LOS ANGELES – MedMen Enterprises Inc., once considered a cannabis unicorn, may be facing the legendary creature’s fate after a dramatic plunge in valuation and the sudden exit of more key executives.
Chief Executive Officer Ellen Deutsch Harrison stepped down January 19 after less than seven months in the role. Hot on her heels, Executive Chairman Michael Serruya, whose private equity fund invested $100 million in MedMen in 2021, departed January 24. Their exits mark the latest in a series of rapid changes in the company’s executive suite since 2020.
Once nicknamed “the Apple Store of weed” and credited with revolutionizing the dispensary experience, fourteen-year-old MedMen’s history is littered with executive turnover, financial missteps, and TMZ-worthy scandals. Co-founder Adam Bierman is among the former executives and investors who have sued the company, alleging fraud, financial mismanagement, and breach of contract, among other things.
After Harrison’s and Serruya’s departures, the MedMen board quickly appointed Richard Ormond, a Los Angeles-based attorney specializing in finance, banking, and regulations, to the newly created position of Chief Restructuring Officer, indicating a pivot to focus on financial recovery.
MedMen was the darling of consumers, the industry, and the markets in 2018, when the company debuted on the Canadian Securities Exchange with a value of $3 billion. The company’s stock hit rock bottom — $0.0 — this week, exacerbated by repeated downgrades and trading restrictions that include a cease-trade order issued on Wednesday.
The company’s restructuring efforts under Ormond and its attempts to salvage operations through asset sales will be crucial to its survival. MedMen already has exited the Arizona, Florida, and Nevada markets. The company maintains retail operations in four states—down from a high of twelve—but so far has failed to capitalize on adult-use licensure opportunities in New York, despite its eligibility as one of the state’s ten medical licensees.