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Feb 15, 2019

'Focused and clean’: Bruce Linton’s plan to keep Canopy on track

Canopy's Bruce Linton explains what's behind the ballooning expenses

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Canopy Growth Corp.’s (WEED.TO) founder and co-chief executive said he won’t let his team invest in other cannabis companies to avoid the risk of bad optics when M&A opportunities land on his table.

“If you’re working for me, or anybody reporting to me or reporting to those people, you can’t buy stocks in companies in the sector – you can’t,” Bruce Linton told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Friday, a day after the company reported third-quarter earnings.  

“And the reason is, what if we buy that company and it looks like we are self-dealing – and what if we actually want to run them over? Maybe you’re biased about running them over. And so we just kept it clean from day one.”

Linton made the comments after another Canadian pot producer, Aphria Inc., released the findings of a review conducted by its special committee, which urged changes in governance amid concerns that conflicts of interest in the boardroom weren’t properly disclosed.

“I think when you’re doing transactions in our space, there’s a lot more things that sound good than are actually good,” Linton added. “So due diligence is an internal full-time gig.”

Linton has said he is looking to buy more companies in the sector, but noted there’s “nothing for us to buy in Canada,” adding he has said no to around 1,000 deals since starting Canopy Growth.

“The number of deals that come through every week that say, ‘We’d almost give you the stock so we can put your name on it’ are quite significant,” he said. “So probably it’s a fiscally-stupid move for everyone on my part, but it’s allowed us to stay focused and clean.”

Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the stunning formation of the entirely new – and controversial – Canadian recreational marijuana industry. Read more from the special series here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest marijuana news delivered directly to your inbox every day.