Bruce Linton, the founder and former chief executive officer of Canopy Growth, one of the world’s largest and highest valued cannabis companies, is headed to Vireo Health as executive chairman.
Vireo is one of ten medical cannabis license holders in New York, where the company is also licensed to grow hemp. Acreage Holdings, which is in the process of being acquired by Canopy Growth, is also a medical cannabis license holder in the state. Linton was ousted as Canopy CEO due in part to pressure from global alcohol giant Constellation Brands, which is behind brands like Corona and SVEDKA and invested $4 billion into Canopy.
New York’s cannabis industry is poised for growth, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for a regional approach to adult use legalization and lawmakers are preparing for another legalization push in 2020. (Read Cannabis Wire’s latest on what’s developing in New York.)
Linton said in a statement that he was “delighted” to be joining Vireo, an “exciting” cannabis company “with an impressive medical and scientific team developing the next generation of cannabis products.”
“Beyond the attractive collection of strategic assets and intellectual property that [founder Kyle Kingsley] has assembled, I have taken this role because I share the Company’s ambitious vision for the future of cannabis. We are confident Vireo can become a top US producer and distributor of high-margin, proprietary products within the next several years and create unprecedented long-term shareholder value,” Linton added.
Linton has been offered up to 15 million subordinate voting shares in the company. This is the second executive chairman role Linton has announced since his departure from Canopy: in September, he announced his role as executive chairman of Michigan cannabis company Gage Growth Corp. (As Cannabis Wire pointed out in September, the announcement was timed with the company’s rebranding to add “Growth” to the name, as it was previously Gage Cannabis Co.)
Kingsley said in a statement that “there is no greater endorsement than Bruce Linton joining as Executive Chairman. Bruce’s extraordinary track record in the cannabis industry speaks for itself.”
Vireo Health operates in 11 states, including Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island.
(Check out Cannabis Wire’s Database Hub, where we have the profiles of some of the highest valued cannabis companies in the world, like Canopy Growth.)