Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions May 8, 2020

Decibel, Supreme Cannabis, CannaSafe, iAnthus, BaM, Neptune Wellness, PharmaCielo make executive changes; Aleafia, Cannabics, HIA, Sundial make changes to board; Feuerstein Kulick adds new partner.

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Image: ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

CannaSafe President Aaron Riley has been appointed as the company’s new chief executive officer. The news follows a mutually agreed upon buyout of CannaSafe’s previous business partners.

“I am thrilled to reach an outcome that is favorable for all parties and want to thank my former business partners. We’re proud of our accomplishments thus far and I look forward to continuing to lead further growth and to navigate this pandemic safely, together as a team,” said Riley. “Our continued services amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of our new mission and core values.”


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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) transitioned four board members: Vice President Rick Trojan was named President, Treasurer Mike Lewis was named vice president, Board Directors Annie Rouse and Frank Robison were respectively named secretary and treasurer.

“The whole board is energized by the new appointees,” said Trojan “Now our top priority is finding the right executive director to run the day-to-day operations for HIA. We had over 100 amazing applicants before the February deadline and now we have the tough job of narrowing it down. It’s probably one of the most important decisions we will make this year and we want to get it right.”


Cannabics Pharmaceuticals appointed Prof. Zamir Halpern to its Scientific Board of Advisors. Halpern currently serves as chairman for the National Gastro Nutrition and Liver Diseases Council at the Ministry of Health. He previously served as chairman for the Israeli Association of the Study of Liver, the Israeli Gastroenterology Association, and the National Council for Food and Agriculture.

“We are thankful to be joined by an individual of such caliber as Prof. Halpern,” said Dr. Gil Feiler, head of the advisory board for Cannabics. “Following the results previously announced of our pre-clinical trials in Israel. Prof. Halpern’s knowledge, expertise and deep understanding in gastroenterology will support the company’s vision and efforts in personalizing cannabinoid-based therapies.”


Supreme Cannabis Company named Beena Goldenberg to the roles of president and chief executive officer. She replaces interim president and CEO Colin Moore. Goldenberg joins the company from Hain Canada where she served as chief executive officer.

“The board and I are thrilled to welcome Beena Goldenberg to lead the company as our new president and CEO,” said Michael La Brier, chairman of the board for Supreme Cannabis. “Beena is a proven entrepreneurial leader in the Canadian [consumer packaged goods] sector who will apply her passion and expertise in marketing and manufacturing to Supreme Cannabis’ brands and operations.”


Edward (Ted) A. Hellard resigned from his role as executive chairman for the board of directors at Canadian cultivator Sundial Growers. Current nominees for the vacated position include existing board members Zach George, Gregory Turnbull, Elizabeth Cannon, and Bryan Pinney.

“Our director nominees have a strong mix of skills, experience, and market knowledge to provide effective oversight and direction to Sundial,” said Greg Mills, Sundial’s chairman of the board. “The Board remains committed to implementing strong corporate governance practices and will continue to work closely with management, as we restructure the business and drive long-term value creation. The board thanks Ted and wishes him well in his future endeavors.”


Upon acceptance of a report from a special committee of independent directors which reviewed and confirmed allegations against its chief executive officer, iAnthus Capital Holdings accepted the resignation of CEO Hadley Ford. iAnthusco-founder and President Randy Maslow was named interim CEO. Maslow also serves as a member of the Federal Policy Council of the National Cannabis Industry Association, and on the board of directors for the Cannabis Trade Federation, the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, and the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association.

“I look forward to working closely with Randy as interim CEO and the special committee as the company explores strategic alternatives,” said iAnthus Chief Strategy Officer Elizabeth Stavola.

The company additionally announced the resignation of Mark Dowley from its board of directors.


Decibel Cannabis Company co-founder and Chief Financial Officer Taylor Ethans resigned from his position as CFO. Stuart Boucher, the company’s current director of corporate development and strategy, has been named interim chief financial officer. Prior to joining Decibel, Boucher worked in investment banking at BMO Capital Markets.

“Taylor co-founded Decibel and led from the position of chief financial officer since inception,” said Decibel’s Chairman of the Board Cody Church. “On behalf of the entire company, we would like to thank Taylor for his leadership, hard work, and commitment to Decibel. We wish Taylor nothing but continued success in his future endeavors.”


High Point Jewelry, previously known as GENIFER M Jewelry, made several changes to its executive suite. Chief Financial Officer Pam Donner transitioned to chief executive officer, Controller Kelly Arnold transitioned to chief financial officer, and Co-founder Genifer Murray is no longer with the company.

“Our previous brand spoke to a lot of people within a small demographic,” said co-founder and Creative Director Glenn Murray. “As we matured, we recognized the need to move in new directions, attract new customers, and to redefine our brand to become relevant to a larger population.”


Body and Mind (BaM), a multi-state cannabis operator, appointed interim Chief Executive Officer Michael Mills as its permanent CEO.

“Michael and the team he leads at Body and Mind have diligently executed on the strategy of debt-free, strategic expansion of the company,” said BaM Director David Wenger.

“I appreciate the support moving to a permanent CEO role and look forward to working with our team expanding our cultivation, production, and dispensary operations across four states,” said Mills.


Following the resignation of Julian Fantino and Raf Souccar, Aleafia Health appointed two new independent directors to its board: Rhonda Lawson and Glenn Washer.

“I would like to welcome Rhonda and Glenn to our board,” said Aleafia Health Lead Independent Director Lea Ray. “Their vast leadership experience as directors and executives with major clinical research, biotechnology, healthcare, and insurance organizations will serve us well in our continued growth.”

“As proud founders of Aleafia Health, we have watched a nascent idea grow into a successful company with a well-earned reputation for medical cannabis care. I am delighted to see the progress of Aleafia from idea, to execution, to cannabis health and wellness leader,” said Fantino.

“While the Company has grown, the vision has remained the same. We are confident in Aleafia Health’s bright future and thank our committed team for the great work they have done and will continue to do,” said Souccar.


Jeff Schultz joined Feuerstein Kulick LLP as a partner in the firm’s New York office. Schultz most recently served as general counsel and partner at Navy Capital where he was an active advocate before the United States Senate, the New York State Senate, and other legislative and administrative bodies on cannabis policy reforms, including passage of the SAFE Banking Act.

“We’re thrilled to add a partner of Jeff’s caliber to our growing law firm,” said Feuerstein Kulick’s co-managing partner Dave Feuerstein. “As a client and a friend, we’ve known Jeff and have admired his legal acumen for years. Jeff has deep experience within the investment management industry and understands the full range of issues that funds face daily in fund structuring, compliance, capital raising, risk management, and other areas. His first-hand perspective as in-house counsel provides a unique and valuable perspective that allows him to provide real-world advice and practical solutions to the complex issues faced by investment funds and investors in the cannabis industry.”


Canadian extraction company Neptune Wellness Solutions appointed Russell Jay to the role of vice president of U.S. sales. Jay joins Neptune from Liviva Foods where he served as chief customer officer for its west coast operations. Previous appointments include vice president of sales strategy at Henkel Consumer Goods, customer marketing manager at Unilever, and sales leadership positions at Kroger, Costco and Purex Brands.

“Russ is a proven sales executive with a successful career in driving impressive revenue and profit gains and reaching aggressive business objectives,” said Michael Cammarata, chief executive officer for Neptune Wellness Solutions. “His experience in personal and home care is particularly relevant as we ramp up our focus on growing these product categories to meet strong customer and consumer demand for natural, plant-based products that support health and wellness.”


PharmaCielo appointed board of directors’ member Henning von Koss to the role of president. He will remain on the company’s board. Von Koss’s career spans over 30 years’ international experience and includes senior executive roles with Bayer pharmaceutical and other large health organizations.

“I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Henning von Koss to the role of president,” said PharmaCielo Chief Executive Officer David Attard. “With a robust agenda ahead for 2020 we identified the need for a proven leader with deep experience in Latin America and Europe, specifically to ensure our processing and extraction capabilities come online in an efficient manner, to assist with our sales and product strategy particularly as we grow in Europe and to ensure we are ready to scale further in 2021. Henning is a known quantity, having made several key contributions to the company’s development as a member of the board of directors and as an individual I have heavily relied on since becoming CEO. I have been consistently impressed by his strategic contributions.”


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