Bruce Linton, the former founder and co-CEO of Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp., has joined Vireo Health as executive chairman, the firm announced on Thursday. In the role, Linton will work closely with Vireo CEO and Founder Kyle Kingsley to “spearhead the company’s strategic decision-making, capital markets activity and future partnerships.”
Linton was ousted from Canopy in July. Linton said he had fallen out of favor with the four directors on Canopy’s board that were installed by alcohol distributor Constellation Brands, which holds about 38 percent of the company’s stock.
In a statement, Linton said he chose to take the role because he shares Vireo’s “ambitious vision for the future of cannabis,” which he said included creating the “next generation of cannabis products.”
“We are confident Vireo can become a top U.S. producer and distributor of high-margin, proprietary products within the next several years and create unprecedented long-term shareholder value.” – Linton, in a statement
In an interview with MarketWatch, Linton said Vireo’s science-backed approach met his “criteria for best practices and a valid methodology.”
“This struck me as a company doing a lot of good work that nobody knows about,” he said.
Kingsley said there “is no greater endorsement” than Linton joining the company’s board.
“Bruce’s extraordinary track record in the cannabis industry speaks for itself and I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work closely with this industry trailblazer,” Kingsley said in a statement.
As executive chairman, Linton will receive incentive-based compensation in the form of three tranches of incentive warrants to acquire up to 15 million subordinate voting shares in Vireo – which is based in Minnesota. Chad Martinson, who has served on the company’s board since March 2019, resigned from his position in conjunction with Linton’s appointment.
According to MarketWatch, Vireo shares rose 26 percent on the news of Linton’s appointment.