Jason Ackerman, the founder and former CEO of e-grocer FreshDirect, was appointed to the board of directors and named executive chairman at TerrAscend Corp., which provides products, brands and services to the global cannabinoid market.
In his new role, Ackerman will oversee day-to-day operations from the Mississaga, Ontario-based company’s New York office as it builds its U.S. leadership team.
“Jason has deep knowledge of retail ecommerce, especially in online grocery strategy and logistics across the spectrum of pure-play to brick-and-mortar retailers,” TerrAscend’s website notes. “He has strong experience operationalizing strategy – be it with org structure and talent, technology vision, or go-to market (marketing and product development). Jason is also experienced in operations and logistics topics, including design networks, picking methods (and related technologies) and last-mile delivery. He is a consumer-centric thinker and firmly believes in metric-driven management.”
Ackerman is the latest grocery industry figure to get involved in the cannabis business, following Trader Joe’s and H-E-B veteran Glenn Backus, who this past January joined Phoenix-based 4Front Holdings LLC, a retail and branding company in the cannabis sector, to head its Mission division of branded retail operations. These moves signal cannabis’ growing importance to the food retail sector, despite grocers’ and consumers’ confusion about regulations on the sale of such products, with Ackerman’s appointment in particular pointing to cannabis companies’ interest in leveraging ecommerce to expand their reach.