TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 07, 2017) - Tokyo Smoke has partnered with cannabis business visionaries Chuck Rifici (co-founder and ex-CEO of Canopy Growth [formerly Tweed]) and Ian Rapsey (formerly Creative Director of Tweed, The Greater Good Collective and Bruce Mau Design) of Nesta Holding Co, a cannabis-focused private equity firm to form Nesta Brand Co; a brand house that will license international cannabis brands for distribution in Canada.
The primary focus of Nesta Brand Co will be to provide 'northern exposure' to cannabis innovations and industry-leading products from around the globe, tailoring them for Canadian cannabis consumers. Nesta Brand Co will build partnerships with top international industry leaders to license existing products on sale in Europe, America and elsewhere for distribution in the Canadian market, soon to become the largest legal cannabis market in the world. Companies that partner with Nesta Brand Co will benefit from the significant strategic, operational and brand expertise that Rifici, Rapsey, and co-founders of Tokyo Smoke, Alan Gertner and Lorne Gertner, offer.
"Tweed brought a longstanding impact to medicinal marijuana consumers across Canada, elevating the industry through thoughtful branding and customer-first experience building under Chuck's and Ian's stewardship," says Alan Gertner, CEO of Tokyo Smoke. "Nesta Brand Co will share the values of quality, thoughtfulness and a consumer-first approach by focusing on bringing high quality products to Canadians."
The partnership is an ideal union between like minded businesses. Rifici was co-founder and CEO of Tweed, the key foundational marijuana brand in Canada that helped to establish the largest marijuana business in the world. Under Rifici's leadership, Canopy Growth became the first multi-licensed marijuana producer in Canada, helping to create a new quality for medicinal marijuana usage. Tokyo Smoke is the first modern cannabis brand in Canada, with an aim to normalize the cannabis space, creating unique experiences and offering a curated mix of designer products at all TS retail locations.
Rapsey will lead the business, serving as CEO of Nesta Brand Co, with Gertner and Rifici advising on product acquisition and development. Tokyo Smoke's focus on designer products and innovative technologies, combined with the shared emphasis on user experience philosophies, will ensure leading cannabis brands are curated specifically for the burgeoning Canadian marketplace, enhancing consumer options, right on the cusp of legalization.
"Like any good creative project, Nesta Brand Co will involve both research and vision. We've joined forces with Tokyo Smoke to help determine the next stage of the cannabis landscape in Canada; full of inventive, well-branded, user-forward products and experiences," says Rapsey. "Tokyo Smoke is an ideal partner for this venture as they represent a key element in the future of the Canadian cannabis landscape. Our combined knowledge and expertise will ensure that Canadian consumers have amazing experiences and a greater selection of products that are already available on the international market."
About Tokyo Smoke:
Tokyo Smoke is an award-winning lifestyle brand that brings sophistication and design to the cannabis space. With immersive experiences and designer retail spaces with coffee, clothing and designer products, Tokyo Smoke is developing an international reputation as the go-to destination for luxurious, creative offerings within the industry. With the recent completion of Series A funding, resulting in $3 million in raised capital, Tokyo Smoke will release four branded cannabis strains in the first quarter of 2017 in collaboration with Aphria Inc ("Aphria"), one of Canada's largest licensed producers of medical marijuana. Tokyo Smoke recently acquired fellow designer cannabis brand Van Der Pop and will expand into the U.S. market in spring 2017.
About Nesta Holding Co:
Nesta Holding Co is a private equity firm that creates wide ranging partnerships within the Cannabis sector. With significant expertise in the industry, Nesta Holding Co develops, advocates and invests in partner technologies and products. With the recent acquisition of Wikileaf, and creation of Feather, Nesta Holding Co is helping shape user experience across the medical and recreational cannabis industries in the United States.
Instagram: @tokyosmoke, @nestabrandco
Twitter: @tokyo_smoke, @nestabrandco