CULTIVATED: Big pharma bets on CBD — Recession-proof cannabis jobs — C-suite shakeups

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Hello everyone,

This week, I’ve mostly been heads down on a story I’m excited to share with you all. It’s not quite there yet, so keep your eyes peeled next week. 

We’ll have a quick Cultivated edition to tide you all over in the meantime. I got an exclusive interview with Perrigo’s CEO, Murray Kessler, about why the generic drug giant is making a move into CBD.

“One of the biggest things I heard from our customers was a lack of trust in the supply chain,” Kessler told me. “There’s the debate of, is this product reliable? Is it trusted? Or is it just a bunch of people mixing chemicals in their garage?”

You can read that story here.

I’m off today for Juneteenth, now a company holiday at BI. 

-Jeremy

Here’s what we wrote about this week:

The CEO of one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers tells us why he’s making a $50 million bet on CBD

Perrigo is paying $50 million for a 20% stake in Kazmira, a Colorado-based CBD manufacturer.

“I like to shake things up,” Perrigo’s CEO, Murray Kessler, told BI in an exclusive interview, when asked why it was the right time to enter the CBD space. Kessler has been on the job for 18 months and joined Perrigo after a long career in the food and tobacco industries.

The most recession-proof jobs in cannabis right now, according to recruiting experts

This one’s from Andrew Ward, a freelancer here at BI. 

While no job in the ever-growing field of cannabis is truly “recession-proof,” experts warned, there are some roles that are more likely to last through the pandemic than others.

Growers and cultivators who work directly with the plant are both fairly stable jobs, as well as those in delivery. There’s also always going to be a need for compliance help, whether in accounting, legal, or licensing.

Executive moves

  • MedMen cofounders Adam Bierman and Andrew Modlin stepped down from the company’s board, officially ending Bierman’s often chaotic tenure at the cannabis retailer.
  • Canopy Growth founder Bruce Linton is out at Vireo Health, after joining the company in 2019. He served as executive chairman since November. 
  •  Dr. Narayan R Kissoon, a headaches expert at the Mayo Clinic, is joining Bright Minds’ board, where he’ll be leading clinical trials around the efficacy of psilocybin on cluster headaches.
  • Daniel Yi said in a LinkedIn post that he stepped down from his role as Chief Communications Officer at Shryne Group, a California cannabis company. Yi formerly ran communications at MedMen.
  • Aurora Cannabis cofounder and company president Steve Dobler is stepping down from the Canadian cannabis cultivator at the end of this month. He’ll also be giving up his board seat.
  • TILT CFO David Caloia left his role at the company on June 12. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by Brad Hoch.
  • Michele Roberts, the executive director of the NBA player’s union, is joining the board of Cresco Labs. 
  • Canopy Growth CFO Mike Lee is joining Canopy Rivers’ board. 

Deals, deals, deals

  • Acreage Holdings is borrowing $15 million at a whopping 60% interest rate, secured by the company’s cannabis operations in Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey, as well as its IP. 

What we’re reading

Despite legalization, people of color still disproportionately targeted for marijuana, new studies say (Denver Post)

Racist cannabis arrests put Black Americans at higher risk of Covid-19 (Quartz)

Method Man launches cannabis venture to support Black business (Bloomberg)

Lawsuit: Tilray execs misled investors over ABG cannabis deal (Marijuana Business Daily)

At virtual conference, cannabiz grasps for new normal (WeedWeek)

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