Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions January 17, 2020

Jushi and SOL Global announce employee departures; Mile High Labs undergoes layoffs; Hunter + Esquire brings on new partner; Viola Brands, Arcview, Kadenwood, hempSMART, Harvest Health, Australis Capital, Hightimes Holding Corp, and FSD Pharma make changes to executive teams.

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Image: Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock.com

Kadenwood, LLC, announced the launch of its new pet-focused products division, Kadenwood Pet, and the appointment of Cristina Weekes as president of the new venture. Weekes brings over a decade of pet category experience and twenty years of leadership in the CPG space with positions at Kraft, Sara Lee, Nabisco, and Central Garden & Pet.

“As we continue to grow the Kadenwood brand, introducing product offerings and expanding into new categories, we look forward to tapping Cristina’s deep industry experience and insights in scaling trusted brands within the pet category,” said Kadenwood Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Erick Dickens. “With an impressive track record of business development through her M&A success and brand scaling experience in the space, she will be an essential asset in growing the Kadenwood Pet product portfolio.”

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Viola Brands appointed Ericka Pittman to the position of chief marketing officer. Pittman brings to the company more than twenty-five years of marketing experience within the CPG, beauty, luxury goods, wine and spirits, food and beverage, tech, and media industries. Most recently she served as CMO at AQUAhydrate, Inc.

“Having Ericka on board at Viola is a special moment for us as we look to place an emphasis on company growth and further place our stake in the ground as leaders within the cannabis industry,” said Viola Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Al Harrington. “Ericka is a highly accomplished marketing executive and knows not only how to get the job done but more importantly how to take Viola to the next level. We couldn’t have brought on a more perfect fit to join Viola at this exciting time.


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Art Massol

Cannabis executive search firm Hunter + Esquire brought on former Mile High Labs Chief Business Development Officer Art Massolo as a new partner in the company. Massolo has consulted on strategy, recruitment, and business development for startups and medium-sized companies in emerging fields throughout his career.

“In working with Art for executive recruiting, I experienced firsthand his passion for helping connect companies and people,” said Hunter + Esquire Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Passman. “Art is an entrepreneur and trailblazer who has built businesses and brands in regulated industries. The expertise he brings to Hunter + Esquire in working with companies who want to build long term success in cannabis was a win-win.”


Max Cohen resigned as chief operating officer for Jushi Holdings Inc. Cohen will continue to serve as a member of the company’s board of directors.

“On behalf of Jushi, I want to thank Max for his invaluable contributions to Jushi during our evolution as a company,” said Jushi Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Cacioppo. “Leveraging his experience in building and operating The Clinic, Max has led significant changes to improve operations driving future growth. We look forward to his continued guidance as a board member.”


Marijuana Company of America subsidiary hempSMART appointed Gloria Albarran Lynch to the position of global marketing and sales manager. Lynch was formerly managing director and chief executive officer at Fuse Digital Group, and has held senior management positions with several corporations in both the United States and Mexico.

“Through Ms. Lynch’s leadership and implementation of a robust new marketing strategy, our premium quality hempSMART products will be positioned in front of a larger audience of potential customers,” said Marijuana Company of America Chief Executive Officer Jesus Quintero. “We are elated to have hired a successful sales veteran such as Ms. Lynch to help us spearhead this strategy.”


Harvest Health & Recreation Inc replaced departing Chief Operating Officer John Cochran with Ron Goodson, a thirty-five-year veteran of North America Pepsi Beverages Company. Most recently, Goodson served as president and chief operating officer at cannabis company Verano Holdings.

“Ron’s veteran expertise in the consumer goods and across several cannabis channels will help us scale our operations, increase our focus on providing great retail cannabis experiences for patients and consumers, and expand the reach of our brands,” said Harvest Chief Executive Officer Steve White. “Throughout his career Ron has been responsible for multi-million-dollar deals, significant production efficiencies across operations, and has a proven reputation as one of the most successful managers in talent acquisition and retainment—he’s a great fit for what makes Harvest successful. As Harvest continues its growth and operational excellence in 2020, Ron’s skills and demonstrated track record in the cannabis industry will be an invaluable asset to the Harvest family.”


Alex Han, formerly vice president of accounting, has been promoted to chief accounting officer at Australis Capital Inc. Han also will serve as interim chief financial officer in the wake of Michael Carlotti’s termination.

“Alex is an exceptional executive who has proven her unique skill set this past year and brought tremendous value to AUSA,” said AUSA Chief Executive Officer Scott Dowty. “As AUSA evolves, Alex will work closely with the AUSA C-suite and board of directors delivering on sound accounting practices, regulatory compliance, and strategic planning while expanding her highly skilled team.”


Robert Reid stepped down from the board of directors at SOL Global Investments Corp.

“We wish Robert well on his new journey,” said SOL Global Chief Executive Officer Brady Cobb. “Since joining SOL’s board, Robert has been an important part of our team who has overseen tremendous growth and key hiring decisions. While we will all miss his insight, we are also excited to see how his new professional pursuits will impact the world.”

“I would like to thank Brady and his team for the opportunity to sit on the board of this dynamic investment company and wish them every success moving forward,” said Reid.


FSD Pharma Inc. appointed three new executives: Chief Financial Officer Donal Carroll who previously served as interim CFO, Chief Operating Officer of FV Pharma Shahzad Shah, and Vice President & Head of Clinical Research Sandra Lottes.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Donal Carroll transition into a permanent leadership role and are thrilled to welcome Dr. Sandra Lottes and Mr. Shahzad Shah to the FSD Pharma executive team, as we begin to write the next chapter of FSD Pharma in the new year,” said FSD Executive Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Raza Bokhari, MD.


Hightimes Holding Corp. named Stormy Simon, former president at Overstock.com, to the position of chief executive officer after the resignation of Kraig Fox. Simon currently serves on the company’s board of directors and previously served as an advisory board member for CannaKids.

“Stormy Simon, who rose through the ranks at Overstock.com during her 15-year tenure with the company, has extensive international business relations and marketing experience, and is highly skilled at breaking down and rebuilding departments,” said Hightimes Executive Chairman Adam E. Levin. “Stormy revolutionized Overstock.com’s marketing department, and then its customer service department, during an uncharted time in e-commerce history, eventually leading Overstock.com to increase its revenues from $20 million to over $2 Billion.”


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Kimberly Kovacs

The Arcview Group announced the appointment of MyJane Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Kovacs to the position of president. Kovacs most recently served as president of the Los Angeles Venture Association where she launched the CannaLAVA strategic group.

“Prior to MyJane, Kim founded or co-founded six additional companies, raised more than $100M in equity capital, and has been an active angel investor for more than ten years,” said Arcview Executive Chairman Jerry Stone. “Kim brings a diverse skill set and broad range of executive experience to Arcview in a time of volatility, growth, and opportunity in cannabis investing.”


Colorado-based CBD producer Mile High Labs, laid off twenty employees this month. According to Mile High’s Chief Financial Officer Jon Hilley via The Denver Post, the positions primarily were in entry-level sales.


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