By: Rob Wertheimer
Canopy Growth announced the departure of Bruce Linton, co-CEO and Chairman of the board, this morning. Bruce commented on CNBC that he had been terminated. The news follows shortly after Canopy’s largest shareholder, Constellation, expressed dissatisfaction with results.
Cannabis needs to make a shift, from a narrative that was all about potential (something Bruce was instrumental in helping spread and create) to execution. Cannabis has all the difficulties of operating a consumer products business, squared or cubed, given the interplay of cannabis specific factors. Companies need to ramp production quickly, to participate in a potential market share grab, but starting from zero and accelerating to 100kph isn’t easy. Regulators have restricted branding opportunity in Canada, and haven’t allowed enough retail distribution outlets either. Changes to the regulatory and legal landscape are rapid, as is the rise and fall of competition. All that requires a very sharp focus and company-wide operational skill, which is a thing not easily built.