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20 power players putting down roots in the cannabis industry

In part two of The Cannabis Power List, meet the “Willy Wonka of Weed” and the other trendsetters who early on set their sights on the sector

From Financial Post link to article by Financial Post Staff October 10, 2018

Dan Daviau

Dan Daviau
Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. CEO may not be the first name that springs to mind in cannabis, but he deserves credit for steering a once-middling investor into an industry powerhouse that has made the most deals (32 between July 1, 2017, and July 15, 2018, according to FP Data Group) and raised more than twice as much money ($1.48 billion) than any other player. In August, it also launched a cannabis-focused special-purpose acquisition corporation. In Canada, Canaccord’s team is led by managing directors Steve Winokur (investment banking), Graham Saunders (head of origination) and Jamie Nagy (co-head of M&A).

Terry Booth
RELATED STORIES:Quebec cannabis giant HEXO acquires Newstrike Brands in $260-million dealU.S. bill that aims to open financial system to cannabis companies could be bad news for Canada’s pot sectorHarvest acquires Verano for US$850 million as U.S. cannabis consolidation heats upAurora Cannabis Inc. CEO leads one of the top five licensed producers and is known for making blockbuster acquisitions that have let the company quickly jump into the big leagues.

Vic Neufeld
Aphria Inc. CEO, and formerly CEO of Jamieson Vitamins, has embraced the global possibilities that Canada’s first mover status provides with dealings in Germany, Italy, Lesotho, Malta and Australia.

Michael Gorenstein

Michael Gorenstein
Cronos Group Inc. CEO oversees three licensed medical marijuana producers, operations in Germany, Israel and Australia and the company was the first to list on Nasdaq. The lawyer by trade has collected stakes in a number of assets and partnerships, including one that established Indigenous Roots, the first Indigenous company to get into the medical marijuana business.

Brian Athaide
Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. CEO is trying to make good on a promise to be the world’s largest organic cannabis producer. The company had the largest cannabis IPO, raising $132.1 million in May.

Frederic Landtmeters
Molson Coors Canada CEO inked a joint-venture with the Hydropothecary Corp. to develop cannabis-infused beverages, the first consumer giant to announce such a deal.

Vic Neufeld

Chuck Rifici
Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. CEO has been dubbed the “Willy Wonka of Weed” and “Godfather of Canadian Weed” and is sometimes seen as a controversial figure, though always at the industry’s centre.

Matthew MacIssaac and Hillel Meltz
MMCAP Fund Inc. founders have funded many deals, sometimes controversially, including an early round for Tweed Marijuana Inc. in 2014. Public records show MMCAP has pumped at least $600 million into more than a dozen cannabis companies over the past three years, from big names such as Aurora Cannabis Inc. to smaller players like Invictus MD Strategy Corp.

Jim Christodoulis
Clarus Securities Inc. CEO leads the industry’s third-biggest dealmaker by both the amount of capital raised ($556.8 million) and number of deals (nine).

Jim Christodoulis

David Morrison
Eight Capital Corp. CEO heads a financial company that made 13 deals worth a total of $463.9 million, according to FP Data Group, good enough for second and fourth spots, respectively.

Dan Barclay
The co-head of Global Investment and Corporate Banking at BMO Capital Markets is the point person at the only major Canadian bank to have officially entered the industry. The bank may have only made four deals between July 1, 2017, and July 15, 2018, but they totalled a whopping $629.9 million, according to FP Data Group, which was good enough for second in terms of the amount of money involved.

Steve Ottaway
Managing director of investment banking at GMP Securities LP, which was the fifth biggest dealmaker by capital raised ($385.7 million) and fourth by number of deals (seven).

Russell Stanley

Russell Stanley
The Echelon Wealth Partners analyst who covers cannabis for the independent wealth manager and capital markets adviser has been one of the most quotable in the past
18 months.

Richard Carleton
CEO of CNSX Markets Inc. and the Canadian Securities Exchange, which in 2014 made the decision to welcome cannabis companies, and it now lists more than 70.

Eric Foster 
The partner at law firm Dentons and head of its Canadian cannabis practice has advised on a number of deals including multiple private placement and public offering of shares for Cronos Group Inc.

Allan Rewak

James Burns
Alcanna Inc. CEO heads an Edmonton-based beverage alcohol retailer, with 229 retail outlets in Western Canada and Alaska, that inked a deal with Aurora Cannabis Inc. that gives it exclusive rights to open retail cannabis stores under the Aurora brand. In Alberta, Alcanna anticipates opening 37 stores, starting Oct. 17, the maximum number permitted to a single operator under provincial regulations.

Matei Olaru 
Lift & Co. CEO oversees the country’s largest and best-known cannabis expo, as well as an online review site, which gives consumers reward points for reviewing product, and magazine.

Deepak Anand
Executive director of Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association, a not-for-profit that works closely with Health Canada and governments to develop and shape policy.

Allan Rewak
Director of the Cannabis Canada Council, the main industry group representing licensed producers of medical marijuana, also works to help governments create a safe retail system.

Eric Costen

Eric Costen 
Director general of Health Canada’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat has helped steer the federal legalization process and been dubbed “Canada’s top cannabis policy bureaucrat.”

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