Canada's highest-paid cannabis CEO made nearly $30 million this year

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Irwin Simon, the CEO of licensed producer Tilray, has earned US$13.2 million ($16.7 million) in cash bonuses this calendar year, according to a recent regulatory filing, first reported by Marijuana Business Daily. Formerly the CEO of Aphria, Simon was named CEO of Tilray after the two companies merged earlier this year. Simon earns a base salary of US$1.7 million ($2.1 million) but the filing shows his total compensation is more than US$28 million ($35.3 million). In July, Simon received “one-time equity grants” that totalled $15 million and were used as “additional incentive” to enter into an employment agreement. According to MJBizDaily, Tilray’s median employee compensation was US$15,061 (about $19,000).

Simon was also the highest-paid cannabis CEO in the country in 2019, according to a 2021 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), titled The Golden Cushion.Simon received more than $18 million in total compensation as the CEO of Aphria and was the seventh highest-earning CEO in the country. According to that report, the top-100 CEOs made 202 times what the average Canadian worker earned, on average.

In August, Canopy Growth disclosed its 2021 executive compensation numbers, which revealed that the company’s top executives earned millions of dollars in bonuses, despite the company losing $1.7 billion and laying off hundreds of employees.

CEO David Klein received a salary of $1.2 million, a $2.2 million dollar bonus and $127,000 in additional compensation, earmarked “other.”

When the Tilray and Aphria merger closed in May, Tilray’s stock was trading at US$17.02 a share. It had fallen to US$10.84 a share as of Wednesday morning.

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