Canopy’s chief legal officer is departing from the Canadian cannabis firm this month


Canopy Growth Corporation

Canopy Growth Corporation (CNW Group/Canopy Growth Corporation)

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Medical cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. is welcoming a new chief legal officer to its team. The new CLO has been named as James Wishart, who formerly served as a partner for global law firm Dentons. 

Based on an official news release issued by the company, Wishart will assume his new role on an interim basis following a resignation from outgoing CLO Phil Shaer.

Located in Smiths Falls, Ontario, the company revealed in a September-issued securities filing that Shaer would be resigning from his position. However, it remains unclear as to why Shaer, who announced his departure on September 14 , chose to step down from his position as CLO.

Wishart is by no means new to the Canopy team. In fact, he became  senior director for international trade and regulatory law in 2019. Last year, the company promoted Wishart to vice president (VP) and associate general counsel for international compliance, employment, regulatory and litigation.

Hundreds of Canopy workers have been laid off this year

Over the course of the last year, kind of be housed let go of hundreds of workers. Company officials factor abuse it the layoffs to business restructuring. 

Moreover, Canopy has introduced a new CEO in David Klein. Klein took over from former CEO Mark Zekulin.

In a statement issued to Bloomberg Law, Canopy applauded Shaer for his work. 

“We want to thank Phil for his valuable contributions to Canopy over the last six years,” the statement said. “We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Two other Dentons attorneys departed from the firm’s San Francisco-based office in 2019 — U.S. cannabis co-chair Kelly Fair and Sarah Eskandari. 

About Shaer and his discharge as Chief Legal Officer of Canopy

Shaer’s legal career launched two decades ago, when he became an associate at McCarthy Tétrault. Based on Bloomberg data, he owns almost $151,000 in Canopy stock.

Canopy revealed the information on a July-issued proxy statement, which confirmed that Shaer received a total compensation to the amount of $556,000 in fiscal 2021. This is less than the $719,300 he was paid last year.

Securities filings indicate that he bagged more than $1.8 million compensation from Canopy in 2019 and more than $493,800 the year prior. He also sold Canopy stock worth $2.2 million in 2020.