Special Report: Diversified cannabis company Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) is making moves to quickly capitalise on the legalisation of recreational marijuana in America’s fourth-most populous state.

New York last week became the 15th US state to legalise recreational cannabis, allowing adults to possess up to three ounces of the plant, with sales to be allowed once regulations are in place.

New York state is expected to become one of the largest recreational markets in the US, valued at $US4.2 billion ($5.4 billion), and Creso isn’t waiting for federal legalisation to make a move.

The company announced on Tuesday that its former chief operating officer has rejoined the company as its director of US business development.

The current chief operating officer of Supreme Cannabis Company (FIRE:TSX), John Griese, has considerable knowledge of the North American cannabis sector, which he will be putting to work developing US business opportunities for Creso, where he worked from July 2017 to November 2019.

Griese has also worked in senior roles for Nestle S.A. and PepsiCo. Creso described him as an accomplished leader with 30 years experience in sales, consumer package goods and supply chain management.

‘Boots on the ground’

“We are very excited to welcome John back to Creso, and board and management are very confident that his new role will unlock a number of potential opportunities for the company throughout the US,” said non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal.

“The recent legislative push in New York State highlights the ongoing shift towards the federal legalisation of recreational cannabis and John’s appointment shows Creso Pharma’s commitment to establishing a strong footprint to unlock value for our shareholders.

“To already have boots on the ground in the US will provide the company with a key advantage over our competition. John has established relationships in the US market through his roles in California and Toronto and we look forward to leveraging his network in the coming months.”

Griese said that he’s very familiar with Creso’s operations from his previous role with the company and plans to work with management to ensure that Creso becomes a US market leader.

Creso already has an established footprint in the Canadian recreational market with its wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, Mernova Medicinal, which sells dried cannabis flower and pre-rolled joints across four provinces in the country.

Mernova also has a 2,229 square metre fully licensed cultivation and growing facility just 350km from the US border – the ideal location to service the US recreational market following the federal legalisation that Creso expects will occur this year.

In addition, Creso has a partnership with Vermont-based CERES Natural Remedies for the distribution of Creso’s products once federal legalisation occurs.

This article was developed in collaboration with Creso Pharma, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.