Cresco Labs Co-Founder Joe Caltabiano Resigns


Another prominent cannabis industry executive has left the building.

Cresco Labs co-founder Joe Caltabiano has resigned as president, the Chicago-based multi-state operator confirmed Tuesday. News of his departure was first reported by Marijuana Business Daily.

In a press release, Cresco Labs said co-founder and CEO Charlie Bachtell, along with other members of the company’s leadership team, would assume Caltabiano’s management responsibilities.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Caltabiano -- who plans to stay in the cannabis industry -- will maintain a seat on the company’s board of directors.

“The Company wishes Joe well on his future endeavors and looks forward to continuing its path to building the most important company in cannabis,” Cresco wrote via the press release.

In a statement, Caltabiano called himself a “serial entrepreneur” and said it was “time for the next challenge.”

“With all that Cresco has been able to accomplish in a very short time, personally I am most proud of the team members I have worked with side-by-side, watching them grow to become the future of Cresco Labs,” he said.

Cresco has more than 1,700 employees, according to a January 2020 investor presentation.

According to Caltabiano, he helped Cresco “gain access to the most important cannabis markets” throughout the U.S. and “build leading market share positions in multiple states.”

He also listed the launch of the company’s Sunnyside retail dispensary chain, and the development of “more than a million square feet of cultivation space” as accomplishments.

Caltabiano’s exit comes less than three weeks after Cresco named former Molson Coors marketing executive Gregory Butler as its first-ever chief commercial officer. As CCO, Butler is responsible for strategic planning, supporting sales and marketing, overseeing new product development and assisting with M&A -- many of the areas where Caltabiano was active. 

Founded in 2013, Cresco Labs currently operates 18 production facilities and owns 31 retail dispensary licenses across 11 states. The company’s stock (CNSX: CL) fell more than 10% on news of Caltabiano’s exit.

Caltabiano is the latest high-profile executive to step down in recent months. Last week, Medicine Man president and vice chairman Andy Williams left the Colorado-based firm to pursue other interests in the cannabis industry. 

In early February, Aurora Cannabis co-founder Terry Booth stepped down less than two months after former chief corporate officer Cam Battley was reportedly ousted from the company. 

Also in February, MedMen co-founder Adam Bierman stepped down as CEO and relinquished all of his Class A voting super shares. 

Other notable cannabis industry executives to leave their posts in recent months include:

  • Torsten Kuenzlen (former CEO) and Brian Harriman (former COO) departed Canada’s Sundial Growers in February.
  • Navdeep Dhaliwal (former CEO) departed Toronto-based Supreme Cannabis Company in January.
  • David Hsu (former COO) exited Cronos Group last December.

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