Cannabis Movers & Shakers: MindMed, Halo Collective, Item 9, PSYC, Flora Growth

Stephen Hurst Steps Down From MindMed's Board Of Directors

Psychedelic-focused biotech company Mind Medicine Inc MNMD announced on Friday that Stephen Hurst has resigned from his role as director of the company's board.

Robert Barrow, CEO and director of the New York-based company thanked Hurst for providing significant contributions and strategic guidance. 

"MindMed is the culmination of my career and more than a decade of work to bring the benefits of psychedelic-inspired medicines to patients struggling with addiction and mental illness," Hurst said.

Halo Collective Names New CMO

Halo Collective Inc. HALO HCANF announced Tuesday that it has appointed Sky Pinnick to oversee its marketing department.

Pinnick brings significant marketing and branding expertise, particularly in the cannabis industry.

In addition to being an experienced cannabis industry professional, he has worked in branding, marketing and was a CPG executive, having co-founded Phantom Farms in Oregon in 2008. Pinnick was also CEO at Phantom Farms until its acquisition in 2018 by C21 Investments Inc. CXXIF CXXI. He then transitioned to the company's CMO and director.

Pinnick agreed to lead Halo Collective's market expansion initiatives as it grows its portfolio of products and distribution channels.

"In addition to heading marketing, Sky will be leading all of Halo's new product development, brand refreshes, as well as building our retail brand Budega," Kiran Sidhu, CEO of Halo said. "Halo Collective has several well-established legacy brands, Hush and Winberry Farms, that are ripe for an experienced cannabis professional to build upon."

Item 9 Bolsters Board Of Directors

Item 9 Labs Corp. INLB announced that it has tapped Eric C. Kutscher, Pharm. D., MBA, FASHP and Lawrence X. Taylor to serve on its board of directors.

Kutscher, with over 25 years of experience leading high-performing teams, is a thought leader in delivering patient-centered healthcare, research, academia and leadership. From his academic psychiatry and pharmacology beginnings, Kutscher progressed to full clinical professor positions at three universities.

Taylor brings vast knowledge that includes deep financial expertise, strategy, as well as governance skill. As a C-level executive, advisor and board member with over 30 years of business experience, Taylor has guided organizations through complex restructurings, acquisitions, corporate development activities and capital transactions totaling more than $15 billion.

Andrew Bowden, CEO of Item 9, said, "Eric and Lawrence have vastly different backgrounds that will enrich our foundation across several core growth areas of the company."

Currently, Item 9's cannabis dispensary franchise brand, Unity Rd., has a franchisee-owned shop operating in Boulder, Colorado, a corporate-owned shop opening soon in Adams County, Colorado and agreements signed with nearly 20 partners in various stages of opening their Unity Rd. shops across Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia, among other states.

PSYC Significantly Bolsters Its Leadership Team In 2022

Global Trac Solutions, Inc. PSYC, a media company behind Psychedelic Spotlight, the psychedelic news and information platform, recently announced that it has welcomed Christopher Bitonti and Craig Schlesinger to its advisory board.

The Oregon-based company stated that it is poised to leverage Bitonti's and Schlesinger's combined professional knowledge and experience, which spans the respective fields of corporate finance, media marketing and business operations.

Bitonti has vast experience in media and live entertainment, having worked as a journalist and previously as the national director of marketing for the Dayglow brand.

Schlesinger, who will also serve as acting vice president of finance, is a C-Suite consultant with two decades of experience in public finance and corporate financial management.

"I truly believe we are at a critical juncture in the growth and evolution of PSYC that is every bit as challenging as it is exciting," said David Flores, the company's CEO. "With this in mind, I am extremely pleased to add Mr. Bitonti and Mr. Schlesinger to our growing advisory board. The respective knowledge, insight, and expertise they bring should prove to be highly beneficial in helping us initiate this next, important phase in our corporate evolution."

Separately, on Monday, the company welcomed another two experts - Mitchell J. Schlesinger and Sarah Abelsohn - to its growing advisory board as key sales and branding expert additions.

With more than three decades of experience in creative advertising, strategic marketing and branding, which includes working for global brands such as Avis Rent-A-Car, Norwegian Cruises, Costa Cruises and Marco Polo Cruises, the company will look to Schlesinger for guidance and leadership with strategic brand messaging as well as developing and implementing sales and marketing key performance Indicators for its Psychedelic Spotlight media platform.

Abelsohn, who is transitioning into her role as advisor, joined the Psychedelic Spotlight team in June 2020 as a sales and marketing consultant. She has also served as the director since early 2021.

Flora Growth Taps Tim Leslie To Chair Newly Formed Advisory Board

Flora Growth Corp. FLGC said Thursday that it has named Tim Leslie as the chairman of its newly formed advisory board.

Leslie is an accomplished business leader and cannabis industry expert who worked with scaling companies, including his two decades at AMZN, where he served as vice president and associate general counsel responsible for building and managing Amazon's international legal team before changing roles to oversee the international launch of Amazon Prime Video.

After venturing into the cannabis industry, Leslie served as CEO of Leafly, while he also sits on the board of advisors of Endocanna Health and is a member of the board of New Frontier Data.

Luis Merchan, president and CEO of Flora Growth, said he is "pleased and honored" to welcome Leslie as the first chair of the newly appointed advisory board.

"We will look to our newly established Advisory Board for counsel on how to amplify our growth opportunities both domestically and internationally," Merchan said. "Tim will play a key role in advising on how best to navigate the regulatory framework of building a truly global company, something he specifically worked on in his time at Amazon."

Photo: Courtesy of David Gabrić on Unsplash

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