MJBizMag August 2020 - 102

IndustryPlayers | New Hires & Promotions
By Omar Sacirbey
A look at some recent
hiring moves in the
marijuana industry
NBA Union Leader Joins Cresco Board
M
ichele Roberts had an interest in the
cannabis sector well before an executive
search firm asked if she would be interested
in joining the board of directors at Chicago-based
multistate operator Cresco Labs.
Roberts, executive director of the National
Basketball Players Association and
one of the nation's top trial lawyers,
is a believer in marijuana's medical
potential and had been pushing the
NBA to remove cannabis from its
list of banned substances. She's
also followed the evolution of the
cannabis industry.
" I've been following the industry
for several reasons, one of which
is I've been interested in how
an evolving industry can offer
opportunities to communities of
color, " she said.
Her verdict?
" Worried, " said Roberts, who
took her current post with the NBA
union in 2014 after distinguished careers at two
law firms-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
and Akin Gump-as well as the office of the Public
Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where
she was appointed chief of the trial division.
Roberts witnessed the tech boom leave
communities of color behind, and she believes the
same thing could happen in cannabis.
" When cannabis decriminalization started to be
taken seriously, I remember thinking, 'Here we go
again. Are we going to be kept out of this industry
because of an inability to find investors? Will this
yet again be a missed opportunity for communities
of color?' "
But Roberts sees improvements,
too, including social equity
programs and work that Cresco and
some other cannabis companies
are doing to create opportunities for
people of color.
" Cresco's workforce has been
growing pretty rapidly over the past
few years. They need to and have
already begun the process of figuring
out a way to maintain a culture of
inclusivity, " Roberts said. " Identifying
people of color and women who
have those skill sets, you simply
have to have the will. "
What does Roberts hope to have
accomplished at Cresco two years from now? " To
the extent that Cresco can operate as a leader
in that space in identifying, encouraging and
empowering communities of color, my goal is for us
to be the gold standard in that regard. It will only
increase the company's success, and other people
in the industry will want to duplicate it, " she said.
 Cresco Gets New CFO
Dennis Olis joined Cresco
Labs as chief financial
officer July 1, replacing
Ken Amann, who had
served as the company's
CFO since 2015 and
is retiring Dec. 31. Olis
comes to Cresco from
Nasdaq-listed Allscripts
Healthcare Solutions,
where he was also CFO. Before
Allscripts, Olis held a variety of senior
finance and operations positions at
telecommunications firm Motorola.
Dennis
Olis
MedMen Co-Founders Out
The co-founders of
California-based
multistate marijuana
operator MedMen
relinquished their roles on
the company's board of
directors. Adam Bierman
stepped down from his
seat on the board, and
Andrew Modlin left his
post as an " observer " to the board.
Their departures from the
MedMen board follow the dual
resignations in January of Bierman
100 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
and Modlin as CEO and president,
respectively.
The January resignations didn't
stop trouble from following the
erstwhile executives. In April, a
MedMen creditor said it was seeking
to seize Bierman's and Modlin's
personal homes as partial repayment
for a debt.
In May, Nevada regulators began
looking into an allegation by former
MedMen Chief Financial Officer James
Parker that Bierman and Modlin made
illegal campaign donations to the
state's governor.
Michele Roberts

MJBizMag August 2020

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