TORONTO – Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union and Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX: AH, OTC: ALEAF), have entered a long term partnership that through collective bargaining will seek to provide access for its members to medical cannabis coverage as part of their benefit and insurance coverage.
“This is a landmark agreement, with a union and a medical cannabis company coming together to provide dedicated support through medical marijuana clinics across the country while challenging the stigmas associated with cannabis,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Partnering with Aleafia Health allows us to fight against Canada’s opiate crisis, and improve the lives of patients suffering from chronic pain.”
Unifor will work with its local unions to recommend and propose insurance coverage in collective bargaining agreements for the reimbursement of medical cannabis. In turn, Aleafia Health and its affiliates will provide Unifor members with access to its health and wellness ecosystem, including education and training, physician-led consultations, scripting, treatment and, where appropriate, medical cannabis products.
“This is a significant moment for the cannabis industry, and an important breakthrough for medical cannabis accessibility in Canada. Every day, our team of medical professionals see the benefits of cannabis in the lives of our patients,” said Aleafia Health CEO Geoffrey Benic. “Due to the progressive leadership of Unifor, and Aleafia Health’s well-earned reputation for providing excellence in cannabinoid therapy, we will be able to expand these benefits to union members across Canada.”
Increased access to medical cannabis coverage may also provide further cost savings and health benefits to both members and employers, including a reduction in reliance on traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions.
The two parties have signed a binding letter of intent which outlines the terms of one or more definitive agreements. Details of the proposed transaction are to be settled following comprehensive due diligence between Aleafia Health and Unifor, and the closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by each party’s respective board of directors.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
About Aleafia Health
Aleafia Health is a vertically integrated and federally licensed Canadian cannabis company offering cannabis health and wellness services and products in Canada and in international markets. The Company operates medical clinics, education centres and production facilities for the production and sale of cannabis.
Aleafia Health owns three significant licensed cannabis production facilities, including the first large-scale, legal outdoor cultivation facility in Canadian history. The Company produces a diverse portfolio of commercially proven, high-margin derivative products including oils, capsules and sprays. Aleafia Health operates the largest national network of medical cannabis clinics and education centres staffed by MDs, nurse practitioners and educators and operates internationally in three continents.
Innovation, the heart of Aleafia Health’s competitive advantage, has led to the Company maintaining a medical cannabis dataset with over 10 million data points to inform proprietary illness-specific product development and its highly differentiated education platform FoliEdge Academy. The Company is committed to creating sustainable shareholder value; the TSX Venture Exchange named Aleafia the 2019 top performing company prior to its graduation to the TSX.