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Canopy Growth Hires Former Aphria Legal Chief as New Top Lawyer

Aug. 2, 2022, 3:49 PM

Canopy Growth Corp., which produces cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, has hired Christelle Gedeon as chief legal officer while it seeks a financial turnaround.

Gedeon stepped down nearly a year ago as top lawyer at Aphria Inc., a rival Canadian cannabis company. She then joined the Metals Co., a deep-sea mining outfit, as legal chief in August 2021.

Gedeon is a “proven leader in the legal and cannabis industries” who will help the company expand in North America, Canopy Growth Chief Executive Officer David Klein said in a statement Tuesday.

Canopy Growth has sought to offset a liquidity crunch by swapping convertible bonds for stock and cash, according to Bloomberg. The Smith Falls, Ontario-based company’s stock price is down by more than two-thirds this year.

Klein is looking to pivot Canopy Growth toward premium brands and markets.

The company last year tapped former Dentons partner James Wishart to be its interim law department leader following the exit of former legal chief Phillip Shaer.

Shaer, another veteran Canadian in-house lawyer who joined Canopy Growth in 2016, is now general counsel for Invert Inc., an Ottawa-based company focused on environmental sustainability and net zero carbon emissions.

Shaer received roughly $739,000 in total compensation during Canopy Growth’s 2022 fiscal year, the company disclosed in an annual proxy statement filed last week. That sum included about $555,600 in stock and options awards that Shaer forfeited upon his Oct. 1 departure for Invert.

Canopy Growth rival Aphria clinched a $3.8 billion reverse acquisition last year of Tilray Inc., a legal weed giant with a presence in Europe and Canada.

Toronto-based Tilray initially looked to former Coca-Cola Co. lawyer Dara Redler to be legal chief of the combined company. Tilray then tapped Mitchell Gendel to be its global general counsel after Redler left to take the top legal job at tax preparation company H&R Block Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com