22nd Century Group (XXII) Announces New Agreement with Hub, Inc. to Expand Midwest Distribution

Enhances Reach for Regional, Specialty and Tribal Retail Channels

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), a leading biotechnology company focused on utilizing advanced plant technologies to improve health and wellness with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops, today announced a new distribution agreement with Hub, Inc., a key Midwest based convenience store (C-store) and multi-channel distributor with warehouses located in Missouri and Kansas.

22nd Century’s VLN® products are now available for purchase by eligible Hub customers as a part of 22nd Century Group’s state and regional rollout program.

“Hub is a critical conduit to a growing list of regional, independent and tribal retail outlets in the Midwest, and a highly regarded wholesale tobacco products distributor with more than 60 years in its served markets,” stated John Miller, president of tobacco products for 22nd Century Group. “By adding distribution to Hub’s extensive customer list, 22nd Century can expand retail points of sale in both existing and new served markets for its innovative VLN® reduced nicotine content cigarettes, the first and only combustible cigarette to secure a Modified Risk Tobacco Product authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our VLN brand contains 95% less nicotine than contained in U.S. conventional cigarettes. As demonstrated by leading independent scientists, reducing the nicotine level in cigarettes has the potential to substantially reduce the enormous burden of smoking-related death and disease.”

Hub operates warehouse operations in St. Louis, MO, Kansas City, MO and Galena, KS, serving as a multi-channel industry leading cigarette, tobacco and comprehensive distributor of tobacco related products. Hub is a leading distributor of cigarettes in the Midwest, providing a comprehensive catalog of tobacco and tobacco-related products to more than 2,500 customer locations in Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Hub customers include regional, independent and tribal accounts across its served market that sell tobacco products.

“Hub has long been known for our comprehensive service and complete catalog of tobacco and related products, including innovative new products such as VLN®,” said Bradford R. Goette, Managing Partner at Hub, Inc. “Our retail channel customers are increasingly interested in alternatives to traditional cigarette smoking. VLN® has created a wave of new excitement within the industry by offering a new tool for adult smokers looking for ways to smoke less. We believe VLN® will be a critical product for the future of this industry, and we are excited to roll it out to our customers.”

“Hub and other distributors working with 22nd Century Group are rapidly expanding the funnel of retail chains seeking to carry our VLN® products,” said Miller. “We expect these new relationships to generate additional retail agreements that will begin carrying our VLN® reduced nicotine content products throughout 2023.”

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading agricultural biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco and improving health and wellness through plant science. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. The Company received the first and only FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) authorization for a combustible cigarette in December 2021. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the life science and consumer products industries by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.

Learn more at xxiicentury.com, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on YouTube.

Learn more about VLN® at tryvln.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “consider,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “explore,” “foresee,” “goal,” “guidance,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “preliminary,” “probable,” “project,” “promising,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 1, 2022, and in the Company’s Quarterly Report filed on November 8, 2022. All information provided in this release is as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Investor Relations & Media Contact
Matt Kreps
Investor Relations
22nd Century Group

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