Former CEO, Canadian prime minister exit board of marijuana MSO Acreage

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Former CEO Kevin Murphy and ex-Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have resigned from the board of directors of New York-based marijuana multistate operator Acreage Holdings.

In an Aug. 4 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said neither resignation was the result of a disagreement with Acreage “on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.”

In June, Acreage streamlined its board to prepare for the company’s acquisition by Canopy USA, the American arm of Canadian producer Canopy Growth Corp.

Smiths Falls, Ontario-headquartered Canopy announced in October it was expediting plans to acquire Acreage, Jetty Extracts and Wana Brands.

Canopy struck a deal in 2019 to buy Acreage for $3.4 billion, pending U.S. legalization.

Murphy founded Acreage and served as chief executive 2014-20. He had chaired the board since 2014.

Mulroney, Canada’s prime minister 1984-93, joined the Acreage board in 2018.

The company had a lot of promise at the time, having also added to its board John Boehner, former speaker of the House of Representatives; Douglas Maine, a former IBM chief financial officer; and Larissa Herda, a former CEO of TW Telecom (formerly Time Warner Telecom).

However, the company did not turn a profit.

Acreage reported net losses of:

  • $32.3 million in 2018.
  • $195.2 million in 2019.
  • $360.1 million in 2020.
  • $73.2 million in 2021.
  • $168.7 million in 2022.

In a 2018 interview, Mulroney told MJBizDaily that “others will follow” Canada’s lead in legalizing cannabis at the federal level.

So far, no nation has.

Mulroney is still listed as a board member of Quebecor, a media company in Quebec, and the Blackstone Group, a U.S.-based alternative asset manager.