Columbia Care Unveils National Retail Experience with Launch of Cannabist; Creates a National Dispensary Network Leveraging Proprietary Technology Platforms to Support the Customer Journey Anytime, Anywhere

May 12, 2021

The Cannabist retail experience was developed to educate, inspire and serve the rapidly growing cannabis market with the highest quality products, technology-led solutions and unmatched customer service

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (CSE: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF) (FSE: 3LP) (“Columbia Care” or the “Company”), one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of medical and adult-use cannabis products, today announced the launch of its new retail brand, Cannabist. More than a dispensary, Cannabist will serve as the intersection for medical and recreational cannabis users to provide a higher experience built on one of the largest customer data repositories, passion, technology innovation, community commitment and product standards.

The first location to launch under the Cannabist brand is the recently opened dispensary in Springville, Utah, which had its first sale Friday, April 30. By the end of May, three existing Columbia Care locations, in Tempe, Arizona, Villa Park, Illinois, and San Diego, California, will become Cannabist branded retail locations, with a pipeline of more than 80 new and existing locations to follow over the next 24 months.

“Since the Company’s founding in 2013, we have been listening to and learning about the communities, customers and stakeholders we serve. Over and over again, the market has been searching for expertise and trust – consumers wanted a Cannabist to help guide them through their journey. Cannabist was developed to redefine the existing dispensary concept. This new storefront brand represents the next step in the evolution of the dispensary model and will become a national standard in the years to come. For nearly ten years, Columbia Care has been synonymous with patient-centered service and the highest quality cannabis products on the market. This heritage, coupled with the passion each and every employee brings to building the company, are at the core of our continuous growth year over year,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “The rate at which the cannabis industry is growing, and at which states are legalizing cannabis use, has meant that we’ve had to evolve as a company. We’ve recognized the need for a retail brand that reflects who we are as a company as well as addresses the diversity of the patients, customers and communities we serve, while remaining true to what has made us so successful.”

The Cannabist retail experience is centered on making shopping for cannabis as simple and approachable as possible, accommodating the vast range of experience levels patients and customers may have when they walk through the doors. Merchandising set-ups and store layouts have been organized to help customers move through the space with intent and become more comfortable in the process. Additionally, the space is designed to encourage employees and customers to engage in conversations that enhance the shopping experience, whether through product recommendations or general education. To fully realize this goal, all Cannabist staff will undergo extensive training not offered at other dispensaries, ensuring that customer and patient needs can be exceeded.

Beyond the in-store experience, technology will serve as a bridge across the retail ecosystem that enables a seamless shopping experience from anywhere. Cannabist locations will continue to leverage existing solutions, such as Virtual.Care, the personal shopping platform, and will be introducing a proprietary web-based application to help customers on their product discovery journey in early June. The CNC credit card, the cannabis industry’s first credit card, will be rebranded to Tetra by mid-Q3 and continue to support a streamlined shopping experience as well.

Cannabist retail locations will also be home to premium brands that focus on the highest quality and reliability and will continue to collaborate with brands run by fellow cannabis connoisseurs and social equity businesses.

“Cannabist is not only a reflection of where we are now, and all of the markets we serve, but it is also a commitment to where we are going. We believe Cannabist will become a hub for all those who incorporate cannabis into their lives – regardless of what brought them to us. The Cannabist brand can grow with an ever-changing industry, continue to meet the needs of our patients and customers and serve as the platform for continuous innovation,” said Jesse Channon, Chief Growth Officer of Columbia Care. “By investing in this transition now, we will provide a new experience for our existing community and look forward to welcoming new customers who will come to see cannabis in a whole new light. The days of a transactional dispensary are nearing an end. As we see cannabis use continue to normalize, we will see the emergence of a more sophisticated, yet approachable dispensary model – starting with Cannabist.”

The Cannabist brand is supported by a team of national partners — Atlanta-based creative agency, 22Squared; New York-based architectural firm, METHOD Architects; Columbus-based visual merchandising firm, ZenGenius; and Massachusetts-based signage firm, Poyant Signs.

For more information about Cannabist, visit gocannabist.com.

+