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Creso Pharma has eye on North America with new crop of cannabis-credentialled executives

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Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH, OTCQB:COPHF) has launched the next stage of its growth strategy, appointing executives with strong backgrounds in the lucrative cannabis market.

In a push to strengthen its executive team, CPH has appointed William Lay as CEO and managing director, leading cannabis and psychedelics entrepreneur Bruce Linton as a non-executive director and Micheline McKay as an executive director.

CEO with growth ambition

New CEO Lay was previously executive vice president overseeing strategy, origination and operations at Creso Pharma.

Lay is an experienced cannabis executive who began his career in banking, with roles across Canada and London for BMO Capital Markets. He then joined Canopy Growth Corp, rising to associate director of Mergers & Acquisitions in 2019, where he oversaw multiple transactions locally and internationally, while progressing corporate strategy initiatives across the group.

Over the last four years, Lay has managed and supported more than C$5 billion in cannabis M&A transactions, including leading the largest acquisition in the history of the cannabis sector.

Eyeing North America

In his new role, Lay will progress the company’s North American-focused growth strategy, as well as Creso Pharma’s proposed Nasdaq dual listing. He will also oversee the company’s global operations, including Creso Pharma’s Swiss division and potential new market entries.

Creso Pharma plans to leverage his extensive expertise to assess strategic acquisitions in regions where it has an existing footprint, as well as for expansion purposes, with a particular focus on North America.

Leading cannabis and psychedelics entrepreneur Bruce Linton co-founded and led Canopy Growth to become the first cannabis producer on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Lay and Linton worked closely together during their time at Canopy Growth, assessing, overseeing and executing more than C$5 billion in cannabis transactions, including the industry’s largest acquisition to date.

“Importantly, Will, Bruce and Micheline are based in North America,” said chairman Dr James Ellingford.

“This provides a key advantage for Creso Pharma as we continue to build a strong footprint in the region. The company has built a robust pipeline of opportunities in Canada and the US, and we are confident that these new appointments will provide us with additional expertise to execute and unlock value for shareholders.” 

Impressive cannabis rap sheet 

Linton, one of the world’s leading cannabis executives, is an accomplished entrepreneur and has extensive sector experience as a founder, CEO, board member and advisor to several global cannabis and psychedelic focused companies.

Among his many achievements in the sector is his role as founder, chairman and CEO of Canopy Group Corp, which grew to a peak market capitalisation of US$15 billion under his tenure.

He is somewhat of an M&A expert, having secured market support for 16 funding rounds to raise more than US$5 billion and progressing more than 30 successful M&A opportunities.

Canopy Growth grew from start-up to giant, becoming the first producing cannabis company to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

After Canopy, Linton continued to direct investments into the cannabis and psychedelic sector, and worked as executive chairman of Gage Cannabis Co. and a director of psychedelic medicines company, Mind Medicines Inc.

The company plans to use Linton’s deep cannabis and psychedelic industry experience to advance its growth trajectory.

Operations buzzing 

In addition to these two appointments, subsidiary Mernova’s corporate manager Micheline MacKay has been appointed executive director. MacKay will further strengthen the link between the Creso board and senior management team at Mernova, a rapidly growing business unit.

During her time at Mernova, MacKay has been responsible for HR, quality assurance and regulatory affairs and has played a role in growing the holding from 14 to 42 full-time employees.

MacKay has 22 years of experience in regulatory environments, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and government-regulated industries. She has held leadership positions for many years in different areas with a strong focus on business improvements and product development from laboratory scale to commercial operations.

“Micheline has an extensive knowledge of our Mernova subsidiary and has been instrumental in scaling its operations to a solid revenue generator for the company,” Ellingford said.

MacKay will further strengthen the board through her extensive expertise across government and pharmaceutical industry regulation. This will be pivotal as the company continues to progress its growth trajectory as a leading drug and evolutionary therapies developer.

“We are very pleased to have bolstered our leadership team through the appointments of Will, Bruce and Micheline,” said Ellingford.

“Each new board member has excelled in the global cannabis sector, highlighting the potential opportunity for Creso Pharma. Pleasingly, Will and Bruce have an existing, symbiotic relationship from their time working together at Canopy Growth and bring extensive industry experience to our board.”

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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