Zenabis hopes new, $5 Re-Up brand will take bite out of illicit markets in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan

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Canadian licensed producer Zenabis has increased its market share in the New Brunswick cannabis market since launching Re-Up, a lower-cost brand of flower and pre-rolls.

The Atholville, N.B.-based company has produced data indicating a 38 percent market share of sales in Cannabis NB stores across the province for the period concluding in October 2019. The number indicates a spike in sales of the brand, which rang in at 20 percent this past July.

Zenabis credits its bump in sales to the Re-Up brand, which the company hopes will give it a competitive edge against the cheaper prices offered on the unlicensed market and incentivize consumers who source their cannabis from illicit distributors to consider purchasing from the legal market.

“Compared to September, an additional 2,000 customers visited Cannabis NB in October seeking the Re-Up brand,” Cannabis NB general manager Lara Wood noted in a press release. “Many of these consumers were new to Cannabis NB, sharing with us that the $5/g price is more comparable to a price they would pay for cannabis from the illicit market,” Wood said.

The star of the Re-Up collection is the MKLTR cultivar, based on legacy strain MK Ultra, which was named for the barbaric CIA experiments performed on psychiatric patients, many in Montreal’s Allan Memorial Hospital, during the 1950s and 1960s.

Andrew Grieve is the CEO of Zenabis Global Inc.

Despite its controversial name, the cultivar has secured its place as a top 12 all-time seller in New Brunswick after just three weeks on the market. The brand will soon be available across Atlantic Canada and in Saskatchewan.

The sales boost is sure to be welcome news to the struggling Cannabis NB, which after a year of bleeding money and abysmal sales is looking for a private entity to take over the drowning Crown corporation.

The retailer has repeatedly cited the illicit market and its lower prices as a reason for its financial struggles.

“Mandeep KharaThe next wave of innovation in the Canadian cannabis industry is focused on harvesting and processing quality cannabis at a much lower cost,” Zenabis Global Inc. CEO Andrew Grieve said in a statement. “At Zenabis, we have already realized that innovation outcome, thanks to the hard work and commitment of our New Brunswick colleagues in our Atholville facility.”

Chief marketing officer Mandeep Khara echoes Grieve’s enthusiasm and is optimistic about Re-Up’s potential to take a bite out of the illicit market. “We believe Re-Up can successfully bridge the gap between legacy market consumers and the doors of provincially licensed legal cannabis stores,” said Khara.

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