International Cannabis Launches First European Guaranteed Issue Medical Cannabis Coverage Plan
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ICC International Cannabis Corp. (CSE: WRLD.U) (FWB: 8K51) (OTC: WLDCF) (“ICC” or “International Cannabis” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Letter of Intent (the “LOI”) with Evergreen Pacific Insurance Corporation (“Evergreen Pacific”) and Cannops Consulting (“Cannops”), collectively, the Consortium. The Consortium will pursue a joint venture partnership for the purposes of launching Evergreen Pacific’s revolutionary BuyWell Ecosystem across Europe, including:
- First of its kind transformative coverage for cannabinoid therapeutic treatment via the BuyWell Care platform;
- Online medical cannabis coverages utilizing a proprietary pricing methodology;
- Streamlined access to top-tier alternative healthcare services;
- CBD Health and Wellness ecommerce marketplace; and,
- Educational platform for medical practitioners.
Evergreen Pacific’s BuyWell Care program launched Canada’s first guaranteed issue extended healthcare coverage for medical cannabis prescriptions in 2018. BuyWell Care began issuing medical cannabis coverage policies in November 2018 and is currently open for enrolment to residents of Ontario. Coupled with an intuitive online medical cannabis savings calculator, eligible patients can access a suite of innovative coverages for cannabinoid therapeutic treatment utilizing prescribed medical cannabis products, including dried flower, oils, tinctures, gel capsules and topical creams.
The Consortium will collaborate to introduce transformative extended healthcare coverages, including cannabinoid therapeutic coverage, to the European marketplace. The European Union (the “EU”) has over 500 million potential consumers and over 1.6 million health care practitioners1, affording the Consortium a lucrative marketplace in which to integrate the BuyWell.com Ecosystem. The EU has annual healthcare expenditures of $1.79 trillion in 20182.
The Consortium will integrate BuyWell Care’s patient centric platform aimed at addressing the market needs of the European alternative health space, while meeting the following objectives:
- Make alternative health care easy and affordable;
- Ensure the patient can pay when the service or product is provided;
- Support the patient with educational resources, clinical services, and post-treatment follow-up; and,
- Guide the patient along multiple potential treatment pathways.
The BuyWell.com Ecosystem will be geared to serve the disparate needs of the medical cannabis patient and alternative healthcare consumer. With the acceleration in medical cannabis regulatory approvals and legal usage around the globe, the need for comprehensive, patient centric health care solutions is currently not being met by the market. The Consortium is positioned to fill this market gap and be a prime beneficiary of the rapid demand growth for natural medicine, and be a leader in cannabinoid therapeutic treatment in Europe. The BuyWell.com Ecosystem will also be mandated to deliver curated educational services for both practitioners and patient groups, as well as improving accessibility to medical advisory services and the affordability of alternative health care treatments.
The Consortium seeks to lower costs associated with specific medical treatments by enabling practitioner education and training, optimized patient aggregation and retention, as well as outsourced adjudication, order management and customer service
The BuyWell.com Ecosystem will improve affordability of healthcare services by providing patients with guaranteed issue extended healthcare coverages including Evergreen Pacific’s highly innovative coverage for cannabinoid therapeutic treatments. The Consortium will also offer other multidisciplinary paramedical services, supporting adjudication of prescriptions, customer service, order management, transaction processing, third party administration and all claims management.
“We are thrilled to be bringing this form of extended healthcare coverage to the European market at a time when many patients are looking to add medical cannabis as part of their treatment regimen.” said Heather Gray of BuyWell Care. She added, “The ability to save our patients money on their medical cannabis prescriptions, and to provide a patient-coverage solution with no out-of-pocket expense is truly a first.”
By leveraging International Cannabis’ exclusive European distribution network of more than 40,000 pharmacies operating in 16 countries, the introduction of the BuyWell Ecosystem presents a strategic opportunity to service a high-growth region and to meet the immediate European demand for alternative health and wellness products and services.
Eugene Beukman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of ICC, stated: “International Cannabis controls medical cannabis and CBD production licenses in 12 European counties and is now poised to offer comprehensive alternative insurance coverages and healthcare solutions in its respective jurisdictions. The Company is ecstatic now to participate in virtually every link of the medical cannabis value chain, from production, to distribution to healthcare service and insurance coverage. This is a transformative evolution that provides a full-service solution to encourage and to promote collective health and wellness. Evergreen Pacific has successfully proven the BuyWell ecosystem here in Canada, and together with the assistance of International Cannabis and Cannops will translate this success into the EU. Evergreen Pacific is a true innovator operating in the insurance and health and wellness markets, substantiated by its introduction of Canada’s first guaranteed issue coverage for medical cannabis prescriptions. The European BuyWell Ecosystem will be built on three pillars covering the entire spectrum of medical cannabis and CBD marketplace, from distribution to education to insurance coverage. As the medical cannabis industry continues to mature, International Cannabis and its partners will be at the forefront delivering associated ancillary services.”
The Consortium will also collaborate to integrate the Buywell.com ecommerce marketplace into International Cannabis and Cannops’ existing European medical cannabis and CBD distribution channels. International Cannabis has an exclusive agreement with Cosmos Holdings Inc. (“Cosmos”) to market and sell its cannabis and CBD products to over 40,000 pharmacies across 16 countries. This European distribution network is augmented by various value-added services, including strategic procurement, warehousing, product registrations and regulatory representations.
International Cannabis’ European distribution footprint is further augmented by its recently announced Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Wayland Ground Corp. (CSE: WAYL), to acquire 49.9% of Wayland’s international asset and licence portfolio. The International Cannabis-Wayland LOI includes a three-year agreement to supply medical cannabis to 2,200 German pharmacies (see ICC news release dated January 15, 2019).
Upon formation of the joint venture partnership, Evergreen Pacific will leverage its collective global buying power to purchase medical cannabis and CBD products on a wholesale price basis, for sale and distribution via the BuyWell Ecosystem operating in Europe. The Consortium’s medical cannabis and CBD inventories will also be supplemented by International Cannabis’ medical THC and CBD production capabilities in Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Malta.
International Cannabis and Cannops will identify countries in Europe in which the BuyWell.com Ecosystem can be replicated, whether for business to business (“B2B”) and or business to consumer (“B2C”) purposes, and will establish joint ventures with Evergreen Pacific for those countries in which the partners agree medical cannabis can be prescribed and sold.
Evergreen Pacific Chief Executive Officer Robert Wilson remarked: “Canadian insurers have opted to treat medical cannabis as a Pre-Authorized Drug resulting in exclusions imposed by Canadian insurers under conventional group insurance plans and by employers via caps imposed on claims. Our coverages are currently offered to individuals by The Alternative Health Association of Canada as a membership benefit with no caps and no exclusions. Association membership is free and coverages are tailored to each member’s needs.”
The BuyWell Ecosystem will also act as an educational platform for European medical practitioners, eager to learn more about the cannabinoid science and its applications within their clinical environments. By providing an intuitive educational forum for physicians and other medical practitioners, the BuyWell Ecosystem facilitates the exchange of information within a collaborative setting. This allows more patients to obtain the latest and most effective treatment options as determined by their doctors, including secure access to medical cannabis.
Under the terms of the joint venture, Evergreen Pacific will operate the Consortium’s European BuyWell Ecosystem, providing educational services, medical advisory services, and technology infrastructure on behalf of the partnership.
ABOUT EVERGREEN PACIFIC INSURANCE CORPORATION
Evergreen Pacific Insurance Corporation is a financial services holding company. Evergreen Pacific owns, operates, and invests in businesses involved in designing, developing and distributing highly innovative insurance products and risk management solutions.
In 2018, Evergreen Pacific introduced Canada’s first guaranteed issue extended healthcare coverage for individuals including medical cannabis prescriptions.
BuyWell.com is an e-commerce marketplace providing access to over 10,000 highly curated quality health and wellness products and services as well as affordable healthcare coverage options through its BuyWell Care program. BuyWell Corp is a subsidiary of Evergreen Pacific Insurance Corporation.
The Consortium expects definitive agreements to be completed on or about March 31, 2019. Detailed planning and budgeting is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019, and a launch date for Europe agreed upon immediately thereafter.
ICC International Cannabis, through its subsidiaries, has operating assets and is developing a world-class platform for cultivation, extraction, formulation and distribution across the globe in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Lesotho.
ON BEHALF OF THE ICC INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS CORP. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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Notice Regarding Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “continue”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar words, or information that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. This information is only a prediction. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking information throughout this news release. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to: political changes in Canada and internationally, future legislative and regulatory developments involving cannabis in Canada and internationally, the Company’s ability to secure distribution channels in international jurisdictions, competition and other risks affecting the Company in particular and the cannabis industry generally.
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