CEO of Aussie cannabis firm Cann Group resigns amid ‘new strategic direction’

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The chief executive of one of Australia’s top cannabis producers has resigned.

Cann Group Limited CEO Peter Koetsier cited “family reasons” for his resignation, the Melbourne, Australia-based company announced in late March.

Meanwhile, Cann Group said in the same news release that its board is working on a new strategic direction.

Nonexecutive director Jenni Pilcher will assume an executive director role, the company said, while the board “sets its new strategic direction.”

The company said Koetsier will work through the end of the financial year.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the board, employees, and stakeholders of Cann for their support and collaboration during my time as CEO,” Koetsier said in a statement.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside such talented and dedicated individuals.”

Cann Group Chair Julian Chick said that the company is “… grateful for Peter’s efforts over the past 14 months in scaling up our business, which has led to the production of over 12 tonnes (13.2 U.S. tons) of product per annum, and increased sales.”

The company supplies dried flower and oil products, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients and extracts, to medical patients.

Subsequent to Koetsier’s resignation, Cann Group said it received the final payment of 1.9 million Australian dollars ($1.2 million) from SatiVite Pty Ltd for the sale of assets at a cultivation and manufacturing facility it formerly owned.

Cann Group said it has consolidated its cultivation and manufacturing operations in Mildura, Victoria.

In early March, the Australian Securities Exchange halted trading of Cann Group’s shares after the company’s auditor flagged concerns over financing and the cannabis producer’s first-half operating loss.

Days after the CEO’s resignation, Cann Group disclosed a lengthy questionnaire correspondence between the company and the Australian Securities Exchange’s Listings Compliance team.

The regulator asked the company if its directors considered Cann Group solvent and has reasonable grounds to believe it will be able to pay its bills when due.

Cann Group responded that the directors had reasonable grounds to believe the company would be able to secure additional funding and have National Australia Bank repayment dates extended.

On March 18, the company was able to secure an extension on the company’s debt facility with the bank.

The company’s working capital facility of AU$15.6 million was fully drawn down and has been extended from November 2024 to March 2025.

Cann Group also agreed with the bank to defer the quarterly repayment of the principal loan of the construction facility, valued at AU$49.4 million, for 12 months, from May 2024 to May 2025.

In its written response to the Australian Securities Exchange, Cann said it has been in “active discussions with several interested parties to provide additional funding … as it continues to scale up its facility and become a profitable business.”

“In addition to pursuing further funding, (Cann) is actively reviewing its commercial strategy with a view to maximising revenues, whilst simultaneously embarking on a cost efficiency program,” the company said.

The company’s disclosures are available here.

Cann Group’s shares are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange as CAN.