Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions January 8, 2021

Australis Capital, Indus Holdings, Flower One, Acreage Holdings, Vext Science, Innovative Industrial Properties make executive changes; Flower One, WeedMD appoint new board members; Steve DeAngelo leaves Harborside.

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Acreage Holdings appointed Peter Caldini to the role of chief executive officer. He joins the company from special purpose acquisition corporation Bespoke where he served as CEO. Caldini’s previous positions include executive roles at Pfizer, Bayer Consumer Health, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

“I am pleased that Peter Caldini is taking the leadership reins at Acreage,” said Kevin Murphy, Acreage founder and chairman of the board. “Cannabis is in the early innings of development, and the winning organizations will be those led by executives with a strong track record of success in highly regulated industries, particularly in [consumer packaged goods] and healthcare. As Acreage’s largest shareholder, I could not be more confident that the future of Acreage is indeed in great hands with Peter.”


Kevin Lawrence joined Indus Holdings as chief revenue officer. He brings to the company more than twenty-five years of leadership experience in cannabis retail and financial technology solutions. Lawrence most recently served as vice president of sales, field marketing, and distribution for Flora California.

“Kevin’s experience and success maximizing revenue potential in this constantly evolving and highly regulated industry will further elevate our market presence and help us achieve our collective goals,” said Indus Holdings co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Ainsworth. “We are proud to have a leader of his caliber and character as a member of our executive team, and we look forward to achieving great success together.”

Richard Groberg replaced David Kane as interim chief financial officer at Flower One Holdings. Groberg’s cumulative track record of both public and private capital raises and M&A transactions exceeds $2 billion.

“We look forward to leveraging Richard’s broad and extensive range of finance, accounting, investment banking, capital markets, and operational experience,” said Flower One president and chief executive officer Ken Villazor. “Richard is an accomplished and experienced financial executive who is highly team oriented in the way he approaches the integration of finance with operations. His strong leadership style along with his broad relationships and understanding of the local Nevada market are very complementary to the company’s strategic direction and priorities.”

Australis Capital appointed Jon Paul as its new chief financial officer. He joins the company from PLUS Products where he served as CFO. Paul holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in accounting from the University of Illinois as well as several financial and non-financial business certificates and designations, including CPA, CMC, CM&AA and Black Belt.

“Jon comes to us with a stellar track record in driving business performance across various sectors, including the U.S. cannabis industry,” said Australis Capital chairperson Dr. Jason Dyck. “With his broad experience across multiple financial disciplines, including financial reporting, M&A, capital markets, corporate financial efficiency, and operations, he is the ideal candidate to take on this key role as AUSA executes on its aggressive growth strategy. I look forward to working closely with Jon as we take AUSA to the next level.”

Vext Science named Stephan Bankosz to the role of chief financial officer for its subsidiary, New Gen Holdings. He brings to the company more than twenty-five years of experience in financial management, operational control, and risk management at leading manufacturing and distribution companies throughout the United States.

“I would like to personally welcome Stephan to the New Gen team in Arizona,” said Vext Chief Executive Officer Eric Offenberger. “As we enter 2021 and prepare to execute our growth plans in an adult-use framework, and as our relationships outside of Arizona start to generate returns, Stephan’s proven background in financial management and technological innovation will be a strong addition to our growing team.”

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) promoted Controller Andy Bui to vice president, chief accounting officer and Senior Real Estate Counsel Kelly Spicher to vice president, real estate counsel.

“Andy has been an invaluable member of our management team and leader of our accounting function over the past three and a half years, during a period of tremendous growth and transformation for our company,” said IIP Chief Financial Officer Catherine Hastings. “As we look forward toward continued execution of our business strategy in an ever-changing environment, we are so grateful to have such a talented accounting team, led by Andy.”

“Kelly has been an absolutely irreplaceable member of our team, first as our go-to outside real estate counsel for several years, and then as the leader of our real estate legal function over the past year plus,” said IIP General Counsel Brian Wolfe. “She has advised IIP on nearly every real estate transaction throughout this time, representing well over $1 billion of commitments, and continues to differentiate herself through her integrity, quality of work, and special ability to forge win-win solutions. We are so pleased to announce this promotion, and to have Kelly leading the charge for all of IIP’s real estate legal matters.”

Directorial and advisory board changes and additions:

Flower One Holdings appointed Nitin Kaushal to its board of directors, replacing Molly Hemmeter. Kaushal currently sits on the board of directors for several other publicly traded cannabis companies, including Delta Nine Cannabis, The Valens Company, and High Tide Inc., along with several biotech and healthcare industry companies.

WeedMD appointed Chief Legal Officer Jason Alexander to its board of directors. He previously served as chief legal officer for Starseed, legal counsel for Shoppers Drug Mart, and as a corporate lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP. He has been with WeedMD since 2018.

Cannabis industry pioneer and Harborside Inc. co-founder Steve DeAngelo left his position as the company’s chairman emeritus.

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