Former Nike Executive Joins Forces with Cannabis Company

Curaleaf, Inc. announced on Sept. 12 that former Nike executive Chris Melillo will be named senior vice president of retail operations. Melillo served as senior director of stores in North America for Nike.

Curaleaf is vertically expanding its multistate operation and adopting the talent from Melillo to further establish its brand. “As we strategically expand our business by growing our dispensary footprint, it was vital to attract a leader with extensive experience in managing multi-unit operations. Chris’s background makes him well-equipped to help develop the Curaleaf retail brand beyond our existing network in 12 states,” CEO of Curaleaf Joseph Lusardi said in a press release. “Chris will support Curaleaf’s growth through the realization of our strategic plan to establish a national retail footprint with consistent, streamlined atmospheres, driving foot traffic and adoption of the well-established Curaleaf brand.”

Melillo’s experience in store construction and design with Nike will come in handy when branding the Curaleaf empire. Curaleaf currently runs 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites and 9 processing sites spanning 12 states.

Melillo was elated about his new role at Curaleaf. “I am thrilled to have joined the Curaleaf team during this pivotal time in the Company’s history as it looks to significantly expand its operations and navigate an industry going through dramatic changes,” Melillo stated.

Curaleaf doesn’t appear to be worried about the ongoing Nike controversy following the company’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick on a video advertisementConservative universities across the nation chose to cut ties with Nike over its partnership with Kaepernick. Nike sales, however, haven’t suffered much. In addition, Nike’s longtime slogan “Just Do It” recently became a meme sensation because of its new political implications.

Curaleaf’s operations in Florida were the first to receive the Safe Quality Food certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative. Curaleaf products include vape cartridges, edibles, capsules, micro-tablets, lozenges, tinctures and topical lotions. With the addition of Melillo to the team, the company is poised to continue its unstoppable growth.

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