Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Acreage, Harborside, Item 9, Halo Collective, TerrAscend, Flora Growth, PathogenDx

BioTech Co. PathogenDx Strengthens Executive Team

Biotechnology company, PathogenDx has bolstered its strategic advisory group and senior leadership team with the appointments of several highly experienced executives who will bring their expertise to the company.

The new leadership appointments include:

  • Veteran healthcare executive, Clinical & Human Diagnostics Board Advisor Paul Glyer, with more than 30 years of experience as a healthcare executive and expertise in corporate finance, strategy planning, licensing, M&A and advising organizations and private equity investors in business evaluation and due diligence efforts.
  • Biotechnology scientist and senior executive, VP of Research & Development Ralph Martel - a versatile biotechnology scientist, team builder and senior executive with 25 years experience in product and business development.
  • An accomplished business leader in analytical testing, manufacturing, and consumer packaged goods, Food & Agriculture Board Advisor Michael Drozd, Ph.D. who is an accomplished business leader in analytical testing, manufacturing and consumer packaged goods, with an excellent track record for transforming publicly traded private-equity and venture-capital-backed innovative companies into high-growth, profitable industry leaders.
  • Seasoned sales director with more than 30 years of experience in the life-science and laboratory markets, Global Director of Sales Carol Dugas - a seasoned sales director with more than 30 years of experience in the life-science and laboratory markets, who excels at leading companies towards achieving sustained growth while navigating complex regulatory waters.

Acreage Shakes-Up Management Team

Acreage Holdings, Inc. ACRG ACRDF has appointed Dennis Curran as its chief operating officer.

The company simultaneously announced the resignation of James Doherty, general counsel, effective April 30, and has launched a national search for his successor.

Curran brings over 35 years of leadership experience in product categories, sales, trade channels, distributor management, marketing and business maturity in domestic and international markets.

Before joining Acreage, he was the chief customer officer at GSK Consumer Healthcare and was responsible for delivering sales, profitability, and innovation for the United States, the company's largest market. Prior to GSK, Curran had a career spanning 29 years with Procter and Gamble.

"Dennis has a distinguished track record leading consumer-focused businesses through operational growth strategies, and we are confident he brings the right skill set to us as we capitalize on the excellent work our team accomplished over the last year," Peter Caldini, CEO of Acreage Holdings said. "We are excited for all the opportunities this new year will bring us, and we welcome Dennis to the Acreage family."

Harborside Names New CEO on Heels Of Wrapping Up Urbn Leaf Acquisition

Vertically integrated cannabis company Harborside Inc. HBOR HBORF has tapped Ed Schmults to serve as the new CEO and director.

The move follows the closing of the company's acquisition of UL Holdings Inc. (Urbn Leaf).

"This sets a strong course forward as we navigate a competitive and evolving cannabis market in California," Schmults said. "The combined assets of Urbn Leaf and Harborside provide an excellent opportunity for shareholders and set the stage for the addition of Loudpack."

Schmults' appointment to the board fills a vacancy created by the previously announced resignation of Alexander Norman.

Schmults has over 30 years of experience in globally branded consumer products, omnichannel retail, product development, finance, operations, IT as well as with green and socially responsible businesses.

He held CEO roles at FAO Schwarz and Wild Things Gear and COO roles at Patagonia and Red Envelope, following a position in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Company.

Harborside also announced that Will Senn has been appointed as its chief corporate development officer.

Senn, who was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the cannabis industry by High Times, founded Urbn Leaf in 2017 and has been involved in several cannabis ventures over the last 16 years.

Item 9 Strengthens Board Of Directors, Appoints Massage Heights Founder

Item 9 Labs Corp. INLB appointed Shane Evans, founder of Massage Heights, to its board of directors.

Evans has been heavily involved in the health and wellness sector for more than two decades.

She co-founded Massage Heights in 2004 and began franchising the concept in 2005. Under her leadership, the spa franchise grew to more than 120 retreats throughout North America. Today, Evans continues to support Massage Heights as vice chairwoman on the board of directors.

"Shane's success in franchising has been inspiring to watch," said Item 9 Labs' chief franchise officer, Mike Weinberger, who has been in franchising for 20 years. "Her experience leading and developing a fast-growing franchise concept brings tremendous value to the development of our Unity Rd. franchise."

Halo Collective Announces Changes To Board Of Directors

Halo Collective Inc. HALO HCANF (Germany: A9KN) has appointed Avtar Dhaliwal, a specialist in the food industry with expertise in the supply chain, compliance, and regulatory processes, and Quinn Field-Dyte, a renowned financier with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, to the company's board of directors.

Both experts will join the board as independent non-executive directors.

The Toronto-based company also announced the resignation of Peter McRae and Andrew Turman from the board.

Dhaliwal is a third-generation farmer that has managed over 1,000 acres of land and overseen the growth and cultivation of a wide variety of cash crops for retail and wholesale across Canada.

Recently, Dhaliwal was instrumental in navigating companies through compliance and regulatory hurdles of listing products and large-scale distribution.

Halo's experience will be an asset from seed to sale, including cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, distribution and quality control of cannabis flower, oils and concentrates.

In addition, Avtar has been appointed as chair of Halo's compensation committee.

Field-Dyte's career spans decades in the public markets.

He has led financings of hundreds of millions of dollars, including recently being instrumental in a vegan start-up's successful $25-million financing.

Field-Dyte co-founded Embassy Interactive Inc. Currently, he occupies the position of CFO and director at multiple publicly traded companies. He has been appointed as chair of Halo's audit committee.

"We are pleased to welcome Avi and Quinn as new directors to the Halo Board at this important time," said Ryan Kunkel, chairman of the board. "We are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our strategy to be the premier west coast focused cannabis company, to pursue other emerging pathways to wellness, and to optimize our portfolio of key strategic assets such as Triangle Canna, Halo Tek, and Akanda."

TerrAscend Taps Songwriter, Music And Record Producer Kara DioGuardi To Its Board Of Directors

TerrAscend Corp. TER TRSSF has appointed Kara DioGuardi to its board of directors.

A Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, record exec, Broadway actress and former American Idol judge, DioGuardi has released 320 songs by major labels, 11 of which have earned Grammy nominations.

"I am thrilled to add Kara to our board and look forward to leveraging the knowledge and insights she gained as a trailblazer in the music publishing industry," stated Jason Wild, executive chairman of TerrAscend. "In particular, her deep brand-building expertise and eye for talent and product appeal will be beneficial as we integrate our business with Gage Cannabis and focus on increasing brand equity across our core markets."

In addition to her extensive music industry career, DioGuardi co-founded Inspired Nation in 2016, a non-profit that aims to provide young aspiring artists with a platform to tell their stories.

DioGuardi also co-founded Arthouse Entertainment, a music publishing company that holds past and present copyrights of many of the industry's most popular Grammy-winning artists.

Flora Growth Names New CMO

Flora Growth Corp. FLGC continues to strengthen its executive bench with the appointment of Jessie Casner as a chief marketing officer.

Casner joins the company from the recently acquired Vessel brand, where she was vice president of sales and marketing.

The appointment of this position continues to strengthen Flora's executive bench and leadership within the organization.

Casner's experience in brand marketing will support the rapid growth of Flora's core CPG brands, including Vessel, Tonino Lamborghini, Mind Naturals and Stardog.

"This appointment is another example of our commitment to investing in human capital at all levels of the organization. Jessie's expertise in go-to-market strategy and consumer marketing make her the right choice to guide our multi-national marketing campaign objectives for both Flora and our growing portfolio of brands," Luis Merchan, CEO of Flora Growth said.

Photo: Courtesy of Tim Foster on Unsplash

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