Cannabis edibles company Bhang announced on Wednesday that interim president Jamie Pearson has been promoted to president and CEO of the company. In her new role, Pearson will oversee the firm’s day-to-day management and strategic initiatives. She is replacing CEO Scott Van Rixel, who has stepped down from the position.

“I am pleased to announce Jamie’s promotion to both president and CEO of Bhang,” Van Rixel said in a press release. “Jamie has shown considerable strength in her role as President and her work to develop a vision for Bhang’s future. I am confident that Jamie has the necessary skills to lead Bhang and execute our business objectives.”

In a letter to shareholders, Pearson, who was honored last month as one of the High Times Female Top 50, said that she would “be laser-focused on generating value for our consumers and shareholders, while putting Bhang on a solid path to profitability and positioning the company as a leader in the cannabis [consumer packaged goods] space.”

Pearson said that the road to profitability would include scaling back the company’s product offerings and reductions in staff to increase efficiency. She also reported that Bhang’s board of directors had approved the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Miami to California. 

Several company initiatives currently being undertaken were also updated in Pearson’s letter, including a plan to expand its distribution of CBD consumer products both domestically and abroad, particularly in expanding markets in Europe and Asia. The new CEO also noted that after experiencing setbacks related to the banking industry’s reluctance to do business with companies in the cannabis industry, the Bhang e-commerce site was back in operation and adding revenue to the firm’s bottom line. She also reported that the company’s CBD brokerage business would no longer be a significant source of revenue.

Pearson also provided an update on Bhang’s THC-infused products, which are sold in states with legal cannabis through a network of licensed partners. In the near future, Bhang products will be available in Nevada, Ohio, and Michigan. In Illinois, where the company’s edibles are currently available at medical marijuana dispensaries, the rollout of legal adult-use cannabis in 2020 promises a major increase in sales. Bhang’s licensee in the state, Bedford Grow, is increasing production capacity to meet the anticipated spike in demand. Bhang has also developed a marketing strategy for a product rollout in Canada, where cannabis edibles will enter the legal market in the coming weeks.

Pearson said the changes being undertaken at Bhang would help the company weather the financial storm currently impacting the market.

“The cannabis industry has been facing a colossal downward market shift as the sector goes through fundamental corrections,” Pearson wrote in the letter. “The largest cannabis companies have been re-focusing on increasing efficiencies and strengthening their fundamentals. There have been massive layoffs, bankruptcies, and consolidations.”

Although the industry will continue to see businesses unable to survive, Pearson says that clearer skies may be on the horizon with pending federal legislation such as the SAFE Banking Act and the MORE Act.

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