A Message from Bridget: July, 2021
Image: Maddie, our Assistant Dispensary Manager, welcomes patients back to the dispensary
Greetings from CeresMED,
Earlier this week, we announced our merger agreement with SLANG Worldwide. This merger includes all of our brands –CeresMED, Ceres Natural Remedies and trētap. It is the culmination of years of effort to secure capital to improve the patient experience at our dispensaries, prepare for the future retail cannabis market in Vermont, grow our CBD business, and provide expanded career opportunities for our staff. There are many topics to discuss regarding what this merger means for our company and our customers moving forward. We will be addressing each of them incrementally as the merger progresses. In my Message today, we are going to focus on the patient experience.
Monday’s press release was an announcement of a signed agreement to merge with SLANG. It will take some time for the transaction to close officially. Once it does, we will then begin the process of integrating our companies. Patients can expect our products and services to remain consistent. There will be no new or immediate changes on how we operate beyond the important updates we communicated earlier this week related to the return of in-store service.
The brand founders in SLANG’s portfolio are medical cannabis pioneers in their respective states and Canada. This group includes our longtime partner O.pen. Each of them is committed to our mission to expand access to the Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR), increase product options for symptom relief, and enhance affordability. Working together on these goals with our combined resources will create efficiencies that lead to accelerated results. In combination with the upcoming transition of the VMR to the Cannabis Control Board, which has publicly declared improving access to medical cannabis as their priority, this leaves us feeling optimistic about patient outcomes in 2022.
One of the first places we will be looking to invest in is expanding our menu of accurately dosed edibles. District Edibles and Lunchbox Alchemy are two great options within the SLANG house of brands. Rest assured, these product lines will be in addition to our small-batch CeresMED confections and bakery items that you trust and depend on for symptom relief. SLANG’s investment in Ceres is an investment in our brands as well, and we look forward to acting on plans to update our menu and improve packaging. We will also be preparing to onboard more vape options to increase product variety and add lower price points.
Plans for phase one of welcoming patients back inside our dispensaries in mid-July have been shared this week via email, and flyers are being placed in each curbside pickup bag now through July 10th. Please read these documents as they include important information about timing, appointment and payment options and upcoming changes to our point of sale software and rewards program.
We are working behind the scenes to freshen up and rebrand our interiors in preparation for your arrival. We are also undergoing a series of staff trainings to broaden product knowledge and to support trauma-informed care. We are very excited to be working with Pathways Vermont on this second initiative. Compassion towards ourselves, our teammates and our customers is one of our foundational values. We believe it is essential for a positive work culture and customer experience, all the more so as we emerge from this global pandemic.
We are also training new additions to our team! So when you come in you will see both new faces and familiar faces in new positions. Most notably, please welcome Nat in his new role as Dispensary Manager for our CeresMED locations. He has been promoted from his former position as Assistant Manager. Filling that vacancy is Maddie, who is transferring from our CeresMED South, Middlebury location. While she will be missed as part of that dynamic duo in Middlebury, her integration at the South Burlington dispensary will be seamless. She has been a frequent guest Supervisor at this location for the past two years. Finally, Tyler, CeresMED Assistant Manager, has been promoted into a brand new position overseeing Dispensary Inventory Management and Compliance. In this role, he will be working across all of our dispensing locations. He is also celebrating his 5th year this July as a member of the CeresMED team! We are extremely grateful for his kind and professional service to our community over the years.
Finally, a few words about our plans to re-open our Burlington location: this will be part of phase two of our emergence from the pandemic. To resume operations on Steele St., we need to hire and train more staff and outfit the facility with the necessary equipment. We also want to gain experience with our new workflow at each of our other locations to ensure a smooth re-opening in Burlington. We understand that this location is important to our patients for the convenience that it provides, and we are intent on getting it open as soon as possible. We thank you for your continued patience and flexibility.
In closing, I would like to express my personal excitement for the opportunities that our merger with SLANG will provide our team, our patients & customers and Vermont. We have come a long way together over the past eight years, standing up for plant-based medicine and being a part of creating a brand new industry. There will undoubtedly be more challenges ahead, and we will meet them head-on as we always have, with a collaborative spirit and an open mind. Linking up with the SLANG team will increase our knowledge, our resilience and our endurance. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We look forward to the next chapter in our story.
In Good Health,
CeresMED Director of Brand Experience