FSD Pharma

Assembling the World’s Largest Legal Indoor Cannabis Production Facility

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FSD Pharma Inc, (CSE:HUGE), wholly owns FV Pharma Inc., a Canadian licensed cannabis producer operating under the Cannabis Act with a vision to develop the largest legal indoor cannabis facility in the world. The company acquired the former Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KHC) production plant in Cobourg, Ontario and is converting it for cannabis cultivation.

By retrofitting a former food production facility, FSD Pharma is following in the footsteps of two of the world’s largest cannabis companies by market cap, Canopy Growth (TSXV:WEED) and Aphria (TSX:APHA), which also began their work with the acquisition of Hershey’s and Heinz facilities, respectively. At over 3.8 million square feet, FSD Pharma’s completed facility aims to be the largest legal indoor cultivation and processing space in the world.

Having been granted its production license in late 2017, the company is currently cultivating cannabis plants and is in the process of obtaining the sales and provisions portion of the license and will soon be applying for a dealer’s license. Following the granting of the licenses, FSD Pharma will be able to engage in research and development related to the extraction of CBD rich cannabis oil for use in the production of concentrated cannabis oil extracts, infused sublingual sprays, vapes, capsules, edibles and the like. FSD Pharma plans on expanding their product line beyond dried cannabis flower to also include pharmaceuticals, vaporizer cartridges, edibles and more.

FSD Pharma has established many strategic alliances with companies like High Tide Inc., SciCann Therapeutics, Canntab Therapeutics Ltd. (CSE:PILL) and Cannara Biotech. Notably, FSD Pharma’s partnership with SciCann Therapeutics Inc. focuses on the research and development of cannabinoid-based treatments, with one such study aimed at treating sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). SciCann’s “steady stomach” cannabidiol (CBD) combination therapy is currently being tested with IBS patients in clinical trials in Pittsburgh.

Company Highlights

  • ACMPR licensed producer, operating under the recently enacted Cannabis Act.
  • Plans in place to develop world’s largest legal indoor hydroponic cannabis production facility.
  • 100 percent ownership of former Kraft Foods facility measuring 70 acres, with 40 acres primed for development.
  • Latest cultivation technologies to be employed at the facility.
  • Late-stage sales license applicant.
  • Strategic alliances in place with SciCann, High Tide Inc. Canntab, Cannara, World Class Extractions and Huge Shops.
  • Promising results from ongoing cannabinoid-based studies with SciCann.
  • Management team with expansive knowledge in cannabis cultivation techniques.

Business Model

To meet the overwhelming demand for cannabis in Canada FSD Pharma intends to pursue the cannabis market with a disciplined approach, patterning its business model after the pharmaceutical industry.

As part of the company’s medical cannabis platform, it will be developing proprietary technologies and intellectual property (IP) by conducting clinical trials through its partner SciCann. This partnership will allow FSD Pharma to develop cannabinoid-based therapies and treatments for many ailments.

Additionally, the company aims to maintain tight cost controls and achieve economies of scale while taking full advantage of its spacious facility. FSD Pharma is supported by a core competency in quality cultivation that will sustain all of the company’s planned business lines under one roof.

The facility will also be the testing ground for technological innovations within the cannabis space, such as new energy-saving lighting and new technologies to manage bacteria and mildew issues. As a former food-grade production facility, FSD Pharma’s production space is already well-equipped to minimize the presence of pests.

The former ‘KRAFT’ Cobourg Facility

FSD Pharma’s cannabis production facility is located in Cobourg, Ontario, only one hour east of Toronto. The company is retrofitting the former Kraft Foods facility with the eventual goal of developing approximately 3.9 million-square-feet of cultivation space.

Thanks to its proximity to a metropolitan hub, the facility is easily accessible and is supported by sufficient infrastructure to conduct its operations. In addition to the necessary security, the building has an on-site electrical substation that provides enough power for 9,000 1,000-watt grow bulbs, multiple natural gas lines, 26 loading docks and a 24-inch main sewage pipe. Additionally, the facility’s proximity to Toronto is another cost-saving advantage. By consolidating operations under one roof, FSD Pharma has access to greater economies of scale and the ability to reduce costs as it can host all production and processing activities under one roof.

The former Kraft Facility sits on a 70-acre parcel of land. Currently, 25,000 square feet of the facility is available for cannabis cultivation with four grow rooms recently coming online, effectively doubling the company’s production capacity in that space.

The company’s facility expansion is outlined in multiple phases of development. FSD Pharma’s goal is to build out the total capacity of existing land and to own and operate a 3.9 million-square-foot facility within the next 6 years. The company is currently building out an additional 220,000 square feet of new cultivation area in the current 620,000 square feet of indoor space available. At the completion of the first round of expansion phases, the property will increase to 820,000 square feet of grow space in anticipation of the final round of development that will create the largest indoor cultivation facility in the world.

Research Opportunities in Israel

In June 2018, FSD Pharma announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma had entered into a strategic alliance with SciCann Therapeutics through the execution of a MOU where the company would invest $3 million in SciCann for a 15 percent equity stake. In return, FSD Pharma received an exclusive license in Canada for the production and distribution of a line of cannabinoid-based, patent-pending and indication-specific products developed by SciCann.

Along with the products, FSD Pharma has been granted access to the cannabinoid scientific research network developed by SciCann, comprised of leading researchers, academic institutions and medical centers. This network allows FSD Pharma to conduct a series of clinical studies for cannabis-based products in a high time and cost-effective environment.

In August 2018, FSD Pharma and SciCann launched a clinical trial research program in Israel with SciCann’s strategic partner Mor Research Applications Ltd. Under the strategic alliance agreement with Mor, SciCann began executing a series of rigorous, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of advanced and innovative cannabinoid-based products to be licensed in Canada by FSD Pharma.

Later in the month, the results from the clinical trial were released. The trials centered around SciCann’s patent-pending IBD product, “Steady Stomach.” The Steady Stomach product uses a combination of CBD and other synergistic factors that potentiate and activate the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, potentially making it an effective treatment for IBD disorders. FSD Pharma then commenced clinical studies to further test the efficacy of Steady Stomach in a pre-clinical study.

The pre-clinical study used a model that tested the products’ efficacy in treating ulcerative colitis in rats. The results demonstrated an improved efficacy for the combination product, when compared to using CBD alone, in reversing the deleterious effects caused by the colitis induction agent. Specifically, CBD alone only saw a 27 percent improvement when compared to the control measure. The Steady Stomach combination treatment, however, achieved a 79 percent improvement and almost completely alleviated the colitis symptoms induced in the model animals.

The following month, FSD Pharma and SciCann announced that they had launched a cardiovascular research program that focuses on developing proprietary cannabinoid-based treatments for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, an underlying factor in strokes and heart disease.

In October, SciCann began studying the “Steady Stomach” combination therapy in clinical trials with IBS patients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Strategic Alliances

Cannara Biotech

In June 2018, FSD Pharma signed a lease agreement with Cannara Biotech, which allows FSD Pharma to become one of the largest indoor medical cannabis growers in North America. With the signing of the agreement, FSD Pharma and Cannara have a combined floor space of approximately 1.2 million square feet of indoor growing space.

Under the lease agreement, FSD Pharma will occupy approximately 105,000 square feet of Cannara’s 625,000-square-foot facility located 45 minutes outside of downtown Montreal. The new space will be used as a cultivation space and or for the sale of products, such as dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil and other derived cannabis products for medical and recreational purposes.

Quebec is the second largest province by population in Canada and offers a sizeable market opportunity for cannabis and cannabis-derived products. As an added benefit, Quebec offers the lowest rates for electricity in North America, a boon for energy-intensive operations like cannabis cultivation.

High Tide Inc.

FSD Pharma has partnered with High Tide Ventures, a fully integrated retail distribution company in Canada. High Tide has 22 development permits for retail cannabis stores in Alberta and expects to open the maximum permitted number of 37 stores in the province. The company is awaiting its wholesale cannabis permit in Saskatchewan, expects to establish the maximum allowed number of 8 retail cannabis stores in British Columbia and intends to obtain a large number of retail licenses in Ontario. The company owns four of Canada’s most prominent retail brands that are poised to take advantage of the legal recreational market in Canada. To further their partnership, FSD Pharma entered into a non-binding MOU with High Tide to supply the Saskatchewan market with up to 5,000 kilograms of cannabis products over the next year.

“This non-binding MOU is the result of FSD Pharma’s focus on growing high quality indoor hydroponic cannabis, which I expect will yield more opportunities to build on our relationship in the near future,” said Thomas Fairfull, CEO of FV Pharma.


In September 2018, FSD Pharma signed a definitive collaboration and profit sharing agreement with Canntab, a leader in the rapidly growing cannabis pill market, to process and sell cannabis products and to provide Canntab with 10,000 square feet of space at the company’s Cobourg facility.

Canntab will build its own manufacturing facility within the Cobourg facility in order to produce a suite of cannabis oral dose delivery platforms and other cannabis-based products, including sleep aids and pain relievers. Under the agreement, Canntab will share 50 percent of their profits from the sales of their products with FSD Pharma.

“The company is pleased to welcome Canntab to our premises and to begin the process of offering through our agreement with Canntab a cannabis delivery platform consisting of pills and tablets that is the accepted norm among patients and doctors,” said Thomas Fairfull, CEO of FV Pharma. “We have complete faith in Jeff and his experienced team to deliver the best that the medicinal market demands. I look forward to an ongoing partnership with everyone involved as we continue to expand our offerings at our Cobourg facility”.

Later that month, Canntab delivered the first of its equipment to FSD Pharma’s Cobourg facility. The equipment consisted of a GMP certified high output tablet press, which is capable of pressing more than 1.5 million tablets per day, a blending machinery, large scale processing and drying equipment and packing equipment.

World Class Extractions

In December 2018, FSD Pharma announced that it had entered into a definitive collaboration and license agreement with World Class Extractions Inc. (“World Class”), a company that has developed a unique extraction process designed to produce quality, potent cannabis extracts.

Under the terms of the agreement and a related lease, FSD Pharma will provide World Class with up to 5,000 square feet of space at its Cobourg facility and assist World Class in obtaining an extraction license from Health Canada. FSD will also provide World Class with the raw cannabis needed to produce cannabis extracts. In return, World Class will provide FSD Pharma with certain royalty rights over the profits derived from the sale of those cannabis extracts. World Class will build and install, at its expense, its own manufacturing facility with the FSD Facility, at which it intends to extract and process CBD enriched oil and other extracts.

Together with Canntab, FSD Pharma and World Class Extractions have entered into a supply agreement to acquire hemp flower from Thomas Elcome. The companies have agreed to purchase 1,000 kilograms of Elcome’s 2018 hemp crop at a price of $100 per kilogram. FSD will extract CBD from the organic hemp, which will be processed into gel capsules and tablets at the FSD facility.

Huge Shops

In December 2018, FSD Pharma announced that the Company had completed a strategic investment of $1.3 million or just under 9.9 percent in Huge Shops, a Toronto-based cannabis retailer. Huge Shops has a strategic alliance with Chairman’s Brands, parent company of Coffee Time, a well-established operator of retail coffee shops with more than 75 locations in Canada and other locations worldwide.

As part of the investment, Huge Shops has the option to acquire a minimum of ten retail locations under Chairman’s umbrella of properties, and, subject to availability and further negotiation, purchase additional Coffee Time sites.

FSD Pharma Executive Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, Anthony Durkacz, says, “Huge Shops’ strategic alliance with Chairman’s Brands enables the company the ability to quickly create a network, with a well-established consumer base, in key demographic areas throughout the province. FSD Pharma, through its investment in Huge Shops, will offer leading cannabis products to consumers in the province.”

As the province rolls out its private retail model, Huge Shops is planning rapid expansion in key markets throughout Ontario to meet its target of operating 75 locations pursuant to the company receiving its retail operator license.


In February 2019, FSD Pharma signed a non-binding LOI for a definitive agreement with Solarvest BioEnergy Inc., under which Solarvest would conduct research using algal expression technology to develop pharma-grade cannabinoids. Solarvest is a technology company that has designed an algal-based flexible production platform that can produce health products.

Under the agreement, the companies would make mutual investments into each other, and Solarvest would grant FSD an exclusive license over a subset of the project as well as certain royalty rights over any other projects of that nature.


FSD Pharma has completed a strategic investment of $1.5 million in Pharmastric Corp. alongside a definitive collaboration and profit-sharing agreement. Under the agreement, Under the agreement, FSD will install Pharmastrip’s proprietary equipment at its facility and will use it to develop organic medical-cannabis-infused oral thin film strips. In order to do this, FSD has been granted exclusive, perpetual license to manufacture these products by Pharmastrip. These products will be developed in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations once granted the corresponding production and sales licenses from Health Canada.


Dr. Raza Bokhari – Executive Co-Chairman of the Board and CEO

Dr. Raza Bokhari joined the board of FSD Pharma in August 2018 and was named Executive Co-Chairman of the Board in December, Interim CEO in February 2019 and Permanent CEO in June 2019. Dr. Bokhari has been responsible for developing and leading FSD’s strategic vision into synthetic cannabinoid platforms.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Bokhari has developed outstanding expertise in aggregating and accelerating life sciences and healthcare services companies. An effective “change agent,” with several years of experience and expertise in start-up and turn-around businesses, he has a history of turning around financially struggling companies. Dr. Bokhari also frequently consults on due diligence projects for PE and VC funds focused in investing in life sciences/bio-tech and healthcare services companies.

Dr. Bokhari is also the Chairman & CEO of PCL, a global diagnostic provider of addiction screening and opioid prescription medication monitoring, including designer drugs and synthetic cannabinoids. He is also the managing partner of RBx Capital, LP and board member of Akers Biosciences (Nasdaq: AKER).

Dr. Bokhari holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Punjab, Rawalpindi Medical College, and an Executive MBA from Temple University, Fox School of Business & Management where he currently serves on the board. He is also the Vice Chairman of the World Affairs Council and a Trustee of the esteemed Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Anthony Durkacz – Executive Co-Chairman of the Board and Founder

Anthony Durkacz is currently a Director and Executive Vice President at First Republic Capital Corporation, which he joined in January 2014. First Republic has acted as the exclusive agent of the company and has raised approximately $53 million of equity capital to date.

Previously, Mr. Durkacz was President of Capital Ideas Investor Relations and before that Director and CFO of Snipp Interactive Inc. (TSXV: SPN). He was instrumental in the financing and public listing of the mobile marketing company with operations in Canada, USA, Mexico and India.

Mr. Durkacz is also the owner and President of Fortius Research & Trading Corp., which provides financial and investor relations consulting services to micro and small cap companies in various sectors and develops investment strategies for high net worth individuals. He also served as COO and CFO of MKU Canada Inc. engaging in mergers and acquisitions globally, and from 2002 to 2006 he served as the CFO of Astris Energi Inc., a dually listed public company in the USA and Canada which was acquired by an international conglomerate.

He began his career at TD Securities on the capital markets trading floor. Mr. Durkacz holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University with a major in Accounting and Finance.

Zeeshan Saeed – President, Founder and Director

Zeeshan Saeed is President and Director of FSD Pharma. As co-founder, of FV Pharma, now wholly owned by FSD, he has been involved with the company from the earliest stages. Mr. Saeed provided consulting advice to FV Pharma and was instrumental for raising the initial seed capital. He played a key role in bringing together a team of professionals in the development of the Corporation business plan as well as bringing key relationships to the company.

Mr. Saeed has experience in international capital markets and has helped various startups with the process of raising initial funding and getting listed on various stock exchanges. Before entering capital markets, he was the founder and CEO of Platinum telecommunications Inc. Mr. Saeed grew the company to a stage at which it was taken over by a public company.

Donal Carroll, CPA – Interim CFO

Donal Carroll joined FSD Pharma as Chief Financial Officer in 2018.

An experienced business executive, he has 20 years of corporate finance leadership and public company experience, as well as deep expertise in syndicate investing both in equity and debt securities. Mr. Carroll is also Chief Financial Officer of World Class Extractions Inc. With a balance of prudent financing practices and unique insights, Mr. Carroll has successfully guided companies for expansion and growth.

Throughout his tenure with Danaher, Alberto Culver – now Unilever (NYSE:UL) and Cardinal Meats, he was instrumental in major restructuring activities, mergers and acquisitions and the implementations of new internal controls and ERP systems resulting in significant efficiencies through periods of substantial change and strong company growth. Mr. Carroll has been Independent Director of Bird River Resources Inc., since September 15, 2017.

He holds a CPA-CMA designation as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin (UCD).

Dr. Sara May, Ph.D. – FV Pharma Inc. President

Dr. Sara May is a Ph.D. graduate with a multidisciplinary background in plant breeding and crop genetics with over ten years’ experience designing, implementing and managing large-scale projects in the field, lab and greenhouse. She has extensive work experience with all aspects of National, International, Provincial and Regional Legislative Acts and Regulations. Dr. May has deep domain expertise in the Medical Cannabis industry, which includes managing large scale operations, developing and implementing quality control and quality assurance methods and standard operating procedures and HACCP. Her prior experience is in the United States growing and producing high quality medical cannabis in California. She was responsible for cloning, up-keep, harvesting, processing and selling product into licensed dispensaries. Dr. May designed a specialized crop breeding program and successfully developed two new strains of cannabis.

Dr. May has co-authored ten peer-reviewed published manuscripts and is an active peer reviewer for national and international scientific journals.

Dr. Edward Brennan Jr., M.D., FACS – FSD BioSciences Division President

Dr. Edward J. Brennan, Jr., M.D., FACS has more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles at major pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations. He is an accomplished biopharmaceutical executive with a proven track record in FDA submissions and drug development.

Dr. Brennan has extensive experience in all phases of clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas. As a Medical Director with Wyeth-Ayerst Research and GlaxoSmithKline, he led teams through ten IND applications and advanced multiple compounds from pre-candidate selection (proof of concept) through clinical trial management and approval. At GSK, he was also responsible for coordinating all clinical activities for external partners within its Center of Excellence in External Drug Discovery. He next founded IndiPharm, a full-service global CRO, that was eventually acquired by private equity company, Velocity Fund Partners.

Dr. Brennan received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He went on to study Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland before receiving his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine.

Sandy Huard – Head of Communications and Investor Relations

Sandy Huard is a marketing and communications executive, senior strategist and consultant with over 21 years of marketing and sales experience leading national marketing teams, driving sales performance and launching national brands in the financial services industry.

Prior to joining FSD Pharma, she was Head of Marketing & Communications for FNF Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of the largest title insurer in North America. Prior to that, she was Senior Sales Advisor to executives and sales leaders at BMO Financial Group and was responsible for building sales capabilities and driving sales results in the branch network, the national customer contact center and across the national specialized sales teams. She was also Director of Marketing & Communications at Alterna Savings and Director and Head of Marketing & Communications at Computershare Trust Company of Canada.

Ms. Huard holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Schulich School of Business, a Bachelor of Science Education from Brandon University and an Honors Bachelor of Science from McMaster University. She is a CTA Certified Sales Coach, a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and a Certified DiSC practitioner. Sandy is a published author and is fluent in French.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Larry Kaiser, MD, FACS – Scientific Advisory Board Chairman

Dr. Kaiser is the Dean, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, President & CEO of Temple Health System and Senior Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia, and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” for 2019 by Modern Healthcare. Before joining Temple University in 2011, Dr. Kaiser served as the President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed a residency in general surgery as well as a fellowship in surgical oncology at UCLA. Dr. Kaiser then completed a residency in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the University of Toronto. Following faculty appointments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Kaiser joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, where he held positions including Associate Professor of Surgery, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Founder and Director of Penn’s Lung Transplantation Program, and Director of its Center for Lung Cancers and Related Disorders. In 2001 he was named the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery and the University Health System’s Surgeon-in-Chief.

Dr. Kaiser is the author or co-author of 16 books and more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, and is a member of every major surgical society. In 2005 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences). His recent honors include citations in Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, Who’s Who in the World and Philadelphia magazine’s “Top Doctors,” among others. Dr. Kaiser maintains time in his schedule at Temple for a limited surgical practice.

Dr. Ziva Cooper, Ph.D. – Advisor

Dr. Cooper is the Research Director of UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Cooper has been overseeing and publishing studies investigating cannabis neurobiology and dependence for over 10 years, including studies examining the effects of these drugs on experimentally induced pain. After receiving her Ph.D. in Biopsychology in 2007 in the field of preclinical psychopharmacology, she moved to Columbia University to focus on translating preclinical studies of psychoactive substances to the clinic using controlled human drug-administration studies. Dr. Cooper’s current research involves understanding the neurobiological, pharmacological, and behavioral variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. She previously served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on the Health Effects of Cannabis that recently published a comprehensive consensus report of the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. Dr. Cooper is a member of the Editorial Board of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Dr. Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD – Advisor

Dr. Friedman is Professor and Interim Chair of Dermatology and serves as Residency Program Director, Director of Translational Research and Director of the Supportive Oncodermatology Program in the Department of Dermatology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He graduated with Distinction in Dermatologic Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Friedman is currently investigating novel nanotechnologies that allow for controlled and sustained delivery of a wide spectrum of physiologically and medicinally relevant molecules with an emphasis on treating infectious diseases, accelerating wound healing, immune modulation and correcting vascular dysfunction. He holds multiple patents derived from these investigations and has published over 170 papers/chapters and two textbooks on both his research as well as a variety of clinical areas in dermatology with an emphasis on emerging medical therapies, including various cannabinoids. He has received multiple awards and has been on the Washingtonian Top Doctors list since 2017. Dr. Friedman’s clinical interests span the gamut of medical and pediatric dermatology. He is frequently cited as an expert in the potential application of cannabinoid-based therapies to dermatologic disease.

Dr. Mallory Loflin, Ph.D. – Advisor

Dr. Loflin is a research scientist for Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHCS) and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry within the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. Dr. Loflin’s entire research career has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids, with the aim of informing both prevention efforts for problematic use and development of cannabinoid-based therapeutics. She is currently conducting as Principal Investigator (PI) the first VA-funded cannabinoid clinical trial, “Cannabidiol as an Adjunctive to Prolonged Exposure for the Treatment of PTSD,” as part of a Career Development Award (CDA-2) funded by VA Clinical Science Research & Development (CSR&D). Dr. Loflin is also a co-investigator and consultant on four other ongoing cannabis and cannabinoid research studies, and currently holds a DEA research registration for schedule 1 controlled substances at VA San Diego. She is currently engaged in training efforts for advanced specialization in private-public drug development as part of her CDA-2 award’s training plan.

Dr. Ken Mackie, MD – Advisor

Dr. Mackie is Professor and Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, and Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Mackie earned his MD at Yale University and completed his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Washington. Trained as a clinician-scientist, his research for the past 25 years has focused on identifying GPCR signaling pathways, investigating the regulation of these pathways and understanding cannabinoid receptor function in health and disease. Throughout this time, he has served as training faculty on T32 grants both at the University of Washington and Indiana University, and has worked on several collaborative and interdisciplinary studies. He has been a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists since 1987 and a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society since 1992. He is a recipient of the Mechoulam award for lifetime contributions to cannabinoid research and has been twice recognized by Thompson-Reuters/Clarivate Analytics in the Top 1% of cited researchers. Dr. Mackie is a Member of the Editorial Board of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Dr. Daniel Piomelli, Ph.D. – Advisor

Dr. Piomelli is the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in Neurosciences and Distinguished Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also the Director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis. He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals, three full-length books and 34 patents and founded the Department of Drug Discovery and Development at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, Italy, which he directed from 2007 to 2016. He is Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the only peer-reviewed journal entirely dedicated to the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system.

Dr. Charles V. Pollack, Jr., M.A., M.D., FACEP, FAAEM, FAHA, FACC, FESC, FCPP – Advisor

Dr. Charles Pollack is an international leader in emergency medicine and has been active in teaching and clinical research. He is the only physician to have received the American College of Emergency Physicians’ highest national awards in both teaching and research; he also received the national teaching award from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors. He is the only US emergency physician to be elected a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology. His primary emergency care research interests are in the management of thrombosis, reversal of anticoagulation, infectious disease emergencies, and treatment of pain.

Dr. Pollack founded The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2016. The Center is the only comprehensive academic resource for education, research, and practice around the use of medicinal cannabinoids to be housed in a US university. He is also an Editorial Board member of the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

From 2015-2019, Dr. Pollack served in multiple roles at Jefferson: Associate Provost for Innovation in Education; Director, Jefferson Institute of Emerging Health Professions; Associate Dean for CME and Strategic Partner Alliances; and, Professor and Senior Advisor for Interdisciplinary Research and Clinical Trials, Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Pollack graduated summa cum laude from Emory University in 1980 with bachelor’s degrees in history and chemistry and with a master’s degree in the history of science and medicine. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Pollack earned his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha.

Dr. Pollack has written more than 500 original research articles, chapters, and abstracts, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals and on the steering committees of multiple national and international studies. He is the principal investigator on multiple ongoing trials and studies. He is also a strong advocate for entrepreneurism and innovation in healthcare.

He is a founding Board member of the Hospital Quality Foundation, a non-for-profit education and research organization dedicated to improvement in the quality of care provided to patients in the hospital and at transition back to the outpatient setting.

Dr. Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. – Advisor

Dr. Vandrey is an experimental psychologist and an Associate Professor at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Vandrey’s research focuses primarily on the impact of route of administration, dose, and chemical composition of cannabis products on resultant drug effects and pharmacokinetics. In addition, Dr. Vandrey has been involved with a broad range of studies related to the risks and benefits of medicinal cannabis use, the effects of cannabis use on sleep, cannabis withdrawal and the treatment of Cannabis Use Disorder, cannabis product testing, and developing measures of cannabis use behavior.

Dr. Sara Jane Ward, Ph.D. – Advisor

Dr. Ward is Assistant Professor in the Center for Substance Abuse Research and Department of Pharmacology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. She earned her PhD in neuroscience at Wake Forest University, studying the neurobiology of cocaine and heroin addiction and their interactive effects. She conducted her own NIH-funded research under a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Temple University, where she began to study the role of cannabinoids in learning and memory and reward processing. Dr. Ward is currently working on several projects to elucidate the therapeutic potential of non-psychoactive cannabinoids using animal models of CNS injury and disease. She has received funding from both the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense investigating the efficacy of cannabidiol for the treatment of peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Other projects ongoing in her laboratory investigate the efficacy of cannabidiol and synthetic cannabinoids on a range of nervous system targets including stroke, traumatic brain injury, dental pain and substance use disorders.

Board of Directors

Robert J. Ciaruffoli, CPA – Director

Robert J. Ciaruffoli is a co-founder and vice-chairman of Broad Street Angels, a 100 member Philadelphia based angel investor network which invests in start-up entrepreneurial businesses with high growth potential. Broad Street Angels is the largest angel investor network in the Philadelphia region.

Mr. Ciaruffoli is a CPA and served as the chairman and CEO of the Parente Beard/Baker Tilly accounting and advisory firm. During his tenure as chairman and CEO, he and his team transitioned the firm from a Pennsylvania practice to a multi-state super-regional firm. In 2014, he orchestrated a merger of the Parente Beard and Baker Tilly Virchow Krause firms to create the 12th largest US accounting and advisory firm.

Mr. Ciaruffoli also served on the board of directors and executive committee of Baker Tilly International, the eighth largest global accounting network. During his tenure on the board and the executive committee, Baker Tilly International grew from an unranked network to the eighth largest global accounting network.

Throughout his career, Mr. Ciaruffoli has served on numerous for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Presently, he is the President of the board of directors of The Pennsylvania Society, a board member of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a board member of eureQa – a SaaS cloud based automated platform for testing digital applications, and a member of the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was also the past chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy.

Mr. Ciaruffoli holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Kings College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and has proudly served in the United States Marine Corps (1970 – 1972).

James A. Datin – Director

Over the course of his 30+ year career, James A. Datin has been a successful CEO, raised capital for entrepreneurs to grow companies, and has managed companies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has also completed more than 50 transactions including venture investments, buyouts, acquisitions, mergers, IPOs, licensing and partnership agreements.

Mr. Datin is the current President & Chief Executive Officer of BioAgilytix, a leading global bioanalytical contract research organization (CRO) that supports the development of novel therapeutic biologics. Since he became CEO, BioAgilytix has grown its customer base and significantly increased its facility footprint and capacity, including expansion to Europe with the acquisition of Hamburg-based laboratory IPM Biotech. With his leadership, the company has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America six times, was named CRO of the Year in North Carolina, and has achieved industry-leading customer satisfaction as measured by an independent marketing firm. BioAgilytix was recently acquired by Cobepa, a PE fund.

Mr. Datin was previously EVP and Managing Director at Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., where he led the Deal/investment team. He was also CEO of Touchpoint Solutions and is a former board member of Intralinks, where he chaired the audit committee. The company was acquired by TA & Associates. Jim was also Chairman of the Board for five years at Clarient, a cancer diagnostics company, when it was acquired by GE Healthcare in December 2010. In addition, Jim was Chairman of the Board of Laureate Pharma.

Mr. Datin holds an Advanced Management Degree from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Marshall University.

Gerald Goldberg, CPA, CA – Director

Gerald Goldberg, CPA, CA, has over 30 years of experience in the service, distribution, retail, mining, natural resources and oil & gas, real estate, not-for-profit entities and manufacturing industries, with a strong emphasis in taxation and business advisory services. He was Interim Chief Executive Officer of Canada House Wellness Group Inc. from April 2016 to December 2017. He has also been the President at Leo Acquisitions Corp. since October 2009 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He serves as the President of SLF Capital Markets Inc. He joined the accounting firm of Schwartz Levitsky Feldman LLP in 1992 and currently serves as a Senior Partner and Head of the audit division. Mr. Goldberg served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Financial Officer of Victory Capital Corp. until March 2017. Mr. Goldberg served as the Chief Executive Officer, President of Prime City One Capital Corp. until July 2016.

Mr. Goldberg served as a Partner in the predecessor firm of Grant Thornton for over 15 years before he headed the U.S. Public Company audit division of Academy Capital Corp. He has also served in various roles at the following companies: Gravitas Financial Inc., Gilla Inc., Capricorn Business Acquisitions Inc., Baymount Inc., Blue Nordic Partners Inc., InterAmerican Gaming Inc., Grasslands Entertainment Inc., Pinetree Capital Ltd., Emerge Resources Corp., Lakeside Minerals Inc. and Keyuan Petrochemicals Inc.

David Urban – Director

David Urban joined the FSD Pharma Board of Directors in November 2018. He is a driven leader and board member with comprehensive accomplishments leading corporate development, government affairs, coalitions, legislative influence and political campaigns. He currently serves as President of American Continental Group (ACG) one of Washington’s premier bipartisan government affairs and strategic consulting firms.

Known as an innovative thinker with strong telecommunications, finance, health care, technology, defense, legal, trade and energy acumen, Mr. Urban has a record of demonstrated success advising business and government leaders in complex, regulated organizations, notably as an advisor to political campaigns at the highest levels, including the President of the United States, the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. In addition to his role as a government consultant and political advisor, Mr. Urban is a frequent contributor to CNN as a political commentator.

Mr. Urban earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctor degree from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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