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Akanda strengthens team to scale European medical cannabis access

Home » Akanda strengthens team to scale European medical cannabis access

Tom Flow has been appointed as chief operating officer at Akanda and managing director at Holigen, and Steven George has been appointed to the role of commercial director.

Medical cannabis platform Akanda has welcomed Tom Flow and Steven George to its team. The company has stated that the two hires will enhance its leadership direction and boost profitability across the European medical cannabis market.

Akanda CEO, Tej Virk, commented: “Adding proven and elite global cannabis executives like Tom and Steven is an important milestone for Akanda, expanding our capabilities and growing our leadership as we scale.

Read more: Akanda and Cansativa to supply German patients with cannabis flower

“This begins with maximising our combined 10 metric tonne (22,000 lbs) annual cultivation and processing capacity at our EU GMP certified indoor premium cultivation facility in Sintra, Portugal. And, we will also focus on commercially igniting our 180 acre GACP outdoor and greenhouse site at Aljustrel, Portugal, which has over 100 metric tonnes (220,000 lbs) of annual cultivation capacity.

Tom Flow

“These hires are illustrative of the ongoing work we’re doing to build the best team possible to engage Europe’s rapidly growing cannabis market. Tom is renowned for his operational prowess, having built and scaled indoor premium cannabis cultivation businesses in both Canada and Portugal. 

“Steven, meanwhile, is a commercial pioneer in Europe and will help us accelerate our path to profitability. We have the in-house capability to take a leading position in the existing European medical cannabis market, with an eye to participate in the adult-use market when it opens up.”

Flow is an accomplished global business leader with over 15 years of direct cannabis industry experience with an emphasis on facility design and operations, including multiple large-scale EU GMP-certified cultivation facilities. 

He is also the co-founder of a number of cannabis companies during this time, namely MedReleaf Corp. which was subsequently sold to Aurora Cannabis in a transaction valued at C$3.2bn, The Flowr Corporation where he held executive roles including CEO, COO, president and managing partner, and Holigen Limited which the company acquired from Flowr in May 2022.

George joins Akanda with extensive experience in the financial services and cannabis sectors. After beginning his career in business development roles within financial services, in 2017, he moved to Portugal to obtain his MBA and started working in the European cannabis industry the following year. 

Steven George

In that time, he served as both Iberian country manager and European Alliance manager at Tilray, where his accomplishments included Tilray receiving the first ACM marketing approval for a cannabis dried flower in Portugal during his tenure and managing the first medical cannabis exports out of Portugal to Europe and Israel. In July 2021, George left Tilray and started offering independent advisory services to cannabis clients across the European region.

Both Flow and George will be based in offices at Akanda’s indoor premium cultivation facility in Sintra, Portugal.

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