Flowr hires its new CEO, former Nova Cannabis head

Published on August 11, 2022 by The Daily Courier

Photo: Contributed
The Flowr Corporation has been struggling to make ends meet.

Kelowna-based cannabis producer The Flowr Corporation has named its new CEO.

Former Nova Cannabis CEO and Chief Commercial Officer at Aurora Cannabis, Darren Karasiuk, has been named to the position.

He will replace interim CEO Tom Flow, who took over when Darryl Brooker quit less than a year into the role. Brooker was previously president at Mission Hill Family Estate.

“This is an exciting time for Flowr with the addition of Darren as CEO,” said Stephen Arbib, who was announced as Flowr’s new board chairman.

“I’ve known Darren for many years and couldn’t be any happier to have him lead Flowr. We see a huge opportunity in this space and believe Flowr is well positioned with its world-class assets and team.”

While CEO at Nova Cannabis, Karasiuk launched the Value Buds banner.

“With a renewed focus on leveraging the Company’s core assets and addressing markets it’s best capable of competing and winning in, I’m excited about what Flowr, its team of committed professionals and highly-engaged Board will be able to achieve,” said Karasiuk.

It’s been a tumultuous time for Flowr.

Last month, Flowr officially sold its Kelowna Research Station R&D Facility to Hawthorne Canada for $15.9 million.

The struggling cannabis producer said it would use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its outstanding principal debt under its ATB led credit facility to $1 million.

The sale was the latest in a string of slashing and upheavals over the past two years.

In July, three directors left the company.

In June, Flowr fired 40% of its workforce—mainly in senior and middle management for a savings of $4 million per year. At the same time, the company announced an agreement to sell 17 acres of agricultural property located adjacent to its primary facility known as ‘Flowr Forest,’ expecting proceeds of about $3.4 million.

In April 2021, the company closed its Toronto headquarters as part of a significant restructuring and ‘rightsizing.’

Interim CEO Tom Flow has said the cuts were vital to getting the company to profitability.

“Financially, we have strived to improve our financial position by reducing costs, shedding non-core assets and licenses, significantly reducing overall indebtedness, and raising additional equity capital,” said Flow in the company’s 2021 earnings release.

— with files from the oz.