CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, NASCO Products, LLC, a federally licensed tobacco product manufacturer and participating member of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), made its first shipment of Smoker Friendly private label cigarettes.
Currently, Smoker Friendly has more than 800 stores throughout the United States under license. These stores are independently owned and operated. The “SF” brand has been on the market for over 20 years and is the private label brand in Smoker Friendly stores.
Pursuant to a multi-year manufacturing agreement the Company signed with Smoker Friendly International, LLC last August, and following the approval of that agreement by the 46 Settling States, the District of Columbia, and 5 U.S. territories under the MSA, effective as of January 2015, NASCO is Smoker Friendly International’s exclusive manufacturer of “SF” brand cigarettes.
A transition will now occur under which the Company’s factory will increase its production and shipment of Smoker Friendly products as the prior manufacturer of Smoker Friendly products winds down its inventory. Both manufacturers will ship “SF” brand cigarettes until March 31, 2015, at which time the prior manufacturer will cease shipments of Smoker Friendly products. In anticipation of assuming sole rights to manufacture and ship the “SF” private label cigarettes, NASCO has already produced an inventory of all 11 brand styles.
Terry Gallagher, Jr., the President of Smoker Friendly International LLC, stated, “SF brand cigarettes are very important, high volume products for Smoker Friendly. We awarded NASCO the contract to produce our private label brand because the people of 22nd Century demonstrated their ability to manufacture truly outstanding products – with a commitment to servicing each and every one of our distributor and retail partners.”
Henry Sicignano, III, the President and Chief Operating Officer of 22nd Century, commented, “We are very pleased to be embarking on such an important strategic partnership with Smoker Friendly; not only will this contract result in substantial “SF” brand contract manufacturing revenue for 22nd Century, but it also provides our Company with the opportunity to promote our super-premium RED SUN cigarettes in Smoker Friendly stores across the country.”
For additional information about 22nd Century Group, please visit: www.xxiicentury.com
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the levels of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s technology also allows the levels of cannabinoids to be decreased or increased in the cannabis plant. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 128 issued patents plus an additional 53 pending patent applications; 22nd Century also holds co-exclusive rights to another 2 patents and 16 patent applications. Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC, Hercules Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Botanical Genetics, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of 22nd Century. Goodrich Tobacco is focused on commercial tobacco products and potentially less harmful cigarettes. Hercules Pharmaceuticals is focused on X-22, a prescription smoking cessation aid in development. Botanical Genetics is focused on novel cannabis plant varieties and on cannabis-based products.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, filed on January 30, 2014, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.