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

48North, Veritas Farms, Zenabis, Mydecine, Redwood Green, Organigram, make executive changes; Functional Remedies adds VP to AHPA board; CCPC expands team; BevCanna, Benzinga, Cresco Labs, Canateq, WeedMD, Flower One make changes to board.

Image: Viktoria Kurpas /

Chief Operating Officer Michael Highdale joined the team at 48North Cannabis Corp. He previously served as vice president of operations at Sofina Foods Inc.

“I am thrilled to have Michael, an experienced leader in the food and beverage space, join the company’s industry leading team as COO,” said 48North Chief Executive Officer Charles Vennat. “In recent months, 48North has made significant progress in professionalizing its operational and manufacturing capacities. Without question, Michael has the experience required to continue implementing these improvements, ensuring that 48North’s facilities remain first-class in the cannabis industry and beyond.”


Functional Remedies appointed its Senior VP of Operations Asa Waldstein to a one-year stint on the board at American Herbal Products Association, a national trade association and recognized voice of authority in the herbal products industry.

“I’m honored to re-join AHPA’s prestigious board,” said Waldstein. “AHPA has been a leader in the herbal products marketplace for forty years and has continued to lead the hemp conversation for over a decade with its cannabis committee. I am very thankful to the board for electing me to serve with its esteemed members.”

Asa Waldstein

Waldstein previously served as an AHPA board member and 2019 was elected to chair its cannabis committee.

Veritas Farms promoted Marketing Specialist Marisa Cifre to the role of marketing manager. Prior to joining Veritas in 2019, Cifre served as a marketing strategist for CereScan Corp. She also served as a marketing consultant for OmniComm Systems Inc.

“We are pleased to promote Marisa to marketing manager at Veritas Farms,” said Veritas co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Alexander M. Salgado. “With her wide range of marketing knowledge and experience, she is an asset to our company as it continues to grow and expand in the booming hemp industry.”

Director of Local Government Affairs Randi Knots and Special Initiatives Coordinator Mathew Waldron joined the staff at the Cannabis Consumer Policy Council. Knots will be responsible for coordinating local government outreach and policy development. Waldron will be responsible for communications, social media, legal and policy research, content generation, developing webinars/podcasts, and campaign management.

Zenabis Global Interim Chief Executive Officer Kevin Coft will be replaced by Shai Altman, effective September 1, 2020. Altman, who will serve as president and CEO, previously was president of McCain Foods, Canada. He also has held executive roles at Wrigley/Mars. Coft will remain with Zenabis as chief facilities officer.

“Zenabis is pleased to welcome Shai to the team as CEO,” said Zenabis chair of the board Daniel Burns. “His deep and varied experience across the entire spectrum of leadership and operations, and in particular his experience in [consumer packaged goods] in Canada and globally, make him incredibly well-suited to contribute to Zenabis’ continued growth.”

Mydecine Innovations Group hired former Red Bull marketing executive Jim Gunning to serve as chief marketing officer, replacing former CMO Benjamin Martch. Gunning previously has held roles at RESQWATER, Blue Sky Biologicals, and KANABIA.

“Jim’s years of professional experience in marketing, sales, and relationship building easily shine through his work ethic and his genuine, relaxed and humble personality are obvious seasoned traits you would only find in someone that is truly confident with the incredible skills and talents that Jim has acquired,” said Mydecine Chief Operating Officer Damon Michaels. “I believe that it was very fortunate for Jim and I to cross paths in this world and I knew from the beginning that we would one day do great things together. I am very happy to welcome Jim into the Company and add him to our amazing dynamic team.”

Redwood Green Corp. reappointed founding Chief Executive Officer Christopher A. Hansen to the role of CEO.

“Chris has a deep understanding of the company and environment, and his leadership will have a steadying influence, particularly given the significant challenges we face in these turbulent times,” said Dr. Delon Human, chairman of the board at Redwood Green. “Our company has listened to the market and stakeholders and understands the need to adapt our corporate strategy and implement the changes necessary to ensure sustainable growth in the cannabis/cannabinoids industry.”

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ray Gracewood resigned from his position at Organigram Holdings. He has been replaced by Julie Chamberlain who was promoted from her role as senior director of brand.

“Ray is a pioneer in cannabis marketing,” said Organigram Chief Executive Officer Greg Engel. “He has been instrumental in launching Organigram’s medical business and building out its adult-use recreational brand portfolio.”

Several companies made changes to their directorial and advisory boards.

SLANG Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Driessen joined the Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council, bringing the panel to twenty-eight members.

BevCanna Enterprises appointed beverage industry pioneer Douglas Mason to its independent advisory board. Mason holds board-level roles at a number of public companies, including TransCanna Holdings and Naturally Splendid Enterprises.

Cresco Labs appointed Carol Vallone to its board of directors. Vallone currently serves on the board of trustees at MGH Institute of Health Professions, on the finance committee at Mass General Brigham, and as chair of the board of trustees at McLean Hospital.

Canateq Holdings added three members to its board: former Molson Coors Chief Executive Officer Mark Hunter, former president at Molson Coors International Kandy Anand, and AI health technology entrepreneur Fred Brown.

Bruce Croxon, co-founder and former chief executive officer at Lavalife, joined the board of directors at WeedMD. The company also announced the resignation of board member Dr. Hugh Scully.

The Washington State Bar Association Cannabis Law Section elected Sativa Rasmussen to serve as chair for a two year term. Rasmussen is currently an attorney at international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

Sativa Rasmussen

Bern Whitney resigned from the board of directors at Flower One Holdings.

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