Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions September 20, 2019

Several changes have been made to the Golden Leaf Holdings executive team: John Varghese, who served as interim chief executive officer after the resignation of Gary Zipfel, has transitioned to the role of executive chairman; Jeffrey Yapp has assumed the role of CEO and joined the board of directors; Ekaterina (“Kate”) Koustareva is serving as interim chief financial officer; Stan Grissinger has been hired to the position of president; Erin Hills was promoted to senior vice president, operations.

“I look forward to leading Golden Leaf Holdings into a new phase of growth for both our shareholders and team,” said Yapp. “It is exciting to be part of an industry where the work we do and how we do it has the potential to make such a significant impact in the quality of people’s lives. Rarely does one get the chance to work in an industry with such an explosive growth opportunity. I believe that Golden Leaf Holdings has the ability to set a standard of excellence that leads and shapes the industry. Among my first priorities is to select and build a world-class leadership team, who will come together to execute a series of significant new initiatives.”


Kevin Ma has resigned from Canadian investment company Nabis Holdings’ board of directors but will continue to offer consulting services.

“Kevin has played an integral part in building the company as it exists today and we sincerely thank him for his dedicated work and support,” said Nabis chief executive officer and director Shay Shnet. “We look forward to receiving his continued wisdom and guidance in a consulting capacity going forward.”

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Bruce Linton

Michigan-based Wolverine Partners Corp. (d.b.a. Gage Cannabis Co.) announced the change of its corporate name to Gage Growth Corp. and has appointed former Canopy Growth chief executive officer Bruce Linton to the role of executive chairman.

“Bruce brings unrivaled cannabis industry experience and a proven track record of success to our company,” said Gage President Fabian Monaco. “With his insight and leadership, we expect to enhance the support we offer our medical patients around the state of Michigan. Bruce’s vigor, knowledge, and passion for this business will be key drivers in continuing Gage’s growth throughout Michigan and beyond.”

CB2 Insights has recruited Colombian naturopathic and integrative medicine physician Dr. Paola Cubillos to lead its medical cannabis research programs as it enters the Columbian market. In her role as medical director, Cubillos will assist the company in growing a physician network and building a patient registry.

“There has been solid growth in positive physician perception throughout Colombia, but we are now at an inflection point where cultivators and manufacturers must embrace traditional research protocols to truly commercialize their products in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Cubillos. “CB2 Insights has become the go-to name for cannabis-focused research programs in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, and I’m excited to bring that experience to the Colombian market.”

Canopy Rivers Inc., a venture capital firm specializing in cannabis, has formed an advisory board to strengthen its global portfolio of leading cannabis companies. Inaugural members of the board include: John Ruffolo, co-founder and vice chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators; Meg Lovell, former co-head of M&A and corporate and commercial counsel at Imperial Brands PLC; and award-winning marketing strategist Philip Donne.

“We have assembled a group of outstanding individuals with exceptional track records as leaders in their respective industries,” said Canopy Rivers President and Chief Executive Officer Narbe Alexandrian. “The Strategic Advisory Board will play an important role in providing guidance and insight to Canopy Rivers as we pursue our global growth strategy. Together, we look forward to building the cannabis industry of tomorrow, today.”

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L-R: Meg Lovell, John Ruffolo, Phil Donne

Sproutly Canada, Inc. has appointed Constantine Constandis as an independent director to its board of directors. With tenures at Pernod Ricard, Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd, and Seagram Company Ltd, Constandis possesses over 34 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

“We are very pleased with the addition of Constantine Constandis to Sproutly’s board of directors,” said chairman and Chief Executive Officer Keith Dolo. “Constantine has been a valued contributor to Sproutly since joining our advisory board last year, and this was the next logical step as we looked to expand our board.… His track record in brand building, operations, sales, and marketing in the highly-regulated spirits industry will prove to be extremely valuable to Sproutly as it continues to develop into a leading cannabis beverage company.”

Cannabis Strategic Ventures has appointed four new members to its board of directors. George Wen will serve as chairman of the board while Danny Cheung, Yang Lin, and Pyng Soon, will serve as independent directors.

Alan Tran and Simon Yu have resigned from their positions on the board. Yu will remain in his role as chief executive officer.

Hemp processor Landrace Bioscience has established an advisory board with four founding members: Anthony L. Almada, MSc, FISSN, David Karli, MD, Joe Petrosino, PhD, and Marci van der Meulen.

“At Landrace, every step we take is backed by comprehensive research and strategy,” said Landrace Bioscience Chief Executive Officer John DeMoss. “Aligning ourselves with expert counsel continues to further our objective of pursuing truth and transparency in our development of best-in-class hemp ingredients for use in the natural products industry.

“Working with this team of established experts will allow us to forge a path forward toward developing new innovations and expanding our current product lines while solidifying ourselves as leaders within the industry.”

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