Just as news broke of Tweed Marijuana Inc.’s co-founder and former CEO resigning from its board of governors, company chairman Bruce Linton told a crowd at Carleton University the medical marijuana provider is considering expanding operations in Europe.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, the company said Chuck Rifici was resigning effective immediately and thanked him for his service.
Linton took over as interim CEO after Rifici stepped down from the position last month.
But corporate structure was not the topic of his presentation to business executives and students at the Sprott Talks Event at Carleton.
It was more of a coming of age story about how the company — which began operating last spring at the abandoned Hershey Chocolate factory in Smiths Falls — has grown from a company of three or four people to a company that has raised $28 million in capital funding.
“We’re on the cusp of being able to be the biggest producer and supplier of medical marijuana in Canada,” said Linton.
The company refurbished a 360,000 square foot facility in Niagara Falls into a greenhouse in June.
Now, Linton has his eyes set on opening medical marijuana facilities in countries such as Czech Republic and Romania where he said laws are loosening around producing the drug.
“The opportunity is to be the best in Canada. And when you’re the best in Canada, there’s no reason we can’t be the best in other countries that need what we do,” he said. “
Part of the success that catapulted Tweed in the marijuana business is jumping on a business opportunity that was untapped, Linton said.
“At the beginning of this it was an obvious disruption of the supply chain and opening the market and a chance to do it. The only reason I almost didn’t do it was because you have to explain to people, like my parents and everybody, I’m going to be a chairman of a marijuana company,” he said.
“I would say don’t fuss about the reaction. If you’re sure there’s an opportunity that’s unveiling itself and others haven’t seen it because maybe they’re worried about the reaction, like, double down. Do it.”