The man who led medicinal cannabis company Cann Group (ASX: CAN) through its 2017 initial public offering (IPO) is set to step down after six years in the role, leaving behind a legacy of three production sites including a flagship $115 million Mildura facility which notched its first commercial crop harvest in 2022.
Peter Crock has given his resignation notice on the grounds that it is time for fresh leadership to guide the company through its next phase of growth.
"Much has been achieved over recent years, with the establishment of our state-of-the-art manufacturing operations, key regulatory approvals, the development of our Satipharm delivery technology and a world-class plant breeding and genetics program. The focus now is on ramping up our commercial operations as we look to capitalise on these assets," he says.
"I will remain fully focused on implementing our growth plans until my successor is appointed and will then be available for the period that is appropriate to ensure a smooth transition."
In addition to the IPO, Crock led a capital raise worth more than $70 million in that same year to accelerate expansion plans, followed by further raises and the securing of loans to make the Mildura vision a reality.
Cann Group grows its own crop and produces CBD capsules at the facility, branded as Satipharm after the European group it acquired from Canada's Harvest One Cannabis Inc in early 2021.
Meanwhile, research and development collaborations with La Trobe University and Agriculture Victoria are helping to drive Cann's bank of proprietary genetics in a competitive global market. In March this year, the group rolled out its first batch of elite high-THC flower products - genetically developed, cultivated, dried, and packaged in-house - to Australian patients.
In FY22 the company's revenue jumped 31 per cent year-on-year to reach $11.23 million, which is also a considerable increase on the $2.3 million recorded in FY19. However, the company still ran at a more than $26 million loss.
In terms of sales, the percentage rise was greater at 49 per cent in FY22 to hit $6.41 million.
"We have grown our customer base over the FY22 financial year and are now seeing regular orders from more customers," Crock, alongside chairman Allan McCallum, said in Cann Group's most recent annual report.
"Global demand remains strong for high quality medicinal cannabis products with a reliable supply chain, and we are well positioned to leverage the scale and capacity at Mildura to take advantage of these trends.
"The medicinal cannabis market in Australia has grown rapidly over the past year, driven in part by increased demand for dried flower products. We are in a strong position to respond to this opportunity by allocating additional dried flower cultivation capacity at our facilities."
Cann Group is also a regular appearance in the list of Australia's Top 20 Cannabis Companies, in which it was ranked fourth in 2022.
In today's announcement, McCallum says the search process for a new CEO will start immediately.
"With the company now poised to accelerate its revenue growth – and with exciting initiatives underway such as our Satipharm CBD S3 registration program and a potential distribution agreement with Haleon – I’m confident we can attract a high quality candidate with strong industry and commercial experience, who can execute on our plans for commercial growth.
"The board acknowledges Peter’s major contribution over the past several years and appreciates his commitment to ensure an orderly succession process."
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