Hart replaces retiring Vita as CEO at marijuana MSO The Cannabist Co.

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The Cannabist Co. has promoted David Hart to CEO and Jesse Channon to president.

Hart, who served as president and chief operating officer, replaces Nick Vita, who co-founded the New York-based multistate operator in 2012.

Vita is retiring, according to a news release, but will retain his role on the board of directors.

The longest-serving CEO in the nascent marijuana industry, Vita helped grow The Cannabist Co. to thousands of employees and more than $500 million in annual sales in 16 vertically integrated markets across the United States.

In September, he led a rebranding effort of the MSO formerly known as Columbia Care.

The day before the rebrand announcement, the company announced a capital raise worth $25 million via a private placement.

“We all owe Nick a debt of gratitude for having the vision to form what is now The Cannabist Company more than a decade ago,” Hart said in a statement.

“We have implemented strategic organizational changes in recent quarters that have prepared us for this change.

We are excited for what lies ahead and eager to continue the progress as The Cannabist Company evolves, from continuing to strengthen the balance sheet to expanding our wholesale program and driving organic growth.”

In early January, MJBizDaily chronicled the modest growth plans of the company in 2024 as licensing caps, limited new market opportunities and ongoing capital concerns are expected to curtail expansion for the industry’s largest operators.

Hart joined The Cannabist Co. in 2016 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2018. He added the title of president in 2023.

Before joining the company, he served as COO of Abyrx, a venture capital-backed medical device company.

Channon joined The Cannabist Co. in December 2019 as chief growth officer and most recently served as chief commercial officer.