DENVER – BellRock Brands Inc. (“BellRock” or the “Company”) (CSE: BRCK.U), an industry-leading cannabis consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) platform, announces new leadership with a proven track record of driving profitable growth and shareholder value in the CPG and cannabis industries. These leadership changes build on the Company’s strengths and better position its platform to capitalize on the rapid growth of the U.S. cannabis market.
Chuck Smith will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer and will remain in the role until the search for a new CEO has concluded. In addition to aiding in the transition of responsibilities to his successor, Smith will continue to serve as an ongoing advisor to the Company, particularly with respect to regulatory and cannabis marketplace dynamics.
Additionally, BellRock’s current Chief Operating Officer, Brian Jansen, has been appointed as President. Prior to the business combination of BR Brands and Dixie Brands, Jansen served as interim CEO and COO of Mary’s Medicinals, where he successfully led several commercial expansions, supply chain improvements, and drove the asset to free cash flow positive. Before joining the cannabis industry, Jansen had two decades of experience in the CPG industry, having held leadership roles at multiple global companies, including PepsiCo, Grupo Bimbo, and the Hain Celestial Group.
“When Dixie Brands was founded over ten years ago, the vision was to transform the company into a key player in the cannabis industry. That goal was accomplished, and following the merger with BR Brands, BellRock has combined two iconic cannabis brands with a portfolio of top-selling products in high-growth segments to create a platform positioned for dominance,” said Smith. “I am proud to have served alongside this team for the past year and witness its countless achievements. With new management at the helm, BellRock will be well-positioned to accelerate its growth and continue to do what is most important – make a positive impact on the consumers we serve.”
BellRock also announces the promotion of Kavi Bhai to Chief Financial Officer. Bhai was previously with BR Brands and has deep financial expertise within the cannabis industry having served as the CFO of Mary’s Brands prior to the formation of BellRock. Prior to joining Mary’s Brands, he was an Audit Manager at Frazier & Deeter LLC, a nationally recognized CPA and advisory firm. Bhai’s promotion coincides with the Company’s exit of former CFO, Alex DeGortari.
In addition to the changes at the senior management level, Executive Chairman Andrew Schweibold and Board Member Brian Graham will assume more active roles in executive functions to augment the management team. Schweibold has spent his career in the financial services sector as a private investor and board member to a myriad of companies across a broad range of industries. Throughout his career as a private equity professional, he has developed a particular expertise in control buyouts and financial restructurings.
Graham is an existing member of the BellRock Board, a legacy Dixie Board Member, and a seasoned CPG executive/director with extensive entrepreneurial and CEO experience. Graham’s leadership acumen has been tapped across multiple industries to help create leading brands. Previously, he served as the CEO of NIOXIN, responsible for transitioning the company from a regional player into a global leader before being acquired by Procter & Gamble.
“BellRock has reached an inflection point whereby the realignment of management, rooted in both CPG and cannabis expertise, will further solidify the foundation of the company to deliver the growth necessary to become the preeminent cannabis house of brands,” said Schweibold. “The elevation of talent from within is a testament to our team’s strength, and with the marriage of the Board and management as one cohesive team, BellRock will commence its next stage of evolution and success. I want to thank prior management for their contributions and for navigating us through a complex merger. I look forward to BellRock’s next chapter.”
In the near term, BellRock is focused on strengthening its presence in existing markets, fortifying the Company’s market-dominant SKUs, and pursuing calculated growth opportunities in new form factors and markets. Together, with CPG expertise at the forefront, management and the Board are working to further enhance BellRock’s platform as the first true national cannabis house of brands and the only cannabis CPG platform of its kind.
Concurrent with the Company’s leadership changes BellRock is withdrawing its previously announced guidance of $50 million in revenue for 2021. Additionally, the Company’s restructured management team is committed to working diligently and expeditiously with its auditors to complete the annual filings and the interim filings as soon as possible.
About BellRock Brands
BellRock Brands is a national cannabis house of brands and intellectual property focused CPG operator that possesses one of the industry’s broadest branded product portfolios. BellRock consists of two iconic cannabis brands, Mary’s Medicinals (a pioneer in the Health & Wellness segment since 2013) and Dixie (a market-leading cannabis-infused edibles brand since 2010). BellRock also includes two growing California-based brands, Rebel Coast and Défoncé. BellRock’s CBD portfolio includes the brands Mary’s Nutritionals and Mary’s Tails. With 7 brands and over 200 SKUs, BellRock reaches nearly every key consumer group and addresses the needs of a diverse cannabis consumer base. The BellRock manufacturing and distribution footprint continues to expand and currently spans nine states, and the Company owns or manages production facilities in its largest markets. For more information, visit www.bellrockbrands.com.