Emily Paxhia resigns from board of marijuana MSO Ascend Wellness

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(This story has been updated to reflect Poseidon Investment Management’s name change from Poseidon Asset Management.)

Emily Paxhia, a co-founder and managing partner of cannabis hedge fund Poseidon Investment Management, resigned from the board of directors at marijuana multistate operator Ascend Wellness Holdings.

Paxhia was the sole woman on the New York-based company’s board of directors.

Paxhia did not immediately respond to MJBizDaily‘s request for comment about her resignation.

Rebecca Koar, Ascend’s senior vice president of investor relations, declined to share the reason for Paxhia’s departure but told MJBizDaily via email that the company was thankful for Paxhia’s support and expertise.

Image of Emily Paxhia
Emily Paxhia

“I will note that Emily indicated in her resignation letter that her decision to resign was not the result of a disagreement with Ascend’s operations, policies or practices,” Koar wrote.

“Although we are not (currently diverse), we are committed to an independent and diverse board as part of our succession planning and that process remains underway.”

Paxhia’s departure comes two months after former Ascend CEO Abner Kurtin was arrested and charged with battery in Miami.

The charge was dropped after neither the victim nor the witness would cooperate with the police and prosecutor.

Kurtin transitioned from CEO to executive chair of the board in September, just days before the battery charge was dropped.

According to a news release, two new directors have been appointed to Ascend’s five-person board:

  • Dan Neville, the company’s chief financial officer and interim co-CEO, who took over from Kurtin in September.
  • Joshua Gold, who is independent of Ascend, will serve as chair of the audit committee and a member of the compensation and corporate governance committee.

“Emily was one of our earlier investors and has supported Ascend from the beginning,” Kurtin said in a statement.

“We wish her the very best in her continued leadership in the industry.”

In October, Kurtin hinted to MJBizDaily that consolidation is likely in the future for the company, either through a sale or an acquisition.

Neville and Ascend co-founder Frank Perullo are serving as interim co-CEOs until a new chief executive is hired.

Meanwhile, Ascend filed a registration statement on Form S-3 and a base shelf prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a news release.

The company also filed a corresponding Canadian prospectus with securities authorities in every province except Québec.

When the filing has been reviewed by the SEC, up to $100 million in Class A common stock, preferred stock, warrants, debt securities, subscription rights and/or units of the company could be available for distribution.

“While we do not have immediate plans to issue Securities under the Registration Statement or the Canadian Prospectus, we deemed it prudent to prepare ourselves to take advantage of markets should they evolve into a more accretive financing alternative,” Neville said in a statement.

“This filing allows us the flexibility to pursue additional financing opportunities should they become in the best interest of our shareholders.”

Shares of Ascend were trading Wednesday at $1.99 on both the Canadian Securities Exchange (AAWH.U) and over-the-counter markets (AAWH).

Kate Robertson can be reached at kate.robertson@mjbizdaily.com.