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Cannabis Briefs for February 25, 2020

February 25, 2020

•Napa Valley cannabis wine brand House of Saka has hired Constellation veteran Sue Bachorski as chief operating and financial officer. Bachorski has been an operations and finance executive at Constellation for nearly 30 years and most recently was senior vice president, operation services, global wine and spirits. She has also notably been senior vice president, CFO of Constellation Wines North America and CFO of Pacific Wine Partners. With House of Saka, Bachorski will oversee operations, logistics, and finance as the company expands its portfolio and distribution footprint.

•Massachusetts operator Acreage Holdings has been approved to begin selling recreational cannabis in Illinois. Acreage had established a presence in the state through its Nature’s Care Company dispensaries but had been limited to medical sales. In addition to its own brands like The Botanist, Natural Wonder, and Prime, Acreage has begun marketing Canopy Growth’s Tweed brand in the U.S. as part of their pending $3.4 billion acquisition deal, which is contingent upon federal legalization of adult-use sales.

•California cannabis manufacturer and retailer Nug has made several additions to its executive team, pulling from the beverage world. Steve Lilak will join the company as director of sales, joining from CBD luxury lifestyle brand Toast. In previous roles, Lilak has served as an executive at Southern Wine & Spirits, spent 11 years with E.&J. Gallo Winery, and was director of sales for Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits, among other positions. Meanwhile, former sales director Ted Whitney is moving up to vice president of operations. Whitney has an extensive background in craft beer, with experience at Avery Brewing as well as time as national sales director for both 21st Amendment and Melvin Brewing. Nug has also hired Alissa Berihu as director of product development; she brings a background in health and wellness consumer packaged goods as a founding partner of Andalou Naturals. She will lead the company’s first forays into nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals.

•Canadian cannabis sales reached a new high in December, according to new data from Statistics Canada. Sales were relatively flat from August through October at around C$125 million ($94m) before jumping to C$135 million ($101.6m) in November. Purchases rose another 8% in December to hit C$146 million ($109.8m). Three provinces contributed the lion’s share of that figure—Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta were all nearly even at C$33 million ($24.8m) for the month. The only province to shed value was British Columbia, which dropped to C$17 million ($12.8m), ranking fourth overall.

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