Canopy Growth CEO Talks Leadership Concerns, Vaping, Beverages, Acreage Deal

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Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) is larger than any one CEO, as it boasts thousands of employees across five continents and a strong portfolio of intellectual property, outgoing CEO Mark Zekulin told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

Leadership Talks

The Canadian cannabis company fired co-CEO Bruce Linton in the summer, and Zekulin announced shortly thereafter that he will step down when a new permanent CEO is appointed.

Regardless of who occupies the most senior leadership role, Canopy is driven by its employees, who are “committed to a culture of vision, excellence [and] long-term shareholder value,” Zekulin said on Cramer’s “Mad Money” show Monday evening.

“We are excited about the next CEO, but it is just one piece of the puzzle.” 

Canopy’s next CEO could come from industries such as beverages, alcohol, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals or even the tech sector, Zekulin said. 

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Easing Vape Concerns

The vaping industry as a whole is impacted by “tragic” stories in the U.S. and comes at a time when Canopy is prepping an entry into the Canadian market, the CEO said.

The difference between the U.S. and Canadian market is regulation, and the rules north of the border add clarity and govern products, he said.

Canopy will only work with regulated stores and companies that have a reputation for safety, Zekulin said. 

“The key part for us is to focus on the Canadian model,” he said. “We should be looking to where there’s regulations.”

Cannabis Beverage Opportunity

Canopy received a multibillion-dollar investment from alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ), which gives the company an opportunity to create a “precisely dosed product” that offers a “reliable experience” with the familiarity of beer or an alcoholic beverage, Zekulin said. 

A cannabis product could include fewer calories or eliminate hangovers, he said. 

Acreage Deal

Canopy’s acquisition offer for Acreage Holdings Inc (OTC: ACRGF) is contingent on cannabis production and sales becoming legal at the federal level in the U.S.

Zekulin told Cramer he expects this “triggering event” to occur within six years, and at that point Canopy will be able to leverage its IP and make one of best U.S. operators even better, he said. 

Canopy Growth shares were down 3.52% at $24.70 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

Related Links:

Exclusive: Canopy Growth Co-Founder Bruce Linton On His Next Steps, Says ‘I’m Cheering For Entrepreneurs’

Bruce Linton On Vaping Regulations That Could Be ‘Better For Public Safety’

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