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Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Cannformatics, Urban-Gro, SSDP, Agrify, NVG, Australis, PPIB, Fyllo, Keirton, CRC, TheraTrue, Hanu Labs

February 26, 2021 1:19 pm
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Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Cannformatics, Urban-Gro, SSDP, Agrify, NVG, Australis, PPIB, Fyllo, Keirton, CRC, TheraTrue, Hanu Labs

Former U.S. Congressman Joins Cannformatics Advisory Board

Cannabis-focused biotechnology startup Cannformatics tapped former five-term U.S. Congressman Edward Feighan to its advisory board.

Feighan, who represented Ohio's 19th congressional district, is also Vitality Biopharma's Executive Chairman.

Cannformatics CEO Itzhak Kurek welcomed Feighan for his "leadership and experience" with developing cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products.

Feighan "will be invaluable as we meet with investors and partners who share our commitment to the discovery and application of scientific evidence-based knowledge in the use of medical cannabis to improve health and quality-of-life," Kurek added.

Urban-Gro Names New President And COO

Marijuana grow facility designer Urban-Gro (OTCQX:UGRO) has named James Dennedy president and chief operating officer.

Dennedy has held several executive roles in public as well as private companies. He has also served on the board of Lafayette, a Colorado-based company, since August 2018.

“I am excited to have an active leadership role in further developing our operations and leveraging our proven expertise to propel urban-gro into its next phase, one that we believe will be of exponential growth,” Dennedy disclosed.

Urban-Gro recently secured some $62 million in financing to fuel its expansion plans, including the debut on the European CEA market.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Names Jason Ortiz Executive Director

Students for Sensible Drug Policy has appointed Jason Ortiz, a long-standing alumnus, to serve as executive director.

Ortiz, who has been working with SSDP since 2008, is Minority Cannabis Business Association’s founder and president. He was also Director of Campaigns with Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation.

Rachel Wissner, SSDP's Interim Executive Director, is excited to welcome Ortiz.

“His bold leadership, drug policy expertise, wisdom of over a decade in the movement, and deep connection to the SSDP community makes him an excellent fit for Executive Director,” Wissner stated Tuesday.

Agrify Forms New Advisory Board, Appoints Rosie Mattio And Matthew Kressy

Agrify Corporation (NASDAQ: AGFY) has formed a new advisory board.

The Burlington, Massachusetts-based company appointed Rosie Mattio, founder and CEO of MATTIO Communications, and Matthew Kressy, founding director of the MIT Integrated Design & Management (IDM) program, to serve as "trusted advisors."

The move came on the heels of the recent appointment of former Curaleaf Holdings Inc.'s (OTCQX:CURLF) COO Stuart Wilcox to serve on its board of directors.

Kressy previously served on the company's board of directors. He brings vast knowledge in design and development.

Mattio currently represents roughly 60 cannabis companies, such as Curaleaf, TerrAscend Corp.'s (CSE:TER) (OTCQX:TRSSF), LeafLink, and Canndescent.

Agrify CEO Raymond Chang is "thrilled to add such knowledgeable talent to our new Advisory Board."

Agrify debuted on the Nasdaq Capital Market in January, upsizing its initial public offering of some 5.4 million shares of its common stock at $10 per share.

In February, the company sold some additional shares to secure $75 million in financing.

Former Kannaway CEO Jeff Rogers To Lead Rollout Of Nass Valley Gateway’s Sales Platform

CBD distributor Nass Valley Gateway LTD. (CSE:NVG) (OTC:NSVGF) announced Wednesday it has retained Jeff Rogers to serve as a consultant.

As a lead consultant to rollout “Nass Valley Direct” – the company’s direct sales platform poised to launch in the second quarter of 2021 – the former Kannaway CEO will assist in selling the company’s new menu of 30 CBD products for humans and pets.

“We continue to build the Nass Valley team with highly successful and experienced managers, and Jeff Rogers has been a long-time leading voice in both the CBD and direct sales industries,” NVG’s CEO Gavin Collier commented.

Australis To Acquire 51% Stake In ALPS, Plans To Name New CEO

Australis Capital Inc. (CSE:AUSA) (OTC:AUSAFintends to name former Aurora Cannabis CEO Terry Booth its new CEO, upon closing the ALPS transaction.

The Las Vegas company confirmed purchasing a 51% stake in ALPS, which was bought out from Aurora in May 2020 by the management.

Australis has an option to acquire the remaining 49% of ALPS in three years once the deal is closed.

The price tag ranges between $13.7 million to a maximum of $25.94 million.

In addition, Dr. Duke Fu, who is currently Interim CEO, will serve as COO.

"We are focused on building significant shareholder value, which is reflected in the transaction terms that are EBITDA weighted and back-end loaded through the earn-out provisions," Fu said.

Australis recently hired Jon Paul to oversee its financial department.

PPIB Promotes Susan Etter To President

Professional Program Insurance Brokerage has promoted Susan Etter to the president.

Simultaneously, Susan Preston, the founder and current president of the Petaluma, California-based company, is promoted to vice president, director of program development for Specialty Program Group, PPIB's parent company.

Etter, who previously served as VP of underwriting, spent over 11 years in PPIB.

"Susan has big shoes to fill but is ideally positioned to take over the leadership of PPIB and continue its impressive track record of growth," Chris Treanor, President, and CEO noted.

Fyllo Taps Former Twitter Exec As New COO

Cannabis-focused software and services company, Fyllo has tapped former Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) executive Katie Ford as its new chief operating officer.

Previously, Ford served as head of global brands at the social networking platform.

She spent over twenty years at Publicis Media, managing P&G, Coca-Cola, USAA, and Kellogg's accounts.

In addition, she was on Fyllo's board since 2019.

"Fyllo has built incredible products and proven their business model in a very short period of time," Ford disclosed. "I look forward to being part of Fyllo's success as we build breakthrough solutions for companies in highly regulated industries like cannabis, pharma, and alcohol."

Last month, the company purchased retail point-of-sale marketing company DataOwl. Under the deal, DataOwl agreed to integrate its retail solutions into Fyllo's Compliance Cloud.

Keirton Appoints David Goodman As New Head Of Content

Keirton Inc. has appointed David Goodman as a new head of content.

Goodman brings vast knowledge in brand development and cannabis marketing.

Prior to this, Goodman oversaw the marketing department at Terminator, a California-based harvesting equipment provider.

Neil Diguangco, vice president, marketing at Keirton said they are “excited to work with him and learn from his industry insights to grow our community while continuing to highlight the stories of the growers at the heart of it all.”

NJ Gathers Commission To Oversee Marijuana Market

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has gathered the five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission to regulate the state’s medical marijuana program and oversee its recreational market.

The appointments of additional three members who will join Chair Dianna Houenou — who was tapped to serve on the CRC back in November — and Jeff Brown, came only two days following the signing of the state’s recreational marijuana implementation law, Marijuana Business Daily reports.

On Monday, Murphy inked legislation to launch a projected $1 billion recreational marijuana market on the heels of agreeing on a “clean-up measure” that has been slowing down the process for months.

Murphy elected the following three experts:

  • Maria Del Cid, director of policy and legislative services at the New Jersey Department of Health
  • William Wallace, director of the professional division of Local 342 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union
  • Sam Delgado, former vice president of external affairs at Verizon, who recently retired.

TheraTrue Appoints Victor E. Mancebo As CEO

Minority-owned cannabis company TheraTrue, Inc. has appointed cannabis industry veteran Victor E. Mancebo to serve as CEO.

Mancebo also serves as TheraTrue Georgia LLC's and TheraTrue Virginia LLC’s COO.

Previously he was Liberty Health Sciences Inc.’s president and CEO.

Mancebo is “thrilled” to join TheraTrue.

“I believe that TheraTrue’s strategy of focusing on new medical markets with limited licenses is key to long term success,” he added.

The company also secured $50 million in financing on the heels of submitting medical cannabis license applications in Georgia and Virginia.

California-Based Hanu Labs Names Ricardo Willis CEO

Hanu Labs has appointed Ricardo Willis to serve as CEO.

Willis spent years serving as Hanu Labs' advisor. He has vast experience in industry sales, marketing, and product expertise, as well as organizational development, strategic planning, and project management.

The San Francisco company said that its founder and former CEO Seibo Shen opted to focus on new product development as the new chief product officer.

"Ricardo's appointment speaks directly to our core values and commitment to remain an industry leader in all areas," She stated, adding that "diversity is the mission to bring together creative minds of all different backgrounds."