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Former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton joins US cannabis company's board, Vireo stock surges 35%

Zack Guzman
Senior Writer

Cannabis pioneer and former Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton announced Thursday he’s landed a new job atop a growing U.S. marijuana company. 

Linton tells Yahoo Finance he’s taking on the role of Executive Chairman at Minneapolis-based Vireo Health (VREOF), a U.S. multi-state operator with licenses to operate in 10 states and Puerto Rico.

“I am delighted to be joining Vireo, one of the most exciting cannabis companies in the United States with an impressive medical and scientific team developing the next generation of cannabis products,” Linton said in a statement provided to Yahoo Finance. “We are confident Vireo can become a top U.S. producer and distributor of high-margin, proprietary products within the next several years and create unprecedented long-term shareholder value.”

Former Canopy Growth Chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton was pushed out of the company in July. Now, he's taking on a new role at Vireo Health as executive chairman (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Shares in the publicly traded company closed at $1.04 a share at market close Wednesday. Vireo’s market cap topped $90 million as of market close Wednesday. 

Linton, who led Canopy Growth to become the most valuable cannabis company by market cap before he was fired by Canopy’s board this summer, is set to receive an incentive-based compensation totaling 15 million subordinate voting Vireo shares, according to the company. 

Vireo, led by CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley, cultivates cannabis, manufactures pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts, and sells products at both company-owned and third-party dispensaries. The company notched $7.2 million in revenue during its latest quarter, marking a 70% growth rate over last year, led mostly by legacy market growth in Minnesota and New York. That trails the size of leading multistate operator Curaleaf by a wide margin, which posted managed second-quarter revenue of $55.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA, however, was roughly similar at the two companies over the same time period, with Vireo’s $2.3 million only slightly trailing Curaleaf’s $3.4 million. 

Linton’s new role now complements other positions he took at other U.S. cannabis companies this summer, including the role of Gage Cannabis Executive Chairman. After leaving Canopy Growth in July, Linton noted a non-compete clause that prevented him from working with competing Canadian cannabis companies. 

Tune in to Yahoo Finance’s interview with Bruce Linton and Vireo CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley on YFi PM at 1:15PM EST Thursday.

Zack Guzman is the host of YFi PM as well as a senior writer and on-air reporter covering entrepreneurship, cannabis, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @zGuz.

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