Toronto-based Namaste, often seen as the “Amazon of cannabis,” is also tapping technology futurist Faraaz Jamal as its new vice president of marketing and strategy.
"We have added strength, oversight, experience, and vision to increase our capacity to achieve our corporate milestones and regain our focus on growth," said Interim CEO Meni Morim. "These three individuals each bring a wealth of history and operational excellence with proven results.”
Andrew Wilczynski, who joins Namaste's board, has been a partner at accounting goliath PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. For the past 38 years, Wilczynski has worked with a wide range of organizations, including start-ups, and multinational corporations to raise capital and to advise on national, international and cross border restructuring initiatives.
Wilczynski has worked with companies across industries to take advantage of growth prospects and to design refinancing and exit strategies. He has expertise with raising capital to implement new technologies and growth strategies, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate takeovers, refinancing and corporate restructuring. He has held leadership and board positions.
Advisory board addition
Andrew Buckman will become the company's first advisory board member. He brings more than two decades of experience in ad-tech, search, start-up creations, and turnaround management in e-commerce and digital advertising. Andrew joined Sublime in 2017 as EMEA managing director and became global chief operations officer in April 2019, adding APAC and the Americas to his responsibilities. Previously, Andrew was EMEA MD at OpenX, where he was responsible for accelerating adoption of the advertising platform throughout the EMEA region. Prior to that, Andrew gained extensive experience in ad-tech through high-profile roles at Yahoo and Tradedoubler.
Marketing and strategy
Faraaz Jamal brings over 12 years of experience in formulating data-driven strategies in e-commerce. At Bulletproof 360, Jamal shifted the marketing department to a custom multi-touch attribution model and optimized advertising spend to 2.2X return on investment across all channels. Prior to Namaste, he had experience with major brands such as Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) and Intiveo.
“Andy provides keen financial strength and brings vast experience with large scale turnaround situations,” said Morim. “Andrew's experience is a great asset in our process to improve efficiencies. I am truly excited to have Faraaz join Namaste and help us build a true data-driven marketing organization. Faraaz will lead the resurgence of our focus on Namaste's brands and their related revenue growth.”
Health Canada regulations update
Namaste said that Calgary-based Choklat Inc in which it acquired a 49% interest in March this year has submitted its license application for edibles manufacturing.
Choklat is the largest premium craft chocolate maker in Canada with existing sales through its e-commerce site and through a network of distributors across Canada. It recently entered into a supply relationship with Sobeys and has its premium chocolate bars in 25 stores in Alberta, with a planned rollout in Western Canada on the anvil.
Meanwhile, Cannmart Labz Inc, in which Namaste has a 51% controlling stake has submitted its license application for oils sales and extraction.
In addition, CannMart has also completed its license application to permit it to offer for sale cannabis oil concentrates on its platform, and awaits Health Canada's approval.
Namaste said it has introduced several important improvements to its CannMart website which is the main distribution channel for the firm's cannabis products.
The company said it is in the “process of reviewing the full scope” of recent regulatory changes, but believes they don’t affect the licensing applications for Choklat, CannMart Lbz, and CannMart.
Namaste operates the largest global cannabis e-commerce platform with over 30 websites in more than 20 countries under a variety of brands.
In addition to selling vaporizers, glassware, accessories and CBD products, Namaste is also involved in medical cannabis, through its licensed subsidiary CannMart Inc, not to mention its efforts in artificial intelligence, cannabis strain research and a global telemedicine app, as well as sales of medical cannabis from its facility in Toronto.
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