Top Cannabis Regulator Jumps To Another Gig, Bhang CEO Steps Down & Other Strategic Marijuana Industry Leadership Changes

As Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference returns on September 13-14 to Chicago, gathering top CEOs, investors and leaders in the industry, let's scroll through the latest leadership changes within the space.

Bhang Inc President, CEO, & Board Member, Jamie L. Pearson, Steps Downs 

Bhang Inc. BHNG BHNGF announced the resignation of the president, CEO and board member Jamie L. Pearson, who has been with the company since 2015 and served as president/CEO of the award-winning brand since 2019.

Under Pearson’s leadership, Bhang transformed from a California favorite into a global cannabis household name. She launched the brand into six U.S. states including a multi-state deal with Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TCNNF and ushered Bhang into Canada where it has been the #1 and #2 top-selling cannabis-infused chocolate for over two years.

Fluent in German, Pearson also expanded the CBD division into nine European countries, further amplifying the brand’s reach. Twice named to High Times’ list of most influential women in cannabis, Pearson secured celebrity partnerships for Bhang with Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs, the Soul Assassins, Jim Belushi and The Blues Brothers.

A search for Pearson's replacement is expected to begin shortly. In the meantime, board chair Graham Simmonds will assume the role of interim CEO.

“I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with so many incredible people and feel overwhelming gratitude for all the success I experienced, Pearson said. “It is a testament to the strength of what Bhang's founders built and the passion, dedication, and inspired work of our team day in day out.”

Pearson didn’t disclose her reasons for resignation.

Executive Director Of Michigan Cannabis Reg. Agency Leaves Position To Join LARA 

Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency executive director, Andrew Brisbo, is resigning from this position to take a new one at the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), reported the Detroit Free Press. Brisbo will be the new director of Michigan’s Bureau of Construction Codes, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office revealed Tuesday.

"We are proud of the incredible team at the Cannabis Regulatory Agency for establishing Michigan as one of the top cannabis markets in the country," Bobby Leddy, a spokesperson for Whitmer, said in an emailed statement.

Under Brisbo's guidance, Michigan's recreational cannabis industry further developed. In June, the state adult-use cannabis sales reached almost $166 million, compared to $107 million a year prior.

The Flowr Corporation Appoints New CEO And Makes Other Leadership Changes 

The Flowr Corporation (TSX.V: FLWR) FLWPF announced leadership and governance changes with the appointments of Darren Karasiuk to the role of chief executive officer and director and the additions of Stephen Arbib as chairman and Marvin Singer to the board of directors. Tom Flow, who has acted as Interim CEO of Flowr since March, remains on the board alongside incumbents Joanne Lee and Ryan Roebuck.

“I’d like to thank both the board for the opportunity to lead Flowr and Tom for his leadership while serving as Interim CEO,” CEO Darren Karasiuk stated. “With a renewed focus on leveraging the company’s core assets and addressing markets it’s best capable of competing and winning in, I’m excited about what Flowr, its team of committed professionals and highly-engaged Board will be able to achieve.”

Demand Brands Announces New CEO, Marking the Completion of the CF3 SPVI, LLC Transition

Demand Brands, Inc. DMAN, a vertically integrated cannabis company, confirmed the completion of the CF3 SPVI, LLC post-acquisition milestones including the appointment of Kevin Sparks as CEO of the company, as it bids farewell to Andrew Colehower and Ankur Chhapolika.

Andrew was the CEO and Ankur was the CFO. With the completion of the CF3 transition, they have resigned.

"We thank Andrew and Ankur for their contributions to Demand Brands and wish them well in their next endeavors," stated Dawn R. Loos, a member of the board of directors. "Kevin brings over twenty years of experience in the cannabis industry. Over the last few months, Kevin has been instrumental in propelling forward the Company's long-term vision, and we are confident that he will continue to do so."

InMed Announces Changes To Its Board Of Directors

InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. INM, a leader in the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of rare cannabinoids, announced Tuesday the appointment of Nicole Lemerond to its board of directors, effective immediately.

Lemerond is a financial executive with over 25 years of experience in investment management, private equity, investment banking and leveraged finance. She has significant experience executing complex transactions, managing diligence processes, raising capital and structuring balance sheets. Throughout her career, Lemerond has worked with public and private company management teams and boards to increase stakeholder value. She established and led healthcare groups at leading investment firms and has also worked at several large financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers and The Carlyle Group.  

CryoMass Technologies Appoints Top Extractor Sales Veteran To Lead Global Sales Just Ahead Of California Product Launch

CryoMass Technologies Inc. CRYM welcomed Mike Stringile to lead its worldwide sales team as it prepares to launch its first commercial installation next month in Monterey, California. Stringile brings unsurpassed cannabis industry extraction knowledge and sales experience to CryoMass.

CryoMass director and CEO Christian Noël stated, "Having someone with both the technical extraction expertise and proven sales experience that Mr. Stringile possesses is extremely rare in today's cannabis industry. I am extremely confident that between Mike and our current director of U.S. sales, Steve Cimini, we have the perfect team to rapidly build an international sales and toll-partnering network that generates millions of dollars of revenues."

Micellae Delivery Systems Appoints Dr. Andrew Kerklaan As CEO

Micellae Delivery Systems Inc. the provider of solubility and bioavailability-enhancing technology for cannabinoids, announced the appointment of Dr. Andrew Kerklaan as the company's new chief executive officer. 

Dr. Kerklaan takes over from Dr. Mehdi Nouraei, Micellae's founder, who will now focus on his roles as chief science officer and chairman of the board. "We have enjoyed significant growth in the last 12 months, and it is now time for an experienced industry CEO to accelerate our expansion into the US and other international markets, while strengthening Micellae's R&D and commercial activities in Canada," said Dr. Nouraei. "Andrew has an impressive track record; we are delighted to welcome him to the team.

Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

Meet a slew of cannabis execs, entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, et al. at the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, Sept. 13-14 in Chicago. Get your tickets HERE and reserve your spot at the Palmer House Hotel HERE.

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Posted In: CannabisNewsPenny StocksMarketsAndrew BrisboAndrew ColehowerAndrew KerklaanAnkur ChhapolikaCannabis executivesCannabis Movers and ShakersChristian NoëlCypress HillDarren KarasiukDawn R. LoosDetroit Free PressDJ MuggsGretchen WhitmerJamie L. PearsonJim BelushiJoanne LeeKevin SparksMarvin SingerMehdi NouraeiMichigan’s Cannabis Regulatory AgencyNicole LemerondRyan RoebuckStephen ArbibSteve CiminiThe Blues BrothersTom Flow
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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!