GoBlue and I spoke about Cam Battley’s Twitter feed a couple of days ago.
His posting had become more intermittent lately, probably reflecting the recent travails of Aurora’s share price, internet nattering about whether $ACB’s cash is sufficient, or about delaying some construction plans.
These are relatively ‘normal’ course sorts of things, as the internet’s opinion forming drives its’ own trajectory. The Diviners; the Guessers; the ‘I Know Because Some One Said It’ sorts – are always around. For the most part, opinion and perceptions are formed over time by repetition and volume. The more one hears something and the more sources that repeat it – many come to think it must be the way things are.
Whether it’s fact or not is a different thing, because something is what it’s seen to be, not necessarily what it actually is.
Cam Battley has been one of the most visible actors in the legal cannabis space in Canada – largely seen as an articulate advocate, highly visible, and always quick to provide the energy that can perk up almost any space.
I first came across him at Lift Expo in January 2018 at the nadir of enthusiasm about legal cannabis, and I saw him validating medical cannabis use, and legitimizing recreational adult cannabis use. I found him a little bit too heavy on the ‘jazz hands’, but impossible to dismiss. And it was hard to argue against any of the positions he put forward – except to ultimately come down to a difference of opinion. Which, any reasonable person can understand, and acknowledge.
The past couple of posts to his Twitter account – whether about the business, or simply an afternoon jog in the park – had become place where angry replies and menacing comments replaced the relatively pleasant interactions that had existed just a few months earlier.
Being the high profile ‘face’ of a company is a dual edged sword.
Celebrated during a rise, if the tides turn, one can become the same focal point of negative emotion. And many emotions out there right now are pretty raw.
The business side of the cannabis industry needs more Cam’s. It needs more Greg Engels. It needs serious people from formal commerce who will help normalize the legal industry that it is. Articulate, passionate people like Cam, will genuinely be missed.
The reasons for the ‘step away’ from his role (into a move that he probably really wanted to do anyhow) might forever remain unknown – except to Terry Booth, and perhaps Glen Ibbott. Definitely the Board. Speculation will abound of course.
One who’s familiar with TheCannalysts might see a connection to Cam’s departure to some of the issues we’ve surfaced of late with their wholesale transactions. There will be much speculation.
At the end of it: a brusque departure with no apparent succession plan in place….speaks for itself.
Being the most notable face of an organization has two sides though.
Now, Cam has seen both of them.
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