Just five months after Canadian cannabis titan Canopy Growth announced it was acquiring Wana Brands for $297 million, the top cannabis edibles brand has named Sandy Li as chief financial officer. The hire comes as the company continues its expansion into new markets as well as ramping up its new product offerings. Li will be based in Boulder and report to Wana Brands CEO Nancy Whiteman.
On this key appointment, Whiteman praised Li’s business acumen and her expertise. “Sandy is a transformational business leader who possesses a strong strategic and business acumen backed by real-world experience in driving growth and strong profitability,” she said in a public statement. “As we expand our presence in new markets, Sandy’s experience in the complex financial challenges of multinational and cannabis industries will be invaluable.”
In her new role, Li will oversee all of the company’s financial operations including financial strategy and finance IT operations. Also, according to the news release, “Li’s guidance will create opportunities as the company expands both nationally and internationally.”
Li expressed considerable enthusiasm in her latest career move. “I’m delighted to join Wana, a company that I have long admired for its trusted and innovative products, strategy entering new markets and commitment to racial justice within the cannabis industry,” she said, also in a public statement. “I look forward to working with Nancy and the team to move Wana forward on its financial and operational goals during this exciting time in Wana’s growth.”
Prior to joining Wana Brands, Li was vice president of finance, head of FP&A and Treasury at Parallel, a multi-state cannabis operator. Before her foray into the cannabis industry, Li held various senior leadership positions at myriad unnamed public and private companies. She also spent several years at the helm of her own computer hardware and software company in China. Li has an MBA from The University of Chicago and a master’s degree in finance from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. Li is a CPA in Canada.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Wana Brands has a footprint in in 13 U.S. states and nine Canadian provinces and territories, “generating close to $300 million in retail sales annually across more than 3,000 dispensaries,” according to the company. Among its top products are Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies and the Optimals Fast Asleep formulation.