MJ Biz: Seven US cannabis CEOs saw compensation top $4 million in 2021

Nice work if you can get it !

Here at cannabis law report we’d be lucky if we got $4 in!

Here’s a list of some highly overpaid people


Top executives at the largest publicly traded U.S. marijuana companies each received up to $2.6 million in salary and bonuses in fiscal 2021, with stock and option awards boosting total individual compensation to as much as $16 million, according to regulatory filings.

Seven CEOs at these multistate marijuana operators topped the $4 million mark in total compensation in 2021, compared with just one during the previous fiscal year.

As in 2020, Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers was the only woman leading one of the 15 top marijuana MSOs. White men led the rest.

Several marijuana MSO executives below the rank of CEO also drew multimillion-dollar compensation packages, including one at $14 million.

In 2021, the two highest compensated marijuana MSO executives were CEOs rewarded for taking their companies public: Illinois-based Verano Holdings and New York-based Ascend Wellness Holdings.

“There continues to be a high rate of executive turnover and M&A transactions in the industry,” noted Fred Whittlesey, a marijuana compensation expert and founder of the Compensation Venture Group near Seattle.

“Every time there is a hiring, firing or merger, numbers get distorted as executives receive severances, hiring bonuses, new-hire stock grants,” he wrote in an email to MJBizDaily.

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