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Experienced healthcare marketer joins Cannasouth to lead first products to market

Experienced healthcare marketer joins Cannasouth to lead first products to market

NZX listed medicinal cannabis company, Cannasouth Limited has appointed experienced healthcare sales and marketing executive John Sanders as Chief Commercial Officer.

Sanders will be responsible for developing and implementing marketing and sales strategies for the company’s first medicinal cannabis products. He brings to Cannasouth more than 20 years of commercial, sales and marketing experience, both globally and in New Zealand, with blue chip pharmaceutical and health supplement companies such as Bayer, Merck, Wyeth and Roche.   

Currently marketing and projects manager for Auckland Transport, Sanders has a strong background in healthcare. His roles have included senior sales, marketing and general management leadership positions covering over the counter and prescription medicines in categories such as pain management, skin care, multi-vitamins, allergy, and cough & cold.

Cannasouth CEO Mark Lucas says Sanders is a key hire for the company as it gears up to bring its first medicinal cannabis products to market later this year.

“John’s skills and expertise will help us ensure we develop commercially viable products for our key markets. He will be responsible for identifying and creating distribution channels for our products, as well as making sure we get our pricing strategy right.

“Promoting the right messages to develop and maintain a positive reputation for Cannasouth’s products and services is crucial. John has a proven track record in planning and delivering successful marketing campaigns, which demonstrate his ability to understand the end consumer.

“John’s breadth of experience in healthcare both in New Zealand and overseas will also be vital as we continue to monitor trends in the emerging medicinal cannabis market, and identify opportunities for Cannasouth to diversify and grow. 

“With strong financial acumen and extensive networks across the healthcare industry, he will be a valuable addition to the Cannasouth leadership team.”  

Sanders’ first priority will be developing sales strategies for Cannasouth’s white label medicinal cannabis products.

In May this year, Cannasouth announced it had entered into a supply agreement with MediPharm Labs Australia Pty Ltd (MediPharm Labs Australia) for the supply of white label medicinal cannabis products into the New Zealand Market. Under the agreement, MediPharm Labs Australia will supply a range of products that meet the required high-quality standards as regulated under the New Zealand Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

Sanders says Cannasouth is a reputable and well-resourced organisation to invest and deliver in a highly exciting and competitive emerging industry.

“The medicinal cannabis industry is growing quickly overseas, which presents a valuable commercial opportunity for a New Zealand company like Cannasouth.

“As in overseas markets, sales in the New Zealand medicinal cannabis market will take time to build as we educate healthcare professionals and they become comfortable with prescribing in a more accessible and relatively new category.

“I look forward to working with the Cannasouth team to lead and deliver strong and differentiated sales and marketing strategies that get results for our shareholders and for patients.”  

Born and bred in Wellington, Sanders has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Finance and a Diploma of Business Studies in Marketing, both from Massey University. He officially takes up this role with Cannasouth in August 2020.