Up to the Minute: High Tide builds its ecomm strength

Plus, The French Shop hires business development lead and IABC Toronto honours Wes Hall as Communicator of the Year.

High Tide to acquire U.S. ecommerce retailer

Calgary-based cannabis retailer High Tide has reached an agreement to acquire Smoke Cartel in a deal valued at $8 million USD. Smoke Cartel, which sells cannabis accessories and hemp-derived CBD products and fulfilled 110,000 orders last year, joins High Tide’s other ecommerce sites, Grasscity and CBDcity.

The deal will help High Tide increase its ecommerce scale and bring its products to Smoke Cartel’s existing customer base, but also give the company access to its database of one million customers and its proprietary drop-shipping technology, which High Tide CEO and president Raj Grover says will enhance the company’s ecommerce capabilities “right away.” After the deal closes, Sean Geng, founder and CTO of Smoke Cartel, will join High Tide as its CTO to oversee all IT and ecommerce initiatives for the company globally.

The French Shop hires marketing vet to grow business

Denis Ferlatte has joined The French Shop as director of business development. Working with president and founder Martin Archambault, he will be responsible for continued growth at the agency, which specializes in helping national and global brands localize their marketing and communications strategies for the Quebec market.

Ferlatte brings more than 10 years of experience from the marketing team at Coca-Cola, where he was most recently senior manager of integrated marketing communications and a French Shop client, as well as another decade at Molson Coors Canada. Archambault says the kind of leadership experience Ferlatte brings is “essential” to the agency’s development plan, with Ferlatte adding that its business model “supports a growing need among major brands and advertisers.”

IABC Toronto recognizes Wes Hall

The Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has picked Wes Hall as its 2020 Communicator of the Year.

Hall is the executive chairman of strategic communications firm Kingsdale Advisors, which he founded in 2003. Last year, he also founded the BlackNorth Initiative, which takes a business-first approach to ending anti-Black systemic racism by committing business leaders and their organizations to specific actions. More than 400 organizations have signed a pledge with BlackNorth to date. In an announcement, Hall thanked the IABC for the recognition, but stressed that the work BlackNorth has started was just beginning.

“Until now, Blacks have been left behind by the diversity movement in Canada and we are changing that,” he said. “We have built the modern, Canadian version of the NAACP, purpose-built to be the voice of Blacks and the force to drive measurable change for Blacks. Uniquely positioned, BlackNorth has the reach, resources and approach needed to dismantle anti-Black systemic racism in Canada for good.”