Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions September 25, 2020

Greenlane, Cresco, General Cannabis, MJ Holdings, NDA, Bluma, Culta, Jushi make executive changes; Fyllo, Nabis, Vibe make changes to board; Folium Bio and Luna Tech create new roles; Petalfast launches with canna-veteran team.

Image: Visual Generation /

Greenlane Holdings hired Michael Cellucci as president of sales and marketing North America and Michael Ouwendijk as sales and marketing director for Greenlane Europe. Cellucci formerly served as president at Drew Estate: The Rebirth of Cigars, and held executive roles at Quality Importers and Xikar International. Prior to Greenlane, Ouwendijk was country manager for Northern Europe at ST Dupont. He also held key sales and marketing roles at Villiger Cigars, Mattel, and Imperial Tobacco.

“We’re thrilled to add such incredible talent with direct and pertinent experience from the cigar and tobacco industry to our team,” said Greenlane Founder and Chief Executive Officer Aaron LoCascio. “Each are proven leaders with the expertise that will help Greenlane accelerate growth in their respective markets.”


Cannabis flower and extracts producer Culta appointed Jonathan Lassiter as vice president of sales for its retail channel. Lassiter joins the company from Guitar Center where he served as district manager, overseeing twelve retail locations across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

“We’re excited to welcome Jonathan to the team as we continue with our mission to provide our medical patients with exceptional products and customer service,” said Mackie Barch, president and co-founder at Culta. “Jonathan’s expertise is a key asset to growing our retail business.”

Former KushCo Holdings executives Jason Vegotsky and Arun Kurichety, in partnership with A.P. Keaton Chief Executive Officer Ryan Goldstein, launched Petalfast Inc., a first-of-its-kind cannabis sales and marketing agency. Vegotsky will serve as CEO, Kurichety as chief operating officer and general counsel, and Goldstein as chief marketing officer.

L-R: Jason Vegotsky, Arun Kurichety, Ryan Goldstein.

“As president [and chief revenue officer] of Kushco, I had the opportunity to meet with nearly every cannabis company in the U.S. and beyond,” said Vegotsky. “Through these meetings, it became quite clear that virtually every cannabis company was struggling to (1) get into new stores and (2) increase velocity within their current retail footprint. With that realization, the concept of Petalfast was born. Petalfast brings together a combination of experienced sales leaders and marketeers set out to solve these two problems for brands. Our leadership team brings together years of highly relevant experience, knowledge, and leadership from the cannabis, adult beverage, and natural foods industries.”

Diane Jones joined General Cannabis Corp as chief financial officer. Jones has taught accounting as an adjunct professor at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and previously served as corporate controller for the Americas at Cardino, worldwide controller and senior director of shared financial services at Arrow Electronics, and as assistant corporate controller at Ball Corporation.

“We’re fortunate to add a CFO of Diane’s deep functional expertise, skills, and technical knowledge in all aspects of corporate finance and accounting,” said General Cannabis Chief Executive Officer Steve Gutterman. “She’s worked across multiple industries, within public companies, and in all sized environments, which will be critical for us as we continue to grow our business, pursue M&A targets and add additional strategic capital needed to fund our growth objectives. As we do so, we will be diligent in our commitment to ensuring that our controls and accounting meet or exceed best practices. Diane will be central to those efforts.”

Layke Martin joined the Nevada Dispensary Association as executive director, replacing Riana Durrett who has held the role since 2015. Martin is a former assistant dean for external relations at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law. She was awarded “Young Lawyer of the Year” by the State Bar of Nevada in 2015 and was recognized in Vegas Inc.‘s “40 Under 40” awards in 2016.

Layke Martin

“We are very fortunate to have Ms. Martin join the NDA team as a key player,” said NDA President Tisha Black. “Her attorneyskills will deftly advance the NDA’s mission to continue to develop and promote best practices amongst Nevada’s cannabis entrepreneurs and, undoubtedly, assist our members in their commitment to provide safe cannabis products to our community. We look forward to employing Ms. Martin’s coalition-building skills to expand our voice and influence in this exciting industry.”

MJ Holdings made several changes to its management team: Chief Executive Officer Paris Balaouras transitioned to the role of chief cultivation officer, Roger Bloss assumed the role of Interim CEO, and Bernard Moyle joined the company as secretary/treasurer.

“I am very excited to engage a ‘reset’ of our C-Suite by adding the focused skillsets of both Messrs. Bloss and Moyle,” said Balaouras. “In just the few short weeks that they have been on board, we have reorganized our operations, clarified our financial reporting processes, and improved our shareholder relations.”

“I have had the privilege of working with Bernard for the past four decades and am confident that he will exceed our expectations on all accounting and administrative tasks,” added Bloss. “The addition of Bernard to the company’s management team will allow for Paris and myself to focus our attention on our core Las Vegas business.”

Multi-state operator Jushi Holdings promoted Executive Vice President and Co-Head of Business Development Trent Woloveck to chief commercial director. Woloveck previously served as president at TGS National Holdings and as chief operating officer at American Cannabis Company, where he helped clients win state cannabis licenses.

“With his vast knowledge of end-to-end business processes and commercial operations, Trent has been a tremendous asset to our company and we’re confident that he will continue to add value to our operations in his new role,” said Jim Cacioppo, chairman and chief executive officer for Jushi. “We look forward to continuing to leverage Trent’s business acumen across the organization and working closely with him as we execute on our company goals and global strategic initiatives.”

Cresco Labs promoted three of its executive team members to regionally-focused presidential positions: Vice President of Brand Marketing Melissa Wagamon assumes the role of regional president, Great Lakes; Executive Vice President of Sales Sean McAlister transitions to regional president of sales, emerging markets and national accounts; and David Gacom becomes regional president, west region.

L-R: David Gacom, Melissa Wagamon, Sean McAlister.

“We are excited to have these exceptionally talented individuals help lead our efforts at a regional level and identify opportunities to further accelerate and diversify our growth,” said Cresco Chief Executive Officer Charlie Bachtell. “In continuation of our stated organizational redesign developed to drive growth and scalable operations across the platform, we continue to enhance and strengthen our leadership team and put the right people, with the right experience, in the right roles to drive results and long-term value for our stakeholders. David, Melissa and Sean have the knowledge, skills and expertise to be our leaders on the ground in markets, constantly focusing on operational execution, creating efficiencies, solving the needs of our customers and launching our brands in markets the right way.”

Bluma Wellness appointed Ryan Martin to the role of chief commercial officer. Martin most recently served as chief sales officer of global sales at Foley Family Wines, and has held multiple positions with E&J Gallo Winery, including leading the sales department as national sales manager, on-premise.

“The addition of Ryan Martin brings Bluma Wellness a seasoned consumer packaged goods and sales expert with deep experience in our closest competitive industry. Ryan will bolster our operations in his new role,” said Bluma Wellness Chief Executive Officer Brady Cobb. “Ryan’s addition will ensure we scale up the One Plant Florida brand properly and maintain our position as the premium medical cannabis flower company in Florida, while also refining the company’s pricing architecture, margins, and sales initiatives to help achieve maximal growth.”

Portland-based hydrocarbon extraction equipment manufacturer Luna Technologies hired Joe Goodman to the newly created role of sales engineering director. Goodman joins the company from cannabis brand house LTRMN where he served as director of sales and business development.

Joe Goodman

“With the rapid expansion of commercial products that require extracted cannabinoids, terpenes, and isolates, we project significant growth at Luna Technologies and are already seeing evidence of it this year,” said Luna Technologies President Jack Naito. “Joe will professionalize our sales process and free up the engineering team to advance the [research and development] that established Luna’s position at the forefront of the extraction industry today.”

Cannabinoid manufacturer Folium Biosciences appointed Kris High to the newly created role of chief commercialization officer. Prior to joining the company, High served simultaneously as head of market development, Americas and global commercial effectiveness at Devro, Inc., and as vice president international for Whitehall Specialties.

“To harness the opportunity of today’s booming global CBD markets and rapidly expanding product applications, Folium needs a CCO that possesses both deep experience in the food, beverage, pharma, and pet verticals as well as proven success in worldwide markets,” said Folium Chief Executive Officer Kashif Shan. “Kris brings precisely that rare blend of experience to our team. She has successfully developed and executed growth strategies for diverse global food markets through in-country distribution, and expanded category sales via established channels—know-how that will be invaluable to Folium as we follow the sort of rapidly accelerating upward trajectory with which she is very familiar.”

Directorial and advisory board changes and additions:

Data and compliance company Fyllo added three new members to its board of directors: Tony Weisman, former chief marketing officer at Dunkin Brands; Steve Katelman, executive vice president, global digital partnerships at Omnicom Media Group; and Craig Robinson, former global head of Powered by We for WeWork and chief executive officer of global corporate services at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

L-R: Steve Katelman, Craig Robinson, Tony Weisman.

“With Craig, Tony, and Steve’s collective expertise, I am confident we will accelerate the adoption of Fyllo’s data solutions in both endemic and mainstream markets,” said Chad Bronstein, founder and chief executive officer at Fyllo.

After serving nearly a decade collectively, Peter Boockvar, Mark Green, and Seth Oster stepped down from the board of directors at General Cannabis Corp. The trio will be replaced by Chairman of the Board Carl Williams, Independent Director Richard Travia, and Director Barker Dalton.

Gordon D. Anderson replaced Jim Meloche on the board of directors at Vibe Bioscience. Anderson brings more than 45 years of experience in financial planning and currently serves as president for the Freestyle Group of companies.

Canadian investment issuer Nabis Holdings announced the resignations of Dr. Safiya Lyn-Lassiter and James Tworek from the company’s board of directors.

MJ Holdings added David C. Dear to its board of directors. Dear currently serves as president at Newgrass Brewing Company; board chairman for the Federal Credit Union of Raleigh, North Carolina; director of the board for North Carolina State Retirement Systems; and managing member at Hudson Phoenix, LLC.

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