Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions January 31, 2020

MedMen announces key employee departure; Cannamerx, Florida Hemp Council, TLED, Dixie, Canopy Growth add to boards; Hypur, H+K, Edible, Cannasure, Ocean Grown Ventures, AVD, and FSD Pharma make changes to managerial and executive teams.

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In the wake of last week’s media reports citing trouble for the company, MedMen Enterprises, Inc., today announced Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder Adam Bierman is stepping down from his role effective February 1. Bierman will retain his position on the company’s board of directors, which now is tasked with finding and appointing a new CEO. MedMen Chief Operating Officer Ryan Lissack will act as interim CEO.

Last month, MedMen Co-Founder Andrew Modlin granted a proxy for his class A super voting shares to the company’s Executive Chairman Ben Rose until December 2020, after which Modlin will surrender them back to the company. In April, Bierman also will surrender his super voting shares back to the company.


“The board supports both Adam’s decision to step aside for a new CEO to lead the company, and his and Andrew’s decision to surrender their voting rights to give all shareholders a stronger voice,” said Rose. “This evolution will provide Adam the space to contribute to the future of MedMen and extend his commitment to the industry that he has helped pioneer.”

Adriana Lane joined finance technology company Hypur Inc.  as its new senior marketing director. Lane’s previous experience includes four years at Uber working on the company’s regional and national marketing campaigns.

“We are thrilled to welcome Adriana to the Hypur team,” said Hypur  Co-Founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer Michael J. Sinnwell, Jr.  “Hypur is a dynamic company that experienced incredible growth in 2019. With her impressive experience, strategy, and leadership, I am confident that Adriana will help us continue to thrive in 2020.

“We believe in hiring talented people and letting their skills shine,” Sinnwell continued. “Adriana impressed the Hypur leadership team with her personality, experience, and unique skills. We are confident that she will spearhead our continued growth in the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.” 

Edible Brands, the parent company of Edible and Edible Arrangements, expanded the role of Edible’s Chief Operating Officer Cheikh Mboup to include that of President. Prior to his new role, Mboup served several years as vice president of operations, construction, and real estate for Edible. Before that, he was head of operations for the Edible network in the United States.

“During his tenure at Edible, Cheikh has influenced almost every area of operations, real estate, construction, and more,” said Edible Brands Founder and Chief Executive Officer Tariq Farid. “His depth of experience and knowledge of our network will be critical in guiding our amazing franchisees through this evolution and helping them expand Edible’s presence within their local communities.”

Edible’s recently debuted its new Incredible Edibles hemp-derived CBD product line at select locations.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) hired Robyn Rabinovich as senior account director, cannabis. starting February 3, 2020. Rabinovich brings to the company several years of expertise in the cannabis industry. She most recently held a senior strategy role at a Canadian licensed producer where she worked on international joint ventures in the Caribbean, South America, and Europe.

“As the Canadian cannabis industry goes through a time of transition and continues to evolve, clients are increasingly looking for business strategies to help them develop international partnerships, exploit innovations in product formulations, and develop brand identities that will help them survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” said Omar Khan, national cannabis sector lead at H+K. “Robyn’s deep understanding of compliance and regulatory affairs, her expertise in international business strategy, and her experience in developing nascent cannabis brands makes her an invaluable addition to H+K’s growing cannabis consulting team.”

Commodity trading platform Cannamerx appointed Paul Rosen to its board of advisors. Rosen currently serves as executive chairman for GlobalGo, a global cannabis based advisory, and as managing director for BreakWater Venture Capital. He previously chaired the audit committee at iAnthus Capital Holdings and was a co-founder of PharmaCan Capital Corp. where he served as the company’s first president and CEO.

“Paul Rosen is one of the earliest and most successful pioneers of the legal cannabis industry in North America,” said Dietwald Claus, chief executive officer and founder at Cannamerx. “His incredible business expertise and industry knowledge make him the ideal advisor for Cannamerx. [In our first meeting] Paul immediately understood the importance of Cannamerx for the global cannabis industry and impressed me with his direct and very astute questions and observations. This is a great vote of confidence in Cannamerx, and I am honored to count Paul as the newest member of the Cannamerx team.”

Cannabis and hemp insurance underwriter Cannasure appointed Summer Jenkins to the role of senior product development manager. Prior to joining the company, Jenkins served as senior program manager for commercial auto/cargo cannabis programs at CannGen Insurance Services.

“We’re thrilled to bring Summer on board at this critical time of expansion for our company and the cannabis sector,” said Cannasure Chief Executive Officer Patrick McManamon. “With regulated businesses gaining footing in California, and new markets emerging across the U.S. and abroad, Cannasure is extremely well-positioned to meet the rapidly growing insurance needs of the global cannabis industry.”

“Summer is an accomplished underwriter who adds exceptional value to our team and our clients,” added Director of Underwriting Kieran O’Rourke. “She will play a key role in the development of products, programs, and best practices that will enable Cannasure to achieve its growth and profit objectives.”

The Florida Hemp Council appointed five new board members: Brian Dickerson of Star Manufacturing Hemp; Christian Graubard of Nutrition Formulators Inc.; Sarah Groves of Southeastern Grocers, Inc.; Hussein Rakine of Just CBD; and Durée Ross of Durée & Company, Inc.

“We are pleased to see both the expansion and diversity of our board,” said Jeff Greene, co-founder and director of business development for The Florida Hemp Council. “We are honored to have such a committed and talented representation of the industry. The combined contributions of these new board members will set us up for a very successful 2020 and beyond.”

FSD Pharma appointed Larry Kaiser, MD, FACS to its board of directors. Kaiser currently serves as managing director for the Healthcare Industry Group at Alvarez and Marsal and will continue to serve as chairman of FSD Pharma’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

“With decades of academic and senior executive experience in medicine and the delivery of healthcare in the United States, Dr. Kaiser brings substantial depth and strength to our board of directors,” said Raza Bokhari, MD, executive co-chairman and chief executive officer for FSD Pharma. “Dr. Kaiser has already contributed immensely as chairman of our world-class Scientific Advisory Board. … As a Director, we are relying on his leadership and sage counsel as we continue to double down on our biosciences effort.”

Ocean Grown Ventures appointed Wayne Nasby to the role of chief operating officer. Prior to joining the company, Nasby served as a board member and chief operating officer at CURE Pharmaceuticals and as founder and chief executive officer at Global Compliance Specialty Group.

“We are truly fortunate to have Mr. Nasby join our executive team,” said Ocean Grown Ventures founder and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Katz. “His more than thirty years of regulatory and pharmaceutical experience is critical in ensuring we meet the highest possible operational standards, including stringent current good manufacturing practices (cGMP).”

Dixie Brands announced a reconstitution of its board with the departure of Vincent Keber and Devin Binford, and the appointment of Dan Phaure. Phaure is currently chief operating officer for Heritage Cannabis. He brings twenty years of corporate experience in M&A activity, capital transactions, and operational changes with companies in North America, Europe and Asia.

“We are excited that Dan has agreed to add his deep international experience to our board and offer sincere thanks to both Vincent and Devin for their contributions over the years,” said Dixie Brands Chief Executive Officer Chuck Smith. “They provided strategic counsel through a period of rapid growth as Dixie became a publicly listed company, continued our expansion into new territories, and broadened our distribution footprint.”

Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD) appointed Audra Horridge to the position of vice president of operations. Horridge co-founded Mobius where she managed production, formulation, client acquisition, and client relations for many brands including PAX Vapor, Foria, and Jetty Extracts. Most recently, she served as VP of California Operations for True Terpenes.

“I am delighted to welcome Audra to the AVD team,” said AVD Chief Operating Officer Michael Brosgart. “She brings a track record of product manufacturing, formulation, vapor hardware, and filling technology. Her experience will be an asset not only to AVD but also to our clients.”

Light Engine Design Corp. (TLED) invited ZED Therapeutics’ chief geneticist Adam Jacques and director of cultivation, Christian West, to join its advisory board. Both will continue their work at ZED, thus expanding the relationship between the two companies.

“I am looking forward to working with Adam and Chris in these quickly-expanding markets,” said TLED Chief Operating Officer Robert Manes. “We’ve already identified several ways to work together to research and develop novel technologies and methodologies to maximize quality and production.”

Canopy Growth Corporation appointed Judy Schmeling and Jim Sabia to its board of directors. Schmeling will serve as the board’s chair while Sabia acts as an observer to the board as he and Canopy complete the standard Health Canada processes associated with the appointment after which he will serve as a principal member.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Judy Schmeling as our chair of the board of directors and to welcome Jim to the board,” said Canopy Growth Chief Executive Officer David Klein. “Judy’s leadership experience in highly competitive industries will be instrumental as we focus the business on its core priorities. Both Judy and Jim’s contributions will be extremely valuable as we continue the journey of building iconic brands.”

BetterLife Pharma Inc. announced several changes to its staff: Following a resignation, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Toni Rinow will be replaced by interim-CEO Ahmad Doroudian; current board members Dr. Joseph Borovsky and Russell Starr have stepped down, with Starr simultaneously resigning as an officer of the company; Doroudian and Robert Metcalfe will fill the newly vacated positions on the board.

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