Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions July 12, 2019

ONE Cannabis, Leafly, Cresco Labs, and Surterra add to C-suite, cbdMD appoints co-CEO and Pres., Caliva taps hip hop legend, Canopy Growth begins overhaul, Kona Gold partners up.

Cannabis Career watch july 12 2019 mg magazine mgretailer
Cannabis Career watch july 12 2019 mg magazine mgretailer

Scott Coffman, co-founder of the brand cbdMD, has been appointed co-chief executive officer at cbdMD, Inc. He will share CEO duties with Martin A. Sumichrast. Both men will retain their current positions on the company’s board of directors. Caryn Dunayer, another co-founder of cbdMD, will take over as president of the company.

The changes come on the heels of cbdMD’s acquisition by the Charlotte-based company formerly known as Level Brands as part of its merger with Cure Based Development LLC. Level Brands subsequently changed its name to cbdMD.


“In December of 2018, Scott and Caryn joined our company when we purchased the cbdMD brand. Both Scott and Caryn are extremely versatile and talented brand builders,” Sumichrast said in a statement. “With the rebranding of our company now complete, I believe their experience and knowledge will be an asset in propelling cbdMD forward as we execute on our mission to become the most trusted CBD brand in America,”

Frank Knuettel-ONE Cannabis-mg-magazine-mgretailer
Frank Knuettel

ONE Cannabis, a multi-state cannabis producer and retailer, has added three new members to its senior leadership team and currently is planning to hire “more than three dozen employees” within the next six months. Joining the company at present: Chief Financial Officer Frank Knuettel, Director of Operations, Cultivation Kacy Sindel, and Director of Communications Jayne Levy.

“ONE Cannabis is experiencing a breakout year,” said ONE Cannabis Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Christian Hageseth. “With the transformational growth we are expecting in 2019, we’re bringing on experienced professionals that can keep up with that pace and have proven track records of success. These most recent hires exemplify the quality of professionals that will allow ONE Cannabis to stand apart in an increasingly crowded, rapidly-expanding, and competitive industry.”

Jay Z-mg magazine-mgretailer
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter courtesy s_bukley /

San Jose-based cannabis manufacturer and distributor Caliva has entered into a multi-year partnership with hip hop icon Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, a billionaire rapper, producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and husband to Beyoncé Knowles. Carter will serve as Caliva’s chief brand strategist.

“In addition to influencing Caliva’s creative direction, social justice will be a key component of Carter’s role,” Caliva Chief Executive Officer Dennis O’Malley told CNN Business. “He’ll be involved in outreach programs—such as job training, advocacy and workforce development—to help create more opportunities in the industry for people who were negatively affected by the War on Drugs.”

Surterra Wellness, a multi-state health and wellness company, has tapped several senior executives from large international companies to leadership positions. Former Kellogg Co. Chief Financial Officer Fareed Khan will serve as finance chief, joining newly appointed Executive Director Ed Brown, former CEO of Patrón Spirits Co. and Executive Director of Operations Kevin Fisher, co-founder and former CEO of both New England Treatment Access and Molecular Infusions.

Mr. Khan replaces James Whitcomb, who had been Surterra CFO since 2016. Whitcomb will become executive director of corporate development responsible for strategic M&A and corporate development, legal, and group real estate initiatives.

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Bruce Linton

Co-Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton is no longer at the helm of Canopy Growth Corporation, the Canadian cannabis giant he founded in 2013 and took public in 2014. In a statement released Wednesday, Canopy said Linton stepped down from his executive post; however, Linton told CNBC he was fired by the board, which is dominated by members installed by beverage alcohol behemoth Constellation Brands.

Mark Zekulin, Canopy’s other co-CEO, has said he will step down as soon as a new CEO is named. In the interim, Rade Kovacevic, previously leader of Canopy’s Canadian operations, has taken over as president, and John Bell, Canopy’s lead on the board of directors, has assumed Linton’s previous role as chairman until the annual meeting in September.

Mo Dastagir-mg-magazine-mgretailer
Mo Dastagir

Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator, has hired Mo Dastagir as its new chief information officer. Dastagir succeeds Zach Marburger, who is taking on a new role at Cresco as entrepreneur in residence. Dastagir joins Cresco from Sears Holding Corporation, where he served as vice president and chief technology officer.

“We continue to attract top-tier talent across a variety of disciplines, and Mo Dastagir is the latest example,” said Cresco Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Charlie Bachtell. “Mo has a long track record of successfully scaling and implementing a diverse array of major technology programs for Fortune 500 companies and will ensure that Cresco’s technology infrastructure and capabilities remain on the leading edge of the cannabis industry. His experience and expertise in managing the technology needs of growing companies entering and integrating new markets will be extremely valuable.”

Cannabis information resource Leafly, has hired Leslie Grandy, a veteran product executive with global market experience, as its new chief product officer. In previous roles, Grandy has built products for industry leaders such as Apple, T-Mobile, Best Buy, and Discovery Communications. She also provided product and innovation advisory services to Fortune 500 Companies including Starbucks, Oracle Utilities, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

“Leslie is a seasoned technology leader with a track record of bringing world-class products to market,” said Leafly Chief Executive Officer Tim Leslie. “Her experience will help us continue to build and scale technology products that serve the needs of cannabis consumers, retailers and brands.”

Kona Gold Solutions, a hemp and CBD lifestyle beverage brand, has signed a distribution agreement with H & M Wagner & Sons Foodservice, a Maryland-based, family owned broadline foodservice distributor for over 58 years.

“I am delighted to announce our newest distributor partnership with Wagner & Sons Foodservice,” said Kona Gold Solutions Vice President of Sales Chris Selinger. “Wagner & Sons is a vital piece of our distribution portfolio for the Mid-Atlantic region. We now have distribution capability in the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.”

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