Washer, Edwardes to leave cannabis board

28/10/2019 - 12:58

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AusCann Group Holdings chair Mal Washer and director Cheryl Edwardes have advised they will retire from the medical cannabis company's board, with major shareholder Merchant Group planning to nominate one new director.

Co-founder and major shareholder Mal Washer retired as chairperson and director.

AusCann Group Holdings chair Mal Washer and director Cheryl Edwardes have advised they will retire from the medical cannabis company's board, with major shareholder Merchant Group planning to nominate one new director. 

The announcement comes two weeks after Perth-based Merchant Group spent $11.6 million to acquire an 11.43 per cent stake.

Merchant Group has a long history with AusCann, having been the lead adviser for a $12 million placement in 2017.

Dr Washer, who co-founded the company in 2014 and is a major shareholder, retired as chair and director today while Mrs Edwardes will act as interim chair to assist in the search for new board members before her term expires in January 2020.

Dr Washer and Mrs Edwardes have been directors of the company since it listed on the ASX in early 2017.

Dr Washer thanked Mrs Edwardes for her professional and independent counsel to the board.

He said it was an appropriate time for board renewal as AusCann entered a new growth phase focused on pharmaceutical commercialisation.

“We have overseen a senior management transition over the last 12 months, and the board’s skills base also needs to best align with the company’s next stage of growth, as it moves to commercial production and building medical acceptance and demand,” Dr Washer said.

“I am very proud of AusCann’s substantial achievements since it was established.

“I firmly believe that positioning AusCann as a trusted Australian pharmaceutical company, demonstrating clinical success, and building awareness and acceptance in the medical community will provide positive outcomes for patients and for AusCann shareholders.

“I look forward to following the company’s progress alongside other shareholders.”

Mrs Edwardes thanked Dr Washer for his commitment to patient care and health and wished him the best.

As part of the board renewal, the company said it intends to expand the company’s medical advisory board to ensure the availability of medical expertise following Dr Washer’s departure.

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