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PRE-HOLIDAY SHAKEUP: BRUCE LINTON OUT AS CANOPY GROWTH CEO

Canopy Growth’s fourth-quarter earnings disappointed investors and Corona distributor Constellation brands

Usually the day before the July 4th holiday brings either no news or fairly big news that may or may not color the long weekend for those paying attention to moves in the cannabis industry.

Today was more in the fairly-big-news vein.

In a release, Canopy Growth announced a leadership transition with industry thought leader and Canopy’s co-CEO Bruce Linton stepping down, with Mark Zekulin remaining CEO.

Linton will also step down as Canopy Board member. The company said it’s launching a search to identify the leader to guide Canopy into its next phase of growth.

Image via Cannabis World Congress

“Creating Canopy Growth began with an abandoned chocolate factory and a vision,” said Linton in the release. “The Board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over. Mark has been my partner since this Company began and has played an integral role in Canopy’s success. While change is never easy, I have full confidence in the team at Canopy – from Mark and Rade’s leadership to the full suite of leadership – as we progress through this transition and into the future.”

Canopy has had a few ups and downs as of late, and Linton’s departure may be par for the course. Just last month Canopy acquired KeyLeaf Life Sciences, a Canadian-based bio product extractor in “an effort to support the Canadian cannabis producer’s long-term extraction needs and expansion into the U.S. CBD market.”

However, Canopy Growth’s fourth-quarter earnings recently disappointed both investors and Constellation Brands, who invested more than $4 billion in a minority stake in Canopy. The company reportedly sold less cannabis since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada.

“While we remain happy with our investment in the cannabis space and its long-term potential, we were not pleased with Canopy’s recent reported year-end results,” Constellation Brands Chief Executive William Newlands said in an earnings conference call last week. “However, we continue to aggressively support Canopy on a more focused long-term strategy to win markets and form factors that matter, while paving a clear path to profitability.”

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