Emerald Health Therapeutics
Riaz Bandali has taken the CEO role after spending 25 years in the life sciences industry, most recently at Syneos Health in Montreal. He oversaw a 900-strong team and a global geographic scope in his role as president of the firm’s $2.2 billion early phase clinical services business.
Bandali studied at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, and Harvard Business School, and he has also worked for Danaher Corporation and MDS.
Emerald has also appointed Thierry Schmidt as its chief commercial officer. He will oversee the various sales, marketing, and product development teams.
Schmidt’s career has taken in sales, marketing, and business development roles at major companies including L’Oréal, Avon, and British American Tobacco. He has previously served as president of Emerald’s Verdélite facility in Quebec and he will continue in that role alongside his new responsibilities.
The Verdélite operation is reasonably modest in size, but Emerald has a joint venture called Pure Sunfarms along with Village Farms International, and that is big. Earlier this month it reached its full annualized production rate of 75,000 kg of cannabis, and its annual capacity should reach 150,000 kg by 2021.
This gives Emerald access to large quantities of cannabis and it will be up to Bandali and Schmidt to lead the team to secure deals with retailers and distributors across Canada and further afield.
Chairman and president Avtar Dhillon said Bandali is “very well-equipped to lead our team to leverage and build on our competitive positioning with the goal of achieving growing, sustainable, and profitable revenue streams” in the emerging global cannabis market, while Schmidt will be vital in developing commercial plans as it gains access to increasing amounts of cannabis.
Shares in Emerald have decreased from $3.10 at the start of 2019 to $1.97 when trading opened today, and it has a relatively small market cap compared to Canadian cannabis producers of a similar scale.
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