Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Harvest Health, MediPharm, Jeb Spencer, Bella Thorne, CLICK

Yet again, we're sliding through the busy week with several corporate shake ups in the cannabis industry.

This week Benzinga decided to single out movers and shakers from both corporate and entertainment sectors:

Harvest Health Taps Deborah Keeley As Its New CFO

Cannabis company Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. HARV HRVSF confirmed Monday it has appointed Deborah Keeley as its CFO, following the resignation of Leo Jaschke.

According to the Monday press release, the decision takes effect immediately.

Prior to this, she served as Vice President of Finance and Tax.

Keeley, an Arizona State University alum, joined the Phoenix-based multi-state operator (MSO) earlier this year.

She sharpened her finance skills over two-decades while serving as CFO, CAO and VP of Finance and Operations in several companies in both public and private sectors, including Cultural Experiences Abroad and Mobile Mini Inc.

"We are excited to have Deborah Keeley assume the role of CFO, and we look forward to continuing to execute on our plan to return to profitability with Deborah as a key member of our executive team," stated the company's CEO Steve White.

In March, Harvest Health secured up to $100 million in funding, after completing the initial tranche of a non-brokered private placement offering.

MediPharm Labs Welcomes Shelley Martin To Its Board

Medicinal cannabis company MediPharm Labs Corp. LABS MEDIF MLZ welcomed Shelley Martin, the former Nestlé Canada's President and CEO, to its board of directors.

Martin spent 28 years at Nestlé Canada Inc., enhancing its revenue, market share, and profitability while overseeing the development of business units and brands.

By the time Martin retired, the company's annual sales amounted to $2.6 billion.

The three-time named Canada's Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network, Martin served as a board chair of Food & Consumer Products of Canada for two years. She also spent five years at The Grocery Foundation as its Director.

She is a member of several advisory boards, including Moosehead Breweries and Crosby Molasses.

MediPharm Labs' CEO Pat McCutcheon is thrilled with the newest addition to the company's board.

Martin said in a Monday press release she believes in MediPharm Labs "because it puts such a substantial emphasis on scientific research and consumer-driven innovation and has internationally recognized GMP production credentials."

Ontario, Candad-based MediPharm Labs has been expanding its footprint globally over the past few months. Some of its latest moves include inking of supply agreements with VIVO Cannabis Inc. VIVO VVCIF for expansion into the Australian market and New Zealand's Cannasouth CBD.

Jeb Spencer's Interest In B2B SaaS Startups

In his yesterday's interview with TVC Capital's co-founder and managing partner Jeb Spencer, Benzinga's Javier Hasse shed light on Spencer's recent appointment to GrowFlow's board of directors.

Spencer's company was engaged in a Series B funding round in which Los Angeles-based, so-called, B2B (business-to-business) SaaS (software-as-a-service) startup secured $8.4 million in financing.

Spencer shared his thoughts on the cannabis industry's state, pinpointing it has "grown up remarkably fast and become highly professionalized," as he witnessed many executives in leadership positions who are utilizing experience gained in other sectors.

TVC Capital has been collaborating with cannabis SaaS companies for the past four years, explained Spencer, adding the company intends to continue investing in cannabis startups.

In addition, he said they plan to land another deal in this space in 2020.

"We are closely tracking performance indicators such as growth rate, net retention, gross margins, and CAC," Spencer further clarified.  

Bella Thorne Becomes DRIHP's Ambassador 

Actress and author Bella Thorne will become yet another celebrity promoting the cannabis industry.

According to Women's Wear Daily, the young philanthropist became the newest ambassador of DRIHP, an eco-friendly hemp apparel, and accessories brand, alongside models Rachel Cook and Jay Alvarrez.

DRIHP hemp clothing line – which uses 1/20 of the amount of water used to grow and process traditional cotton fabrics - is launched recently by Clone Connect's founder Luke Dandrea.

Thorne, the "Life of a Wannabe Mogul" author and co-founder of Forbidden Flowers cannabis and CBD brand, has millions of fans on both Instagram and Twitter.

DRIHP expects Thorne's growing influence in social media to raise awareness of the brand and hemp as an alternative to other, less sustainable textiles.

Thorne highlighted that hemp is vital in "saving the planet".

"If you can change one person's mind, you can help change the world," she added.

Thorne's colleague, brand ambassador Jay Alvarrez is a promoter of extreme sports and is featured in YouTube videos, which generated more than 100 million views.

The 25-year-old photographer from Oahu Hawaii has been making appearances with influencers and superstars like Kygo or Alexis Ren.

Besides becoming a face for DRIHP, Alvarrez is engaged in several other campaigns, including Coca Cola, Omega Watches, Armani, and Hyundai.

NBA's Star Larry Sanders Joins CLICK

Cannabis company CLICK disclosed Tuesday that retired NBA basketball player Larry Sanders has joined its team as a strategic advisor and investor. 

The Los Angeles-based company tapped the former Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers star known for advocating for cannabis.

"We were drawn together because we share the same vision of providing a healthy, convenient way to consume cannabis, and we look forward to witnessing the tremendous value Larry will bring to the growth of our brand," stated CLICK Director of Marketing Jared Gray in a Tuesday press release.

Sanders, who was considers one of the best defensive presences in the league, withdrew from the game and used cannabis to treat his anxiety and depression.

He led several mental health awareness campaigns, in which he teamed up with Phoenix-based MARC Resources as well as with WNBA's Mercury and Sparks teams.

Sanders said CLICK is the first cannabis brand he decided to back up, because "CLICK sublingual sprays are exactly what I've been looking for because they're discreet and safe."

He further explained that "CLICK shows great potential in leading this product category in California's rapidly expanding cannabis market."  

In April, CLICK launched four new flavors and formulations of its sublingual mouth spray.

CLICK Spray delivers 2.5mg of cannabinoids per spray directly to consumers' bloodstream.

Courtesy photo, Deborah Keeley, Harvest Health

Posted In: CannabisNewsEntrepreneurshipMovers & ShakersManagementMediaGeneralBella ThorneClone ConnectDRIHPForbidden FlowersLarry SandersWomen's Wear Daily

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