Cresco Labs Hires Former Molson Coors Marketing Executive
Chicago-based cannabis firm Cresco Labs is once again tapping into talent from the beer industry as it works to continue scaling its operations across the U.S.
The vertically-integrated, multi-state operator today named former Molson Coors marketing executive Gregory Butler as its first-ever chief commercial officer.
Butler spent four years with Molson Coors' U.S. division, then-called MillerCoors, overseeing the Miller family of brands and guiding growth strategy. Prior to his time in the beer industry, Butler had stints at Kraft Foods, Walgreens and Pfizer.
In the newly created CCO role, Butler will be responsible for “demand and commercial strategic planning,” as well as supporting the company’s sales and marketing teams and leading new product launches. He will also contribute to Cresco’s future mergers & acquisitions.
Butler most recently served as an operating partner for MNML Ventures, a division of MINIMAL Inc. and an affiliate of Cresco that was founded by award-winning designer Scott Wilson. Prior to launching MINIMAL and MNML Ventures -- which forms strategic partnerships with early stage startups as well as established brands -- Wilson, Cresco’s chief experience officer, served as Nike’s global creative director.
“One of the key components of our success is the ability to strategically curate a leadership team with both institutional expertise and the highest caliber of subject matter experts across different industries -- from retail to healthcare to beer to CPG,” Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell said via a press release.
Butler isn’t the only recent Cresco hire that has prior beverage industry experience.
Cory Rothschild, Cresco’s senior vice president of brand marketing, spent five-and-a-half years working on Pepsi’s Gatorade and Propel businesses before joining the cannabis firm in late 2018. Additionally, Cristobal Rivera, Cresco’s senior vice president of retail marketing and store development who was brought in alongside Rothschild, previously worked on the Miller Lite, Coors Light and Blue Moon brands during an eight-and-a-half year career with Molson Coors.
Founded in 2013, Cresco Labs currently operates 18 production facilities and owns 31 retail dispensary licenses across 11 states.
Butler’s hiring comes about one week after Cresco closed its acquisition of Massachusetts’ Hope Heal Health, Inc., a vertically-integrated cannabis firm that has been linked to a federal bribery case involving former Fall River, Mass. mayor Jasiel Correia.
Earlier this month, Cresco secured $100 million in debt financing from a syndicate of creditors that includes institutional investors as well as members of the Cresco’s management and board of directors.
Last month, Cresco closed its acquisition of CannaRoyalty Corp., a cannabis cultivator and distributor that does business as Origin House in California.
A press release with additional information on Butler’s hiring is included below.
Cresco Labs Continues to Redefine Cannabis Industry, Names Former Molson Coors Marketing Executive Greg Butler Chief Commercial Officer
Celebrated marketer brings diverse experiences in health and wellness, as well as CPG brand building, to help scale Cresco Labs’ U.S. market presence and create the first nationally recognized portfolio of cannabis brands
CHICAGO -- Cresco Labs (CSE:CL)(OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco” or “the Company”), one of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, today announced a high-profile leadership hire to support its steadfast commitment to building the most important cannabis company in the U.S. Greg Butler joins Cresco Labs as its first Chief Commercial Officer (“CCO”). Greg brings to Cresco Labs a strong background in driving brand growth for top-tier CPG companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Molson Coors, wellness retail execution for Walgreens, and business growth and capital management strategic advising for leading private equity portfolio companies.
In this newly created position, Greg is responsible for demand and commercial strategic planning, bolstering Cresco Labs’ sales and marketing teams with top talent, leading the launch of all new products and innovation, brand M&A and integration, and driving enterprise strategies to deliver on the company’s vision to be the most important cannabis company in the U.S. among patients, customers, consumers and industry stakeholders.
“One of the key components of our success is the ability to strategically curate a leadership team with both institutional expertise and the highest caliber of subject matter experts across different industries—from retail to healthcare to beer to CPG,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs. “Greg has a remarkable general management pedigree and an impeccable reputation from his work driving growth for the world’s most iconic brands. Cannabis is an industry where his background in patient marketing, wellness retail, corporate planning and traditional CPG brand building are all necessary to deliver growth, and I couldn’t be more pleased to add these capabilities to our arsenal for driving long-term value. Greg’s addition strengthens an already accomplished team that’s well positioned to usher in the next generation of normalized and professionalized cannabis.”
After a year serving as Operating Partner at MNML Ventures, an affiliate of Cresco Labs, Greg has stepped into a full-time CCO role to continue to execute the long-term growth plan that has already delivered significant results. He led the creation of a pioneering occasion-based portfolio strategy, relaunched seven cannabis brands with new brand positionings, identities and packaging design, oversaw the creation of a multi-year innovation pipeline, and drove the concepting and launch of the national Sunnyside* retail brand. He also helped reshape Cresco Labs’ robust marketing, retail operations and sales teams that are made up of notable hires from Apple, Starbucks, PepsiCo and Red Bull.
“The results of Greg’s leadership speak for themselves,” says Tom Manning, Chairman of the Cresco Labs Board of Directors. “He oversaw the Miller portfolio and developed a commercial strategy for the billion-dollar Miller Lite brand, delivering 13 quarters of sustained growth after years of declining sales. He also has launched innovation consumer campaigns for global brands that drove share growth and has won a wide range of awards from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to the Effie Awards.”
Greg graduated from Queen’s University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
“Throughout my career, I’m most energized by the opportunity to support the entrepreneurism of small companies in hyper-growth mode with the discipline and proven strategies of large CPG brands. After my first conversation with Charlie about his vision for Cresco Labs, I knew the opportunity to help navigate its strategic growth was the perfect fit,” said Butler. “Cresco Labs is reimagining the way consumers and patients look at the cannabis industry, and I’m excited to be part of its extraordinary mission and enhance the impact the company has already made.”
About Cresco Labs
Cresco Labs is one of the largest vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States. Cresco is built to become the most important company in the cannabis industry by combining the most strategic geographic footprint with one of the leading distribution platforms in North America. Employing a consumer-packaged goods (“CPG”) approach to cannabis, Cresco’s house of brands is designed to meet the needs of all consumer segments and includes some of the most recognized and trusted national brands including Cresco, Remedi and Mindy’s, a line of edibles created by James Beard Award-winning chef Mindy Segal. Sunnyside*, Cresco’s national dispensary brand, is a wellness-focused retailer designed to build trust, education and convenience for both existing and new cannabis consumers. Recognizing that the cannabis industry is poised to become one of the leading job creators in the country, Cresco has launched the industry’s first national comprehensive Social Equity and Educational Development (SEED) initiative designed to ensure that all members of society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in the cannabis industry. Learn more about Cresco Labs at www.crescolabs.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only the Company's beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company's control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as, ‘may,’ ‘will,’ ‘should,’ ‘could,’ ‘would,’ ‘expects,’ ‘plans,’ ‘anticipates,’ ‘believes,’ ‘estimates,’ ‘projects,’ ‘predicts,’ ‘potential’ or ‘continue’ or the negative of those forms or other comparable terms. The Company’s forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks discussed under "Risk Factors" in the company’s CSE Listing Statement filed with SEDAR; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Because of these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. No assurances are given as to the future trading price or trading volumes of Cresco’s shares, nor as to the Company’s financial performance in future financial periods. The Company does not intend to update any of these factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the Company’s forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, any future event or otherwise. Except as otherwise indicated, this press release speaks as of the date hereof. The distribution of this press release does not imply that there has been no change in the affairs of the Company after the date hereof or create any duty or commitment to update or supplement any information provided in this press release or otherwise.