Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA, NYSE: APHA) officially announced Jakob Ripshtein as the new president of Aphria, taking responsibility for worldwide operations and reporting to company CEO Vic Neufeld.

Ripshtein was promoted from his former position as Chief Commercial Officer, which he has held since May of 2018.

This management change follows Aphria’s announcement last month about welcoming a new Director of Research to handle the company’s involvement in upcoming clinical studies of cannabis usage.

Ripshtein initially joined Aphria by moving from his former role as chief financial officer for international alcoholic beverage corporation Diageo North America, as well as President of Diageo Canada.

This move is just the latest example of cross-pollination between the two industries with the advent of legalized recreational marijuana usage. Diageo also dipped its toes into the cannabis industry this past summer when the company met with marijuana production organizations to assess the possibility of selling cannabis-infused beverages.

Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria, issued this statement in a press release about Ripshtein taking on his new role as President:

“Jakob’s leadership has been instrumental in guiding Aphria through several acquisitions and investments, product innovation, and the Company’s global expansion into Latin America and Europe.”

The company’s Chief Executive Officer further stated, “As we enter this new era of legalization, both medicinal and adult-use in Canada and around the world, Jakob’s strategic thinking, strong business acumen and relationship building skills will continue to be a tremendous asset in this new role. Further, his experience in the United States will greatly assist the Aphria team as we continue to evaluate various opportunities.”

Aphria is only one of many cannabis companies that has been aggressively recruiting and expanding in the wake of recreational legalization across Canada.

In recent weeks, HEXO Corp. issued an update about constructing a new 1,00,000 square foot greenhouse, while Marapharm Ventures underwent a major management shakeup to became Liht Cannabis Corp. A host of companies have further announced plans to increase cannabis production as demand continues to outstrip supply.

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