Beyond Tobacco™ with Hempacco Co. Inc. (“Hempacco”), it was incorrectly stated that Hempacco has a second facility in western New York State. This error was the result of an internal miscommunication regarding facilities available to Taat in which the facilities of Redwood Reserves Ltd. (“Redwood”) were being discussed to include Redwood’s facility in western New York. To provide greater clarity to the public, Hempacco’s only production facility is located in San Diego, CA, and Redwood has facilities in both Oregon and western New York state. As the Company recently entered into an agreement to acquire Redwood (as announced in its July 13, 2020 press release), Taat does stand to benefit from facilities on both the west and east coasts of the United States. This clarification is being given for the benefit of Taat’s investors and prospective investors, as well as for the benefit of Hempacco. Any questions regarding this misstatement may be directed to Taat’s investor relations department.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company,
TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD.
Joel Dumaresq, CEO and Director
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About Taat Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd.
Taat Herb Co., the flagship brand of Taat Lifestyle & Wellness, is an early-stage life sciences company based in Las Vegas, Nevada innovating nicotine-free and tobacco-free alternatives to traditional cigarettes. With a unique proprietary blend of all-natural ingredients and meticulous engineering of the user experience, Taat Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes are designed to emulate every aspect of legacy tobacco products with no significant difference to the user. Taat Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes provide benefits that include mitigation of tobacco withdrawals, and reduction of tobacco dependency. With an expert-led go-to-market strategy, the Company’s objective is to position itself in the US $814 billion (2018)¹ global tobacco industry to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for better-for-you alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
For more information, please visit http://taatusa.com.
Statement Regarding Effects of CBD on Smoking Cessation
The Beckley/Exeter research program (University of Exeter) carried out a pilot study that found after several weeks following cannabidiol (“CBD”) treatment, CBD helped tobacco smokers to reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked by as much as 40%. A follow-on study is planned, which will include a brain imaging component to examine the brain activity patterns underlying the probable therapeutic effects of CBD.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking information and information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur, or be achieved. Forward-looking information in this news release includes statements regarding the potential launch of Taat hemp cigarettes, in addition to the following: Potential outcomes from Taat’s comprehensive distribution agreement with WCVS. The forward-looking information reflects management’s current expectations based on information currently available and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed timeframes or at all. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include: (i) adverse market conditions; (ii) changes to the growth and size of the tobacco and CBD markets; and (iii) other factors beyond the control of the Company. The Company operates in a rapidly evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is impossible for the Company’s management to predict all risk factors, nor can the Company assess the impact of all factors on Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
The statements in this news release have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As each individual is different, the benefits, if any, of taking the Company’s products will vary from person to person. No claims or guarantees can be made as to the effects of the Company’s products on an individual’s health and well-being. The Company’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This news release may contain trademarked names of third-party entities (or their respective offerings with trademarked names) typically in reference to (i) relationships had by the Company with such third-party entities as referred to in this release and/or (ii) client/vendor/service provider parties whose relationship with the Company is/are referred to in this release. All rights to such trademarks are reserved by their respective owners or licensees.
Statement Regarding Third-Party Investor Relations Firms
Disclosures relating to investor relations firms retained by Taat Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd. can be found under the Company’s profile on http://sedar.com.