Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.
National Policy 11-203 Process for Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions -- exemption from the prospectus requirement for certain marketing activities not expressly permitted by National Instrument 71-101 The Multijurisdictional Disclosure System so that investment dealers acting as underwriters or selling group members of an issuer are permitted to use standard term sheets and marketing materials and conduct road shows (each as defined under National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements) in connection with future offerings under an MJDS base shelf prospectus -- NI 71-101 does not contain equivalent provisions to Part 9A of National Instrument 44-102 Shelf Distributions -- relief granted, provided that any road shows, standard term sheets and marketing materials would comply with the approval, content, use and other conditions and requirements of Part 9A of NI 44-102, as applicable.
Applicable Legislative Provisions
Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5, as am., ss. 53 and 74(1)2.
National Instrument 71-101 The Multijurisdictional Disclosure System, s. 11.3.
December 22, 2022
IN THE MATTER OF THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF ONTARIO (the Jurisdiction) AND IN THE MATTER OF THE PROCESS FOR EXEMPTIVE RELIEF APPLICATIONS IN MULTIPLE JURSIDICITONS AND IN THE MATTER OF ASCEND WELLNESS HOLDINGS, INC. (the Filer)
The principal regulator in the Jurisdiction has received an application from the Filer for a decision under the securities legislation of the Jurisdiction (the Legislation), pursuant to paragraph 74(1)2 of the Securities Act (Ontario), for an exemption from the prospectus requirement for certain marketing activities not expressly permitted by National Instrument 71-101 The Multijurisdictional Disclosure System (NI 71-101) so that investment dealers acting as underwriters (as defined in the Legislation) or selling group members of (a) the Filer, or (b) a selling securityholder of the Filer are permitted to (i) use Standard Term Sheets (as defined below) and Marketing Materials (as defined below), and (ii) conduct Road Shows (as defined below) in connection with future offerings under a Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus (as defined below) together with applicable supplements to be filed by the Filer in each of the provinces and territories of Canada (the Exemption Sought).
Under the Process for Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions (for a passport application):
(a) the Ontario Securities Commission is the principal regulator for this application, and
(b) the Filer has provided notice that subsection 4.7(1) of Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System (MI 11-102) is intended to be relied upon in each of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, Québec, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon (together with the Jurisdiction, the Jurisdictions).
Terms defined in National Instrument 14-101 Definitions and MI 11-102 have the same meaning if used in this decision, unless otherwise defined.
This decision is based on the following facts represented by the Filer:
1. The Filer is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware. The Filer's head office address is located at 1411 Broadway, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018 and its registered office is located at 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, New Castle, DE 19801.
2. As of the date hereof, the Filer is a reporting issuer in each of the Jurisdictions and is not in default of its obligations as a reporting issuer under securities legislation of any such jurisdiction.
3. As of the date hereof, the Filer is an "SEC foreign issuer" as such term is defined in National Instrument 71-102 Continuous Disclosure and Other Exemptions Relating to Foreign Issuers.
4. The Filer has filed a registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Registration Statement), which Registration Statement contains, among other things, a shelf prospectus (the U.S. Shelf Prospectus) and may register for sale in the United States, from time to time, in one or more offerings and pursuant to one or more prospectus supplements, any combination of shares of Class A Stock, shares of preferred stock, warrants, debt securities, subscription rights and units (collectively, the Securities).
5. The Filer also filed a final MJDS prospectus in the Jurisdictions pursuant to NI 71-101 which includes the U.S. Shelf Prospectus (the final MJDS prospectus is referred to in this decision as the Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus) and will qualify the distribution in each Jurisdiction, from time to time, in one or more offerings and pursuant to one or more prospectus supplements, any combination of Securities.
6. National Instrument 44-102 -- Shelf Distributions (NI 44-102) sets out the requirements for a distribution under a (non-MJDS) shelf prospectus in Canada, including requirements with respect to advertising and marketing activities; in particular, Part 9A of NI 44-102 entitled Marketing In Connection with Shelf Distributions (Part 9A) permits the conduct of "Road Shows" and the use of "Standard Term Sheets" and "Marketing Materials" (as such terms are defined in National Instrument 41-101 General Prospectus Requirements (NI 41-101)) following the issuance of a receipt for a final base shelf prospectus provided that the approval, content, use and other applicable conditions and requirements of Part 9A are complied with. NI 71-101 does not contain provisions equivalent to those of Part 9A of NI 44-102.
7. In connection with marketing an offering in Canada under the Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus, investment dealers acting as underwriters or selling group members of the Filer may wish to conduct road shows (Road Shows) and utilize one or more standard term sheets (Standard Term Sheets) and marketing materials (Marketing Materials), as such terms are defined in NI 41-101. Any such Road Shows, Standard Term Sheets and Marketing Materials would comply with the approval, content, use and other conditions and requirements of Part 9A of NI 44-102, as applicable.
8. Canadian purchasers, if any, of securities offered under the Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus will only be able to purchase those securities through an investment dealer registered in the Jurisdiction of residence of the purchaser.
The principal regulator is satisfied that the decision meets the test set out in the Legislation for the principal regulator to make the decision.
The decision of the principal regulator is that the Exemption Sought is granted, provided that the conditions and requirements set out in Part 9A of NI 44-102 for Standard Term Sheets, Marketing Materials and Road Shows are complied with for any future offering under the Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus in the manner in which those conditions and requirements would apply if the Final Canadian MJDS Shelf Prospectus were a final base shelf prospectus under NI 44-102.