A MedMen dispensary in Los Angeles. Photo: Richard Vogel/Associated Press
Cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc. has named a former supply-chain executive with Walmart Inc. and Apple Inc. as chief operating officer, in a sign of the ambitious distribution plans being built as more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana.
Ben Cook was the senior vice president of supply chain at Sam’s Club, the Walmart-owned warehouse chain, where he led a turnaround of the company’s supply chain, including the conversion of some closed stores into e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Mr. Cook was also retailer Target Corp.’s senior vice president of global inventory management and logistics and director of logistics and supply chain strategy at Apple.
Ben Cook Photo: MedMen Enterprises Inc.
The appointment comes as the state-by-state legalization of marijuana is triggering a transformation of the cannabis supply chain from a loose network of independent growers and cooperatives into more professional systems looking to consolidate products for wholesale and retail distribution.
In California, state-licensed distributors now connect cultivators with retail outlets. Marijuana entrepreneurs are investing in logistics operations and delivery services, although federal laws restrict the transportation of cannabis across state lines and the industry relies on cash for most financial transactions.
MedMen Enterprises operates sleek cannabis dispensaries in California, Nevada and New York. In New York, a related private-equity fund, MedMen Opportunity Fund II L.P. has contributed to political campaigns as the state weighs legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
In recent months, MedMen has acquired real-estate leases and dispensaries in Florida, Illinois and Arizona. The company went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange earlier this year; the stock was $5.70 a share in Tuesday midday CSE trading.
“It is not often that you get a chance to help build an industry, and I look forward to working with the talented team already assembled at MedMen and lending my expertise to the cause,” Mr. Cook said in a statement.
Write to Jennifer Smith at [email protected]