In the quest for profitability as the legalized cannabis industry prepares to turn one year old in Canada, larger licensed producers such as Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) are expanding internationally to take advantage of loosening restrictions in Europe. 

Adding to the company’s existing stable of international employees, today Tilray announced five senior management appointments specifically tailored towards increased European expansion.  

Those five new members of the management team bring decades of experience in the pharmaceutical / biotech industries and include: 

  • VP of Business Expansion, Europe – Arne Wilkens (formerly of AiCuris Anti-infective Cures GmbH) 
  • Medical Affairs Director, Europe – José Tempero  (formerly of Grünenthal GmbH) 
  • VP of Marketing, Europe – Maike Gerlach (formerly of Grünenthal GmbH) 
  • VP of Commercial Development, Europe – Nadja Frenzel (formerly of Grünenthal GmbH) 
  • Director of Global Portfolio Expansion – Natalie Bucceri (formerly of Diageo) 

The company’s existing Managing Director for Europe, Sascha Mielcarek, had this to say about the string of new hire announcements this morning: 

We’re thrilled to welcome this group of highly skilled leaders to our team. Arne, José, Maike, Nadja and Natalie all join Tilray with wide-ranging experience in regulated industries. We’re confident their appointments will accelerate our global growth strategy and help strengthen our position in Europe and other international markets.

Tilray’s European operations currently include a two-pronged approach, focusing locally around a facility that recently opened in Portugal and was granted Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification back in May. 

The company has invested an estimated $20 million into building and expanding that facility, which has seen a rapid employment recruitment drive. After launching with employees already in the triple digits, Tilray is aiming at hitting a full 200 workers staffing the site by the end of 2019. 

In addition to cultivation, processing, and distribution across Europe from that centralized location in Portugal, the company has also begun bulk imports of cannabis oral solutions. Those products are produced, processed, and packaged in Canada and then shipped to the UK for the medical market. 

That move towards importing products arrived after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that cannabis-based prescriptions are now effectively legal for any patients with a clinical need.