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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A
PROXY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 14(a) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Filed by the Registrant ☒
Filed by a Party other than the Registrant
Check the appropriate box:
Preliminary Proxy Statement
Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a-6(e)(2))
Definitive Proxy Statement
Definitive Additional Materials
Soliciting Material under §240.14a-12
CRONOS GROUP INC.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check all boxes that apply):
No fee required.
Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.
Fee computed on table in exhibit required by Item 25(b) per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(1) and 0-11.

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April 28, 2023
Dear Shareholder:
On behalf of the Board of Directors and management of Cronos Group Inc., I am pleased to invite you to the 2023 Annual Meeting of shareholders which will be held on June 22, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., Toronto time.
Consistent with last year, we will hold our 2023 Annual Meeting in a virtual-only format, which will be conducted via live audio webcast.
The attached Notice of 2023 Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement describes the formal business to be conducted at the 2023 Annual Meeting. Registered shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders will have an equal opportunity to participate in the 2023 Annual Meeting online regardless of their geographic location, including having the opportunity to ask questions and vote on a number of important matters. The attached Proxy Statement contains detailed instructions about how to participate in the virtual 2023 Annual Meeting.
Your vote is important. Whether or not you plan to attend the virtual 2023 Annual Meeting, please vote your shares at your earliest convenience by using the facsimile and Internet voting procedures described on the proxy card or voting instruction form or, if you received a paper copy of a proxy card or voting instruction form by mail, by completing, signing, dating and returning your proxy card or voting instruction form in the envelope provided.
Thank you for your continued support of Cronos.
 
Sincerely,
 
graphic
 
Michael Gorenstein
 
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

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CRONOS GROUP INC.

NOTICE OF 2023 ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

TO BE HELD THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2023
NOTICE HEREBY IS GIVEN that the 2023 Annual Meeting (the “Annual Meeting”) of the holders (the “Shareholders”) of common shares (“Shares”) of Cronos Group Inc. (the “Company”) will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., Toronto time, via live audio webcast online at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/CRON2023. The Annual Meeting will be held for the following purposes:
1.
the receipt of the audited consolidated financial statements of the Company as at and for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and the auditors’ reports thereon;
2.
the election to the board of directors of the Company (the “Board of Directors”) of the seven directors named in the attached Proxy Statement;
3.
the adoption of an advisory (non-binding) resolution to approve the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as disclosed in the attached Proxy Statement;
4.
the appointment of KPMG LLP to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023 and to authorize the Board of Directors to fix KPMG LLP’s remuneration; and
5.
such other business as may properly come before the Annual Meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof.
The Board of Directors is not aware of any other business to be presented to a vote of the Shareholders at the Annual Meeting.
The items of business are described more fully in the accompanying Proxy Statement. Consistent with last year, in order to reduce printing and mailing costs and as a matter of good environmental stewardship, we will be providing access to our proxy materials over the Internet under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s “notice and access” rules. As a result, on or about May 11, 2023, we are mailing to most of the Company’s Shareholders a notice of availability of proxy materials instead of a paper copy of the Proxy Statement and our Annual Report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022. Shareholders that would like to receive a paper copy may do so by following the instructions in the Proxy Statement.
Consistent with last year, we will hold our Annual Meeting in a virtual-only format, which will be conducted via live audio webcast. Registered Shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders, including non-registered Shareholders who have duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder, will have an equal opportunity to participate in the Annual Meeting online regardless of their geographic location, including asking questions and voting, all in real time, provided they are connected to the Internet and comply with all of the requirements set out in the attached Proxy Statement. Rules of conduct for the Annual Meeting will be posted on the virtual meeting site for the convenience of Shareholders.
The Board of Directors has fixed 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on April 27, 2023 as the record date for determining the Shareholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting and any adjournments or postponements thereof.
Non-registered Shareholders who have not duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder will be able to listen to the Annual Meeting as guests, but guests will not be able to ask questions or vote at the Annual Meeting. A registered Shareholder who wishes to appoint a person, other than the Board nominees identified on the proxy card, as a proxy must carefully follow the instructions in the attached Proxy Statement and on such registered Shareholder’s proxy card. These instructions include the additional step of registering such proxyholder with the Company by following the instructions in such registered Shareholder’s proxy card. Failure to register the proxyholder will result in such proxyholder not being able to participate in the Annual Meeting and only being able to listen to the Annual Meeting as a guest.
Registered Shareholders as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on the record date of April 27, 2023 may exercise their right to vote by completing and submitting the proxy card provided to them. To be effective, the proxy must be received by Broadridge prior to 11:59 p.m., Toronto time, on June 20, 2023 or, in the case of any
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adjournment or postponement of the Annual Meeting, prior to 11:59 p.m., Toronto time, on the date that is two business days before the date of the adjourned or postponed meeting. Registered Shareholders may also vote their Shares by participating in the Annual Meeting. Detailed instructions on how to complete and return proxies or vote by facsimile or electronically using the facsimile and Internet voting procedures are provided in the attached Proxy Statement.
Non-registered Shareholders, including those who hold Shares in the name of a bank, trust company, securities dealer or broker, or other intermediary, will receive a voting instruction form. The voting instruction form contains instructions on how to complete the form, where to return it to and the deadline for returning it, which may be earlier than the deadline for registered Shareholders, and whether facsimile or Internet voting options are available. If you do not receive such voting instructions or are unsure about anything in such voting instructions, contact your bank, trust company, securities dealer or broker, or other intermediary through which you hold your Shares.
WHETHER OR NOT YOU EXPECT TO ATTEND THE VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROXY WITH YOUR VOTING INSTRUCTIONS. YOU MAY VOTE BY FACSIMILE OR INTERNET (BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE PROXY CARD OR VOTING INSTRUCTION FORM) OR BY MAIL.
By order of the Board of Directors,
graphic
Michael Gorenstein
 
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Toronto, Ontario
April 28, 2023
Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be Held on June 22, 2023.
Our Notice of Annual Meeting, Proxy Statement, Annual Report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and any other proxy soliciting materials we use are available at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/financial-information/annual-meeting.
We are making the Proxy Statement and the form of proxy first available on or about May 11, 2023.
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Page
When used in this Proxy Statement, the terms “Cronos,” “we,” “our,” “us” and the “Company” refer to Cronos Group Inc., its consolidated subsidiaries and, if applicable, its joint ventures and investments accounted for by the equity method; the term “fiscal year” refers to our fiscal year, which is based on a 12-month period ending December 31 of each year (e.g., fiscal year 2022 refers to the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022); the term “Intermediary” means any bank, trust company, securities dealer or broker, or other intermediary; the term “cannabis” means the plant of any species or subspecies of genus Cannabis and any part of that plant, including all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, and the term “U.S. hemp” has the meaning given to term “hemp” in the U.S. Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (“CBD”).
Unless otherwise specified, the information contained in this Proxy Statement is given as of April 28, 2023, the date of this Proxy Statement. Unless otherwise specified, all references to “dollars” or “$” in this Proxy Statement are to United States dollars and all references to “C$” are to Canadian dollars.
In addition, this Proxy Statement includes several website addresses. These website addresses are intended to provide inactive, textual references only. The information on or referred to on these websites is not part of this Proxy Statement.
  This Proxy Statement includes forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control. Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions, estimates and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. For a discussion of some of the risks and important factors that could affect the Company’s business, prospects, operations, future results and financial condition, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
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CRONOS GROUP INC.

111 Peter Street, Suite 300

Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1
PROXY STATEMENT

FOR THE 2023 ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

TO BE HELD THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2023
These proxy materials are furnished in connection with the solicitation by the board of directors (the “Board” or our “Board”) of Cronos Group Inc. (“Cronos” or the “Company”), a corporation incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) (“BCBCA”), of proxies to be voted at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the holders (the “Shareholders”) of common shares (“Shares”) of the Company and at any adjournment or postponement of such meeting (the “Annual Meeting”). This proxy statement (this “Proxy Statement”), together with the Notice of Annual Meeting and proxy card or voting instruction form, is first being made available to Shareholders on or about May 11, 2023.
ABOUT THE MEETING
Why am I receiving these materials?
We have made these proxy materials available to you on the Internet or have delivered printed versions of these materials to you by mail in connection with the solicitation, by the Board, of proxies to be voted at the Annual Meeting. You are receiving this Proxy Statement because you were a Shareholder as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on April 27, 2023, the record date for the Annual Meeting. The Notice of Annual Meeting provides notice of the Annual Meeting, and this Proxy Statement describes the proposals presented for Shareholder action and includes information required to be disclosed to Shareholders.
What is included in these proxy materials?
These proxy materials include:
this Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting; and
our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
If you received printed versions of these materials by mail, these materials also include the proxy card or voting instruction form for the Annual Meeting.
Why did I receive a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials in the mail instead of proxy materials?
In accordance with the “notice and access” rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), instead of mailing a printed copy of our proxy materials to all Shareholders, we have elected to furnish such materials to selected Shareholders by providing access to these documents over the Internet. Accordingly, on or about May 11, 2023, we sent a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (“Notice of Internet Availability”) to most of our Shareholders.
These Shareholders have the ability to access the proxy materials on a website referred to in the Notice of Internet Availability or request to receive a printed set of the proxy materials by calling the toll-free number found on the Notice of Internet Availability. We encourage you to take advantage of the availability of the proxy materials on the Internet in order to help save natural resources and reduce the cost to print and distribute the proxy materials.
How can I get electronic access to the proxy materials?
For those Shareholders who receive a Notice of Internet Availability, the Notice of Internet Availability provides instructions regarding how to:
view our proxy materials for the Annual Meeting on the Internet;
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vote your Shares after you have viewed our proxy materials;
request a printed copy of the proxy materials; and
instruct us to send our future proxy materials to you electronically by email.
Copies of the proxy materials are available for viewing at www.proxyvote.com.
You may elect to receive proxy materials by email by following the instructions contained in the Notice of Internet Availability. If you would like to request an emailed copy of the proxy materials, you may do so prior to June 8, 2023 by (1) visiting www.proxyvote.com, (2) calling 1-800-579-1639 or (3) sending an email to sendmaterial@proxyvote.com. Even if you received a printed copy of our proxy materials, you may choose to receive future proxy materials by email. If you do so, you will receive an email next year with instructions containing a link to view those proxy materials and a link to the proxy voting site. Your election to receive proxy materials by email will remain in effect until you terminate it or for so long as the email address provided by you is valid.
When and where is the Annual Meeting?
The Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., Toronto time, via live audio webcast online at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/CRON2023. We are not holding an in-person meeting.
What matters will be submitted to Shareholders at the Annual Meeting?
At the Annual Meeting, you will be asked to vote on each of the following matters:
Proposal 1:
To elect the seven nominees named in this Proxy Statement to the Board;
Proposal 2:
To adopt an advisory (non-binding) resolution approving the compensation of our named executive officers (“NEOs”) as disclosed in this Proxy Statement; and
Proposal 3:
To appoint KPMG LLP (“KPMG”) to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2023 and to authorize the Board to fix KPMG’s remuneration.
We will conduct such other business as may properly come before the Annual Meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof. The Board is not aware of any other business to be presented to a vote of the Shareholders at the Annual Meeting.
In addition, the audited consolidated financial statements of the Company as of and for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and the auditors’ reports thereon will be placed before the Shareholders at the Annual Meeting.
Who may vote at the Annual Meeting?
Only record holders of our Shares as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on April 27, 2023 (the “Record Date”) will be entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. On the Record Date, the Company had 380,815,921 Shares outstanding. Each outstanding Share entitles the holder to one vote on each matter to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting.
How are votes counted and what is the required vote for each proposal?
As of the Record Date, there were 380,815,921 Shares outstanding, each of which entitles the holder to one vote on each matter to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting.
Proposal 1: Election of Directors
You may select “For” or “Withhold” with respect to each nominee for director under Proposal 1. Directors will be elected by a plurality of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting. However, the Board’s majority voting policy (the “Majority Voting Policy”) requires that any nominee for director who does not receive a greater number of votes “for” his or her election as a director than votes “withheld” from voting tender his or her resignation to the Board for consideration by the independent directors of the Company promptly following the Annual Meeting. The independent directors of the Company will consider the resignation and will provide a
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recommendation to the Board within 45 days following the Annual Meeting. The Board will consider the recommendation of the independent directors of the Company and determine whether to accept such recommendation within 90 days of the Annual Meeting. Absent exceptional circumstances, the Board will accept the resignation, which will be effective upon such acceptance. A news release will be issued promptly by the Company announcing the Board’s determination, including, if applicable, the reasons for rejecting the resignation. A director who tenders his or her resignation will not participate in any meetings to consider whether the resignation will be accepted. Shares held by brokers who are prohibited from exercising discretionary authority for beneficial owners who have not given voting instructions (“broker non-votes”) will not be counted as votes cast and will have no effect on the outcome of the voting on this proposal.
Proposal 2: Advisory Vote on the Compensation of Our Named Executive Officers
You may select “For”, “Against” or “Abstain” with respect to Proposal 2. The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting is required for the approval, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, of the compensation of our NEOs as disclosed in this Proxy Statement. The results of the vote on the proposal are not binding on the Board or the Compensation Committee. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not be included in the total votes cast and will not affect the results.
Proposal 3: Appointment of KPMG LLP
You may select “For” or “Withhold” your vote with respect to Proposal 3. The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting is required in order to appoint our independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2023. U.S. (but not Canadian) brokers may exercise discretion and vote on this matter and these will be counted as votes cast. Broker non-votes will not be counted as votes cast and will have no effect on the outcome of the voting on this proposal.
What are the Board’s recommendations as to how I should vote on each proposal?
The Board recommends a vote:
FOR” the election of each of the seven director nominees named in this Proxy Statement;
FOR” the advisory (non-binding) resolution approving the compensation of the NEOs as disclosed in this Proxy Statement; and
FOR” the appointment of KPMG to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2023 and the authorization of the Board to fix KPMG’s remuneration.
How do I participate in the Annual Meeting?
The Company is holding the Annual Meeting in a virtual-only format, which will be conducted via live audio webcast. Shareholders will not be able to attend the Annual Meeting in person. Participating in the Annual Meeting online enables registered Shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders, including non-registered Shareholders who have duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder, to ask questions and vote, all in real time. Registered Shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders can vote at the appropriate times during the Annual Meeting. Guests, including non-registered Shareholders who have not duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder, can log in to the Annual Meeting as set out below. Guests can listen to the Annual Meeting but are not able to ask questions or vote at the Annual Meeting.
To log in to the Annual Meeting online, visit www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/CRON2023 on your smart phone, tablet or computer. If you are a registered Shareholder or a duly appointed proxyholder, you will need to enter the 16-digit Control Number issued in respect of the Shares, your first and last name and your email address. If you are a guest, including a non-registered Shareholder who has not been duly appointed as a proxyholder, you will need to enter your first and last name and your email address. You will need the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Edge, or Firefox. Please ensure your browser is compatible. We recommend that you log in at least 15 minutes before the Annual Meeting starts.
Duly appointed proxyholders must obtain a Control Number as described under “If I have appointed a proxyholder, how can they participate in and vote at the Annual Meeting?”. Without the Control Number, proxyholders will not be able to participate in the Annual Meeting.
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If you are a registered Shareholder or duly appointed proxyholder that would like to vote at the Annual Meeting, it is important that you are connected to the Internet at all times during the Annual Meeting in order to vote when balloting commences. It is your responsibility to ensure connectivity for the duration of the Annual Meeting. You should allow ample time to check into the Annual Meeting online and complete the related procedures.
How can I submit questions during the Annual Meeting?
Registered Shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders, including non-registered Shareholders who have duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder, will be able to submit questions online by typing questions into the text box where indicated and clicking on the submit button. Questions can be submitted only during the Annual Meeting and using the means specified during the Annual Meeting.
We intend to answer properly submitted questions that are pertinent to the Company and Annual Meeting matters, as time permits. Questions submitted will be moderated before being sent to the Chairman of the Annual Meeting. The Company reserves the right to edit profanity or other inappropriate language, or to exclude questions that are not pertinent to Annual Meeting matters or that are otherwise inappropriate.
What if I need technical assistance?
If you encounter any technical difficulties accessing the virtual Annual Meeting during the check-in or the Annual Meeting, please use the phone numbers found on the log-in page to contact technical support.
How do I submit my vote?
Voting by Proxy before the Annual Meeting
If you are a Shareholder of record as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on the Record Date, or a duly appointed proxyholder, you can vote via the Internet, by telephone or, for those Shareholders who receive a paper proxy card in the mail, by completing, dating and signing your proxy card and returning it to Broadridge as follows:
Through the internet. Visit www.proxyvote.com to vote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you access the website. You will be prompted to enter your Control Number to submit an electronic ballot.
By telephone. Use any touch-tone telephone to dial 1 (800) 690-6903 to vote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you call. You will be prompted to enter your Control Number and then follow the directions given.
By mail. Mark, sign and date your proxy card and return it in the postage-paid envelope that is provided or return it to Vote Processing, c/o Broadridge, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, NY 11717.
For those Shareholders who receive a Notice of Internet Availability, the Notice of Internet Availability provides information on how to access their proxy on the Internet, which contains instructions on how to vote. If you received a Notice of Internet Availability, you may request a printed copy of your proxy materials by following the instructions contained in the Notice of Internet Availability. If you would like to request a printed copy of the proxy materials, you may do so prior to June 8, 2023 by (1) visiting www.proxyvote.com, (2) calling 1-800-579-1639or (3) sending an email to sendmaterial@proxyvote.com.
If you are voting by proxy, you must ensure that the proxy is received no later than 11:59 p.m. (Toronto time) on June 20, 2023, or, in the case of any adjournment or postponement of the Annual Meeting, no later than 11:59 p.m. (Toronto time) on the date that is two business days before the date of the adjourned or postponed meeting. The time limit for the delivery of proxies may also be waived or extended by the Chair of the Annual Meeting at his or her discretion, without notice.
Voting at the Meeting
Registered Shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders can vote at the appropriate times by completing a ballot online during the Annual Meeting. We anticipate that once voting has opened during the Annual Meeting, the resolutions and voting choices will be displayed and you will be able to vote by selecting your voting
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direction from the options shown on the screen. Confirmation that your vote has been received should then appear. We anticipate that while voting remains open during the Annual Meeting you will be able to change your vote by selecting another voting direction or cancel your vote by pressing the cancel button.
What do I do if I hold my Shares through an Intermediary?
If you hold your Shares through an Intermediary, you can vote by following the instructions in the voting instruction form or in accordance with any other instructions provided by that Intermediary.
Non-registered Shareholders who have not duly appointed themselves as a proxyholder will be able to listen to the Annual Meeting but will not be able to ask questions or vote at the Annual Meeting. This is because the Company and Broadridge do not have a record of the non-registered Shareholders and, as a result, have no knowledge of your shareholdings or entitlement to vote unless you appoint yourself as a proxyholder.
The Company has distributed copies of the Notice of Internet Availability to the Intermediaries for onward distribution to non-registered Shareholders. Intermediaries are required to forward the Notice of Internet Availability to non-registered Shareholders unless a non-registered Shareholder has waived the right to receive it. Typically, Intermediaries will use a service company (such as Broadridge) to forward the Notice of Internet Availability to non-registered Shareholders. The Company is a “Participating Issuer” under Broadridge’s Electronic Delivery Procedures. Non-registered Shareholders who have enrolled in Broadridge’s Electronic Delivery Procedures (at www.investordelivery.com) will have received an email notification from Broadridge that the Notice of Meeting, this Proxy Statement and a proxy card or voting instruction form are available electronically, which notification includes a hyperlink to the page on the Internet where the proxy materials can be viewed. Generally, non-registered Shareholders who have not waived the right to receive proxy materials will be given a voting instruction form which must be completed and signed by the non-registered Shareholders in accordance with the directions on the voting instruction form; voting instruction forms sent by the Company and Broadridge permit the completion of the voting instruction form by facsimile or through the Internet at www.proxyvote.com.
The Company will pay for an Intermediary to deliver proxy materials to non-objecting beneficial owners of Shares (“NOBOs”) and objecting beneficial owners of Shares (“OBOs”). Any proxy materials sent to NOBOs and OBOs will be accompanied by a voting instruction form. By returning the voting instruction form in accordance with the instructions noted thereon, a NOBO or OBO is able to instruct the voting of the Shares owned by it. Voting instruction forms, whether provided by the Company or by an Intermediary, should be completed and returned in accordance with the specific instructions noted thereon. The purpose of this procedure is to permit non-registered Shareholders to direct the voting of the Shares which they beneficially own.
If you are a non-registered Shareholder and wish to vote at the Annual Meeting, you should follow the instructions in the voting instruction form or contact your Intermediary for instructions and must follow all of the applicable instructions, including the deadline, provided by your Intermediary.
Can I appoint a proxyholder not named in the proxy card or voting instruction form?
The persons named in the proxy card or voting instruction form are directors or officers of the Company designated by the Board. A registered Shareholder has the right to appoint as a proxyholder a person or company (who need not be a Shareholder) other than the persons already named by the Board in the proxy card to attend and act on such registered Shareholder’s behalf at the Annual Meeting. Such right may be exercised by inserting the name of the person or company in the blank space provided in the proxy card or by completing a later dated proxy card. The proxyholder does not need to be a Shareholder, but the proxyholder does need to understand that the registered Shareholder’s vote will not be counted unless the proxyholder attends the Annual Meeting and votes the registered Shareholder’s Shares.
If you are a non-registered Shareholder and wish to appoint someone else as your proxyholder, including yourself, to participate in the Annual Meeting, including asking questions and voting, please follow the instructions in the voting instruction form or contact your Intermediary for instructions.
If I have appointed a proxyholder, how can they participate in and vote at the Annual Meeting?
If you are a registered Shareholder and have appointed someone other than the Board’s nominees as your proxyholder, the person you have appointed as your proxyholder must obtain a Control Number to participate in
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the Annual Meeting as your proxy and vote your Shares. It is the responsibility of the Shareholder to advise his or her proxyholder to contact the appropriate party to obtain a Control Number. Without the Control Number, proxyholders will not be able to participate in the Annual Meeting, including asking questions and voting.
Requests for a Control Number must be made by 11:59 p.m. (Toronto time) on June 20, 2023.
What constitutes a quorum?
The Annual Meeting will be held only if a quorum is present. A quorum will be present if the holders of 33 1/3% of the Shares outstanding as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on the Record Date and entitled to vote on a matter at the Annual Meeting are represented, directly or by proxy, at the Annual Meeting. Shares represented by properly completed proxy cards or voting instruction forms either marked “abstain” or “withhold,” or returned without voting instructions, are counted as present and entitled to vote for the purpose of determining whether a quorum is present at the Annual Meeting. If Shares are held by brokers who have submitted proxies but are prohibited from exercising discretionary authority for beneficial owners who have not given voting instructions, those Shares will be counted as represented at the Annual Meeting for the purpose of determining whether a quorum is present at the Annual Meeting.
Can I change or revoke my vote after I return my proxy card or voting instruction form?
Yes. In addition to revocation in any manner permitted by law, a registered Shareholder as of 5:00 p.m., Toronto time, on the Record Date who has returned a proxy card may revoke it at any time before it is voted at the Annual Meeting by:
completing and signing a proxy card bearing a later date, and delivering it to Broadridge in accordance with the instructions (including the submissions deadlines) set out above;
delivering a written statement expressly revoking such proxy, signed by the registered Shareholder or by the registered Shareholders’ attorney, who is authorized in writing, to:
the Corporate Secretary of the Company at 111 Peter Street, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, at any time up to and including two business days prior to the Annual Meeting, or two business days preceding the day to which the Annual Meeting is adjourned or postponed; or
the Chair of the Annual Meeting prior to the start of the Annual Meeting.
If a registered Shareholder has followed the process for participating in and voting at the Annual Meeting online, voting at the Annual Meeting online will revoke all previously submitted proxies.
A non-registered Shareholder who wishes to revoke their voting instructions must complete, sign and submit a voting instruction form bearing a later date or contact their Intermediary in respect of such instructions and comply with any applicable requirements imposed by such Intermediary. An Intermediary may not be able to revoke such instructions if it receives insufficient notice of revocation.
Who will count the votes?
A representative of American Election Services, LLC will act as scrutineer at the Annual Meeting and will count the votes.
Will my vote be kept confidential?
Yes. As a matter of policy, Shareholder proxies, ballots and tabulations that identify individual Shareholders are kept confidential.
Who pays to prepare, mail and solicit the proxies?
The Company pays all the costs of preparing, mailing and soliciting proxies in connection with this Proxy Statement. We may solicit proxies by advertisement, telephone, online or personally by directors or officers or other employees of the Company without additional compensation. Intermediaries may request and forward proxy materials to beneficial owners and seek authority to execute proxies. The Company will reimburse the Intermediaries for their expenses in forwarding the proxy materials to and seeking authority from such beneficial owners. The costs of solicitation will be borne by the Company.
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How will my Shares be voted if I sign, date and return my proxy card or voting instruction form?
If you sign, date and return your proxy card or voting instruction form and indicate how you would like your Shares voted, your Shares will be voted or withheld from voting as you have instructed. If you sign, date and return your proxy card or voting instruction form but do not indicate how you would like your Shares voted, your proxy will be voted:
FOR” the election of each of the seven director nominees named in this Proxy Statement;
FOR” the advisory (non-binding) resolution approving the compensation of the NEOs as disclosed in this Proxy Statement; and
FOR” the appointment of KPMG to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2023 and the authorization of the Board to fix KPMG’s remuneration.
How will broker non-votes be treated?
A “broker non-vote” occurs when a broker who holds its customer’s Shares in street name submits proxies for such Shares but indicates that it does not have authority to vote on a particular matter. Generally, this occurs when brokers have not received any instructions from their customers. Without specific instructions, Canadian brokers are prohibited from voting their customers’ Shares.
Without specific instructions, U.S. brokers, as the holders of record, are permitted to vote their customers’ Shares on “routine” matters only, but not on other matters. Shares for which U.S. brokers have not received instructions from their customers will only be permitted to vote on the following proposal:
To appoint KPMG to serve as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2023 and to authorize the Board to fix KPMG’s remuneration.
Shares for which U.S. brokers have not received instructions from their customers will not be permitted to vote on the following proposals:
to elect the seven director nominees named in this Proxy Statement to the Board; or
to approve, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, the compensation of the NEOs as disclosed in this Proxy Statement.
Does the Company have cumulative voting?
Shareholders have no cumulative voting rights.
What if other matters come up during the Annual Meeting?
If any matters other than those referred to in the Notice of Annual Meeting properly come before the Annual Meeting, the individuals named in the proxy card or voting instruction form will vote the proxies held by them in accordance with their best judgment. As of the date of this Proxy Statement, the Board is not aware of any business other than the items referred to in the Notice of Annual Meeting that will be considered at the Annual Meeting.
How do I contact the Corporate Secretary of the Company?
In several sections of this Proxy Statement, we suggest that you should contact the Corporate Secretary of the Company to follow up on various items. You can reach our Corporate Secretary by writing to 111 Peter Street, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1 or by email at corporate.secretary@thecronosgroup.com.
Principal Holders of Voting Securities.
As of the date of this Proxy Statement, to the knowledge of the directors and executive officers of the Company, no person or entity beneficially owns, or controls or directs, directly or indirectly, voting securities of the Company carrying 5% or more of the voting rights attached to any class of outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting, other than Altria Group, Inc. (“Altria”), as indirect beneficial owner of 156,573,537 Shares or approximately 41% of the issued and outstanding Shares as of March 31, 2023 (calculated on a non-diluted basis).
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Your vote is important.
Because many Shareholders cannot participate in the Annual Meeting, it is necessary that a large number be represented by proxy in order to satisfy that a quorum be present to conduct business at the Annual Meeting. Whether or not you plan to participate in the Annual Meeting, prompt voting will be appreciated. Shareholders can vote their Shares via the Internet or by facsimile. Instructions for using this convenient service are provided on the proxy card or voting instruction form. Of course, you may still vote your Shares at the Annual Meeting. Shareholders who received a paper copy of a proxy card or voting instruction form may complete, sign, date and return the proxy card or voting instruction form promptly in the postage-paid envelope.
Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials

for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to Be Held on Thursday, June 22, 2023:

The Notice and Proxy Statement and Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year Ended December 31, 2022

Are Available Free of Charge at:

https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/financial-information/annual-meeting.
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PROPOSAL NO. 1—ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
Board of Directors
The Company’s articles provide that the size of the Board will be set at seven directors. Each director will hold office from the date of the Annual Meeting until the close of the next annual meeting of Shareholders or until the successor of such director has been duly elected and/or appointed in accordance with the articles of the Company, the Investor Rights Agreement dated as of March 8, 2019 between the Company and Altria (the “Investor Rights Agreement”), and applicable law.
The Investor Rights Agreement provides that, for so long as Altria, Maple Acquireco (Canada) ULC, Altria Summit LLC and each of their respective controlled affiliates (the “Altria Group”) continues to beneficially own at least 40% of the issued and outstanding Shares, and the size of the Board is seven directors, the Company will nominate for election as directors to the Board four individuals designated by Altria (each, an “Altria Nominee”). In addition, for so long as Altria Group continues to beneficially own greater than 10% but less than 40% of the issued and outstanding Shares, Altria is entitled to designate a number of Altria Nominees that represents Altria Group’s proportionate share of the number of directors comprising the Board (rounded up to the next whole number) based on the percentage of the issued and outstanding Shares beneficially owned by the Altria Group at the relevant time. At least one Altria Nominee must be “independent” as defined in the Investor Rights Agreement (“Investor Rights Agreement Independent”) as long as Altria has the right to designate at least three individuals to be nominated for election as directors to the Board and the Altria Group’s beneficial ownership of the issued and outstanding Shares does not exceed 50%. The meaning of Investor Rights Agreement Independent differs from the meaning of the term “independent” as defined under applicable NASDAQ listing standards and the NASDAQ marketplace rules (the “NASDAQ Rules”) and as defined in National Instrument 58-101 – Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices (“NI 58-101”). Directors who are not Investor Rights Agreement Independent may still be independent under the applicable NASDAQ Rules and/or NI 58-101. Kendrick Ashton, Jr., Kamran Khan, Dominik Meier, and Elizabeth Seegar are the Altria Nominees. Other than the Altria Nominees, the nominees for election as directors of the Company were selected by a majority of the Board’s independent directors within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules.
Nominees for Election as Directors at the Annual Meeting
The Board has not established a formal nominating committee. Rather, the Board has determined that compliance with the NASDAQ Rules, which require that director nominees (other than the Altria Nominees) are recommended for the Board’s selection by independent directors within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules constituting a majority of the Board’s independent directors in a vote in which only independent directors participate, with the independence requirements applicable to such directors to be confirmed at such time, adequately encourages an objective nomination process. Individuals are selected with the desired experience and qualifications, taking into account the needs of the Board at the time. In making its recommendations, the Board’s independent directors consider:
the attributes and skills that the Board considers to be necessary for the Board, as a whole, to possess;
the attributes and skills that the Board considers each existing director to possess;
the attributes and skills each new nominee will bring to the boardroom;
whether or not each new nominee can devote sufficient time and resources to his or her duties as a Board member; and
diversity criteria, pursuant to the Company’s Diversity Policy as further described below under “– Diversity.”
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The following table sets forth certain information regarding the director nominees. Additional biographical information on each of the nominees is included below under the section entitled “Directors and Executive Officers.”
Director Name
Age
Director Since
Residency
Principal Occupation
Michael Gorenstein
36
2015
Miami, FL United States
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cronos
Jason Adler(1)(2)(3)
51
2016
Pacific Palisades, CA United States
Co-founder and Managing Member of Gotham Green Partners
Kendrick Ashton, Jr.(1)(2)(3)
47
2021
McLean, VA United States
Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of The St. James
Kamran Khan(1)
49
Richmond, VA United States
Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Altria
Dominik Meier(1)
45
Richmond, VA United States
Vice President of Consumer Insights of Altria
Elizabeth Seegar(1)
45
Richmond, VA United States
Vice President of Financial Analysis of Altria
James Rudyk(1)(2)(3)
56
2018
Oakville, ON Canada
Chief Financial Officer of Ag Growth International Inc.
(1)
“Independent” within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules.
(2)
“Independent” within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101.
(3)
Investor Rights Agreement Independent.
In considering the nominees’ individual experience, qualifications, attributes, skills and past Board participation, the Board’s independent directors have concluded that when considered all together, the appropriate experience, qualifications, attributes, skills and participation are represented for the Board as a whole and for each of the Board’s committees.
There are no family relationships among any directors and executive officers. Each nominee has indicated a willingness to serve and has consented to being named in this Proxy Statement, and the Board has no reason to believe that any of the nominees will not be available for election. However, if any of the nominees is not available for election, proxies may be voted for the election of other persons selected by the Board unless the proxy specifies the Shares are to be withheld from voting in the election of the directors. Proxies cannot, however, be voted for a greater number of persons than the number of nominees named. Shareholders have no cumulative voting rights with respect to the election of directors.
Required Vote
With regard to the election of the director nominees, you may select “For” or “Withhold”. A plurality of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting is necessary to elect each director nominee.
However, under the Majority Voting Policy, any nominee for director who does not receive a greater number of votes “for” his or her election as a director than votes “withheld” from voting is required to tender his or her resignation to the Board for consideration by the independent directors of the Company promptly following the Annual Meeting. The independent directors of the Company will consider the resignation and will provide a recommendation to the Board within 45 days following the Annual Meeting. The Board will consider the recommendation of the independent directors of the Company and determine whether to accept such recommendation within 90 days of the Annual Meeting. Absent exceptional circumstances, the Board will accept the resignation which will be effective upon such acceptance. A news release will be issued promptly by the Company announcing the Board’s determination, including, if applicable, the reasons for rejecting the resignation. A director who tenders his or her resignation will not participate in any meetings to consider whether the resignation shall be accepted.
A copy of the Majority Voting Policy is available on the Company’s website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THE ELECTION OF EACH OF THE NOMINEES FOR DIRECTOR NAMED ABOVE.
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DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The following table sets forth information regarding each current director, director nominee, and current executive officer of the Company. If elected at the Annual Meeting, Messrs. Khan and Meier and Ms. Seegar will replace Messrs. Begley and Garnick and Ms. Newman as directors.
Name
Age
Position
Michael Gorenstein
36
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Jason Adler
51
Director
Kendrick Ashton, Jr.
47
Director
Jody Begley
51
Director
Murray Garnick
63
Director
Heather Newman
46
Director
James Rudyk
56
Director
Kamran Khan
49
Director Nominee
Dominik Meier
45
Director Nominee
Elizabeth Seegar
45
Director Nominee
Shannon Buggy
53
Senior Vice President, Global Head of People
Terry Doucet
33
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Ran Gorelik
62
General Manager, Cronos Israel
James Holm
40
Chief Financial Officer
Jeff Jacobson
37
Chief Growth Officer
Anna Shlimak
37
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategy
Arye Weigensberg
40
Senior Vice President, Head of Research & Development
A brief biography of each current director, director nominee, and current executive officer of Cronos is set forth below:
Michael Gorenstein is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Cronos. Mr. Gorenstein is also a co-founder and passive member of Gotham Green Partners. Before joining the Company, Mr. Gorenstein was the Vice President and General Counsel at Alphabet Partners, LP, a New York City-based multi-strategy investment management firm, focused on identifying mispriced assets across various industries, asset classes and geographies. Prior to Alphabet Partners, LP, he was a corporate attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. Mr. Gorenstein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School with a Juris Doctor, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania with a certificate in Business Economics and Public Policy and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science of Business in Finance. The combination of Mr. Gorenstein’s leadership capabilities and business and legal background, as well as his deep knowledge of the cannabis and U.S. hemp business, make him an ideal Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Cronos.
Jason Adler is the co-founder and Managing Member of Gotham Green Partners, a private equity firm focused primarily on early-stage investing in companies in the cannabis industry. Prior to co-founding Gotham Green, Mr. Adler was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet Partners, LP, a New York City-based multi-strategy investment management firm, focused on identifying mispriced assets across various industries, asset classes and geographies. Prior to Alphabet Partners, LP, Mr. Adler also founded Geronimo, LLC, a broker dealer and member of the American Stock Exchange, that made markets in equity options, and he began his career as a market maker at G&D Trading. Mr. Adler graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Adler’s extensive experience in the cannabis industry as well as in assisting startup companies to grow into successful, mature companies make Mr. Adler a valuable director.
Kendrick Ashton, Jr. is the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of The St. James, a leading developer and operator of performance, wellness and lifestyle brands, experiences and destinations. Prior to founding The St. James in 2014, Mr. Ashton was a founding member and Managing Director of Perella Weinberg Partners, a boutique financial services firm founded in 2006. Prior to joining Perella Weinberg, Mr. Ashton was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and gained legal experience at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Mr. Ashton received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a Merit Scholar and the Earl Dickerson Public Service Scholar, and a Master of Business
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Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he was also a Merit Scholar. He earned his A.B. from the College of William and Mary. Mr. Ashton is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the National Urban League, the Board of Directors of Archbishop John Carroll High School and the Board of Directors of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship and is an emeritus member of the Board of Visitors and Foundation Board of the College of William & Mary. Mr. Ashton was appointed a director by Altria.
Jody Begley currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Altria, overseeing the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of Altria’s tobacco products and various functions supporting those operations. Prior to Mr. Begley’s current role, he served as Senior Vice President, Tobacco Products for Altria, overseeing Altria’s core tobacco businesses as well as Engineering, Quality and Product Development support and Consumer & Marketplace Insights. Mr. Begley also served as President and General Manager of Nu Mark from July 2015 until May 2018, leading the company’s development and marketing of innovative tobacco products for adult smokers and vapers. He joined Philip Morris USA in 1995 and has held various leadership positions at several Altria companies, including Vice President, Brand Management, PM USA; Vice President, Strategy & Business Development; Vice President, Marketing & Promotion Services; Vice President, Brand Management, Smokeless; and Vice President, Customer & Marketing Services. Mr. Begley is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1993, and a Master of Business Administration in 1995. He also serves on the Board for the Boys & Girls Clubs in the metro Richmond area.
Murray Garnick serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Altria. In his role since 2017, he leads the company’s Law Department, Regulatory Affairs and Regulatory Sciences. Mr. Garnick previously served as Deputy General Counsel for Altria Client Services, a subsidiary of Altria, which provides professional services and support to Altria and its operating companies. At Altria, Mr. Garnick has led the legal support for sales, marketing, regulation, and product development and intellectual property matters. He has also supervised the management of tobacco, health and all other litigation brought against Altria and its operating companies. Prior to joining Altria in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Litigation and Associate General Counsel, Mr. Garnick served for more than two decades as a senior litigation partner at the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. Mr. Garnick received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia and his Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Heather Newman serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer for Altria. In her role, she oversees Altria’s International & Corporate Development, Strategy and Consumer & Market Insights, and the Digital & Technology organization, including Advanced Analytics, Information Services and Digital Marketing Services. Previously, Ms. Newman served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Philip Morris USA, where she led the company’s efforts to responsibly manufacture and market its brands to adult tobacco consumers in a financially disciplined way. Since 1999, Ms. Newman has held numerous leadership roles in Sales and Brand Management including Vice President & General Manager, Marlboro, the leading cigarette brand in all 50 states. Ms. Newman received her undergraduate business degree from Saint Joseph’s University’s Erivan K. Haub School of Business and completed her M.B.A. at Saint Joseph’s University with a concentration in Marketing in 2005. She serves on the Board of Directors for MENTOR Virginia and the Executive Advisory Council for the University of Richmond Robins School of Business, as well as the Board of Visitors for Saint Joseph’s University. Ms. Newman was appointed a director by Altria.
James Rudyk is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Ag Growth International Inc., a leading global food infrastructure company providing products, systems and solutions to the agriculture and food processing industries, where he is responsible for finance, accounting, business intelligence and information technology. Mr. Rudyk is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of financial and operational experience, and a track record of supporting ambitious growth plans. Prior to joining Ag Growth International in September 2020, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Sofina Foods Inc. from September 2019 until May 2020, and was the Chief Financial Officer of Roots Corporation from January 2016 until August 2019, where he helped the company grow and transition from a family-led organization to a Canadian public company. Prior to joining Roots Corporation, Mr. Rudyk served as the Chief Financial Officer of Shred-It International Inc. from 2009 to 2015, where he was instrumental in helping the company grow from approximately $200 million to over $700 million in revenue and expand to more than 17 countries around the world. He also served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Canada Cartage Systems Limited from 2004 to 2009. He received his Bachelor of
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Arts and Master of Accounting degree from the University of Waterloo. Mr. Rudyk is also a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Mr. Rudyk’s financial and accounting experience, together with his experience with growth companies, make him a valuable director.
Kamran Khan serves as Vice-President and Associate General Counsel with Altria Client Services Inc. Over the last 16 years, Kamran has managed a wide portfolio of litigation, business counseling and regulatory matters supporting Altria’s family of companies. In his current role, Mr. Khan leads a team responsible for supporting Government Affairs, Corporate Citizenship, Regulatory Affairs, and Privacy. Previously, Mr. Khan led a team providing legal support for all aspects of the development, marketing, and sale of innovative tobacco products. Prior to joining Altria in 2007, Mr. Khan was a Partner in the National Products Liability Division of Shook, Hardy and Bacon. Mr. Khan received his J.D. at Southern Illinois University School of Law and a B.A. in History at the University of Florida. He is actively involved in various inclusion, diversity and equity issues impacting the legal community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Mr. Khan was appointed a director nominee by Altria.
Dominik Meier serves as the Vice President of Consumer & Marketplace Insights & Innovation for Altria Client Services (“ALCS”). Before assuming his current role, Mr. Meier served as Vice President of Strategy, Consumer & Marketplace Insights for Altria Ventures Inc. Since joining the Altria family of companies in 2005, Mr. Meier has served in a variety of roles including as the General Manager and Managing Director of Nat Sherman LLC, a former super-premium cigarette and cigar business and General Manager for a joint venture, Richmark GmbH. Mr. Meier is a Swiss, Italian, and American citizen and has a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. He is actively involved with organizations that support the environment or enable individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities. He currently serves on the board of Higher Achievement as the Vice Chair for the Finance Committee. Mr. Meier was appointed a director nominee by Altria.
Elizabeth Seegar serves as Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis for ALCS. In her role, she oversees the development of financial models, financial forecasting, accounting and reporting and various analysis for Altria and its companies. Previously, Ms. Seegar served as Vice President, Corporate Audit for Altria, where she had oversight of both internal audit as well as Altria’s Sarbanes-Oxley compliance program. Since 2003, Ms. Seegar has held a variety of leadership roles across Altria’s Finance Department. Ms. Seegar received her undergraduate business degree from Roanoke College with concentrations in both Finance and Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. She also serves on the Board of Trustees at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Ms. Seegar was appointed a director nominee by Altria.
Shannon Buggy has been the Senior Vice President, Global Head of People for Cronos since August 2020. Ms. Buggy is responsible for leading the Company’s human resources strategy across its global operations. Prior to Cronos, Ms. Buggy was the Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources for Nielsen from February 2018 until August 2020, where she led the human resources strategy for Nielsen Media, and the Executive Director, Head of Talent Strategy and HR Business Partners for Purdue Pharma L.P. from December 2014 until November 2017. With over 25 years of experience, Ms. Buggy has a proven track record of leading and managing global human resources teams and driving excellence in talent acquisition, development, retention, employee relations, compensation, benefits, talent management and labor relations. Ms. Buggy graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Management from the Pace University, Lubin School of Business.
Terry Doucet was appointed as the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in April 2022. Mr. Doucet has been with Cronos since 2018 and assumed the role of Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Secretary on an interim basis in December 2021. Throughout his time at Cronos, Mr. Doucet has helped to guide Cronos through significant growth, including the build-out of the Legal and Regulatory Affairs teams, the Altria Investment (as defined below), the Ginkgo Collaboration Agreement (as defined below), and various product commercialization initiatives. Mr. Doucet has been a trusted advisor for Cronos and has a proven track record of leading highly effective teams with understanding, collaboration, and creativity. Prior to joining Cronos, Mr. Doucet was a corporate lawyer at the law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto. Mr. Doucet is an Ontario-qualified lawyer, holding a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto and a joint honors (first-class) Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Montreal.
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Ran Gorelik is the General Manager of Cronos Israel, Cronos’ strategic joint venture with Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, an Israeli agricultural collective settlement, for the production, manufacture and distribution of medical cannabis in Israel, and has worked for the Company since 2017. As the General Manager of Cronos Israel, Mr. Gorelik is responsible for executing Cronos Israel’s strategy as it relates to its sales, marketing and manufacturing operations. Mr. Gorelik’s expertise and experience in licensing, compliance, new business development, and project and resource management have helped Cronos Israel bring medical cannabis to the Israeli market under the Company’s PEACE NATURALS® brand. Prior to Cronos Israel, Mr. Gorelik had broad experience in both Israeli and international markets in the areas of high-tech, real estate, wellness and has served as a director at various companies. Mr. Gorelik received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the New York Institute of Technology.
James Holm has served as Cronos’ Chief Financial Officer since November 2022. Before joining Cronos, Mr. Holm served as Global Vice President of Finance Transformation at Vertiv and before that he served as Americas Controller from September 2018 to February 2022. Prior to his roles at Vertiv, Mr. Holm served as Worldpay’s Finance Leader, Finance Solutions & Process Transformation Organization from May 2016 to September 2018. Before that, Mr. Holm served at Procter & Gamble in a variety of finance roles from September 2008 to March 2016. Mr. Holm is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant who previously worked as an external auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked on various public client engagements, which included working with Fortune 500 companies. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Finance concentration and a Bachelor of Science in Business in Accounting and Finance, both from Wright State University.
Jeff Jacobson is the Chief Growth Officer of Cronos. As Chief Growth Officer, Mr. Jacobson leads the Marketing, Innovation, Operations and Sales team in North America as well as the Consumer Insights and Data Analytics teams for Cronos’ global business. Mr. Jacobson sets the strategy for our brands and is responsible for leading our global teams to help execute Cronos’ vision. Mr. Jacobson previously served as Cronos’ General Manager of Canada and Europe. Before joining Cronos, Mr. Jacobson founded a Toronto-based marketing agency and successfully launched and licensed several innovative software products in the mobile industry. As a co-founder of Peace Naturals, Mr. Jacobson’s expertise and experience in licensing and compliance, new business development, project management and resource management help Cronos lead in a variety of markets.
Anna Shlimak is the Company’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategy and responsible for managing and directing the organization’s internal and external communications, government affairs, investor relations and corporate strategy. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Shlimak was the Head of Investor Relations at Quest Partners LLC, a research driven alternative investment firm. Ms. Shlimak was responsible for business development, investor reporting, marketing and communication initiatives for the fund. Previously, Ms. Shlimak held a range of diverse roles at the New York Stock Exchange in both the New York and London offices. Most recently, Ms. Shlimak was on the Investor Relations Team within the Corporate Finance Group, where she was responsible for developing relationships with investors and sell side analysts, as well as creating investor communication and reporting. She received a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Arye Weigensberg has served as Senior Vice President, Head of Research and Development of Cronos since August 2022. As Head of Research and Development, Mr. Weigensberg is responsible for leading Cronos’ innovation program, where he oversees research and technology functions, and leads scientific efforts to unlock the potential of rare cannabinoids. Before joining Cronos, Mr. Weigensberg was the CEO of Altria Israel Ltd, an Altria research and development innovation hub. Mr. Weigensberg joined Altria as part of its acquisition of Green Smoke, where he was the Director of Marketing and Brand Management. Prior to Green Smoke, Mr. Weigensberg held a variety of roles in brand management and marketing, supporting food brands such as Manischewitz, Lawry’s, Ragu, Knorr and Country Crock. Mr. Weigensberg graduated from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and International Business.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS, COMMITTEES AND GOVERNANCE
Overview
The Board considers good corporate governance practices to be an important factor in the overall success of the Company. Under NI 58-101 and National Policy 58-201 – Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Company is required to disclose information relating to its corporate governance practices, which disclosure is set out herein. With respect to the United States, the Company is required to comply with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”) and the applicable rules adopted by the SEC pursuant to the Act, as well as the NASDAQ Rules.
The Board is responsible for the oversight of the business and affairs of the Company. The Board oversees the development of the Company’s strategic plan and the ability of the executive officers to continue to deliver on the corporate objectives. The Board Mandate is attached as Appendix A to this Proxy Statement.
The independent judgment of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities is the responsibility of all directors. The Board facilitates independent supervision of the executive officers through meetings of the Board and through frequent informal discussions among independent members of the Board and executive officers. In addition, the Board has unrestricted access to the Company’s external auditors, external legal counsel and to the Company’s executive officers and employees.
Meetings
The Board held eight meetings in 2022. All of the Board members attended 100% of these meetings, with the exception of Mr. Ashton, who attended seven of the meetings. Our current Board members who served on the Compensation Committee attended 100% of its eight meetings held in 2022. The Audit Committee held seven meetings in 2022. All of the Audit Committee members attended 100% of these meetings, with the exception of Mr. Adler, who attended six of the meetings.
Director Independence
The Board is currently comprised of seven directors: Michael Gorenstein (Chairman), Jason Adler, Kendrick Ashton, Jr., Jody Begley, Murray Garnick, Heather Newman and James Rudyk. Please see the biographies of our individual directors under “Directors and Executive Officers”.
The Board has determined that three of the seven directors of the Company (or approximately 43% of the nominees), namely Mr. Adler, Mr. Ashton and Mr. Rudyk, have no material relationship with the Company, either directly or indirectly, which could, in the view of the Board, be reasonably expected to interfere with the exercise of such individual’s independent judgment, and are “independent” within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules and NI 58-101. As Altria is the parent company of Maple Acquireco (Canada) ULC, the beneficial owner of approximately 41% of the issued and outstanding Shares as of March 31, 2023 (calculated on a non-diluted basis), for the purposes of NI 58-101, the Company is considered to be “controlled” by Altria. As such, Messrs. Begley, Garnick, Khan, and Meier and Mmes. Newman and Seegar are not “independent” within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101 (but are considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules) as they are all employees of Altria. Messrs. Begley, Garnick, Khan, and Meier and Mmes. Newman and Seegar are considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules, other than for Audit Committee purposes. Mr. Gorenstein is not “independent” within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules and NI 58-101 as he is the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO.
While the majority of the directors of the Company are not independent within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101, only Mr. Gorenstein is a member of management, and thus the Board believes that it is able to exercise independent judgment in carrying out its responsibilities. In addition, to facilitate the exercise of independent supervision over executive officers, the Board has provided for the role of an independent lead director (the “Independent Lead Director”) as described further under “Board Leadership Structure and Qualifications” below. This role is currently held by Mr. Rudyk.
The directors who are independent within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101 meet in executive session, without the presence of non-independent directors and executive officers, in conjunction with each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board and at other meetings as appropriate. During 2022, eight executive
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sessions were held. These executive sessions are led by the Independent Lead Director. The Board encourages its independent directors to meet formally or informally without any non-independent directors, including executive officers, being present on an as-needed basis. In addition, the small size of the Board helps to create an atmosphere conducive to candid and open discussion among all directors.
Board Leadership Structure and Qualifications
Each director must have an understanding of the Company’s principal operational and financial objectives, plans and strategies, and financial position and performance. Directors must have sufficient time to carry out their duties and not assume responsibilities that would materially interfere with, or be incompatible with, Board membership. Directors must advise the Chairman of the Board in advance of accepting an invitation to serve on the board of another public corporation.
Currently, Michael Gorenstein serves as our Chairman, President and CEO, and James Rudyk serves as the Independent Lead Director of our Board. The primary focus of the Independent Lead Director is to provide leadership to ensure that the Board functions independently of the executive officers of the Company and non-independent directors and to foster the effectiveness of the Board. The Independent Lead Director acts as a liaison between the independent directors and the Chairman and:
chairs all Board meetings when the Chairman is not in attendance;
seeks to stimulate debate;
seeks to provide adequate time for discussion of issues, facilitate consensus, encourage full participation and discussion by individual directors and confirm that decision-making is reached and accurately recorded;
works with the Chairman to ensure that the appropriate committee structure is in place and makes recommendations for appointment to such committees; and
together with the Chairman, ensures that the responsibilities of the Board are effectively carried out in compliance with the Board’s mandate and that the functions of the Board delegated to the committees of the Board are effectively carried out and reported to the Board.
Position Descriptions
The Board has written position descriptions for the Chairman of the Board, Independent Lead Director, chairs of the Board committees and the CEO. The Board Mandate and the charters for the committees set out in writing the responsibilities of the Board and the committees for supervising executive officers of the Company.
Orientation and Continuing Education
All new directors are provided with an initial orientation regarding the nature and operation of the Company’s business and its strategy and as to the role of the Board and its committees, as well as the legal obligations of a director of the Company. Directors are periodically updated on these matters.
In order to orient new directors as to the nature and operation of the Company’s business, they are given an opportunity to meet with executive officers to discuss the Company’s business and activities. In addition, new directors receive copies of Board materials, corporate policies and procedures, and other information regarding the business and operations of the Company.
Board members are expected to keep themselves current with industry trends and developments and are encouraged to communicate with executive officers and, where applicable, auditors and advisors of the Company. Board members have access to the Company’s external and in-house legal counsel in the event of any questions or matters relating to their corporate and director responsibilities and to keep themselves current with changes in legislation. Board members have full access to the Company’s records. In addition, external counsel and other external advisors of the Company are regularly invited to present to the Board at Board meetings on topics and trends facing public companies and private companies in the cannabis industry.
The orientation and continuing education process are reviewed on an annual basis by the Board and revised as necessary.
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Board Oversight of Risk Management
The role of our Board in our risk oversight is consistent with our leadership structure, with our President and CEO and other executive officers having day-to-day responsibility for assessing and managing our risk exposure and control processes, and our Board and its committees providing oversight of risk management and control processes.
The Company’s executive officers are responsible for reporting to the Board on the principal risks associated with the Company’s business and operations, implementing appropriate systems to manage these risks and reporting to the Board on the operation of, and any material deficiencies in, these systems. Such reports are provided by executive officers to the Board at each regularly scheduled Board meeting.
The Audit Committee is responsible for monitoring procedures relating to financial reporting risk management and reviewing the adequacy of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. The Compensation Committee has primary responsibility for the Company’s compensation policies, plans and practices regarding both executive compensation and the compensation structure generally and in particular, reviews the Company’s incentive compensation arrangements to ensure these programs do not encourage inappropriate or unintended risk-taking by the Company’s employees.
Committees of Our Board of Directors
The standing committees of our Board consist of the Audit Committee and the Compensation Committee. The responsibilities of these committees are described below. Our Board may also establish various other committees to assist it in its responsibilities. The following table summarizes the current membership of the Board and each of its standing committees:
Director Name
Audit Committee
Compensation
Committee
Michael Gorenstein
 
 
Jason Adler(1)(2)
Member
Member
Kendrick Ashton, Jr.(1)(2)
Member
 
Jody Begley(1)
 
Chair
Murray Garnick(1)
 
 
Heather Newman(1)
 
 
James Rudyk(1)(2)
Chair
Member
(1)
“Independent” within the meaning of such term under the applicable NASDAQ Rules.
(2)
“Independent” within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101.
Our Board has adopted a charter for each of the two standing committees that addresses the composition and function of each committee. Copies of such materials are available on our website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
The Investor Rights Agreement also provides that, subject to certain exceptions, for so long as Altria is entitled to designate one or more Altria Nominees, Altria may appoint to each committee established by the Board such number of Altria Nominees that represents Altria’s proportionate share of the number of directors comprising the applicable Board committee based on the percentage of our issued and outstanding Shares beneficially owned by the Altria Group at the relevant time.
Audit Committee
The Company has a separately designated standing Audit Committee established in accordance with the NASDAQ Rules. The Audit Committee is currently comprised of three directors of the Company: James Rudyk (Chair), Jason Adler and Kendrick Ashton, Jr., all of whom are considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules.
The Board has determined that James Rudyk, the Chair of the Audit Committee, and Kendrick Ashton, Jr. each qualify as an “audit committee financial expert” for purposes of the SEC’s rules. The SEC has indicated that the designation of each of Messrs. Rudyk and Ashton as an audit committee financial expert does not make
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either an “expert” for any purpose, impose any duties, obligations or liabilities on either that are greater than those imposed on other members of the Audit Committee and the Board who do not carry this designation or affect the duties, obligations or liabilities of any other member of the Audit Committee or the Board.
The members of the Audit Committee are appointed by the Board, and each member of the Audit Committee serves at the pleasure of the Board until the member resigns, is removed or ceases to be a member of the Board.
The responsibilities and operation of the Audit Committee are set out in the Audit Committee Charter, a copy of which is available on the Company’s website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
Compensation Committee
The Compensation Committee is currently comprised of three directors of the Company: Jody Begley (Chair), Jason Adler, and James Rudyk. Messrs. Rudyk and Adler are considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules and NI 58-101. Mr. Begley is not considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under NI 58-101 but is considered to be “independent” within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules. In order to ensure that the compensation process remains objective:
the Board is required to review and evaluate all recommendations and decisions put forward by the Compensation Committee regarding the design of the Company’s compensation plans, including any equity-based compensation and executive compensation; and
both the Board and the Compensation Committee hold meetings at which non-independent directors of the Company are not present.
The Compensation Committee is responsible for approval of, or making recommendations to the Board with respect to, the compensation of the executive officers of the Company and making recommendations to the Board with respect to the compensation of the directors of the Company.
The responsibilities and operation of the Compensation Committee are set out in the Compensation Committee Charter, a copy of which is available on the Company’s website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation
No member of our Compensation Committee is or has been one of our officers or employees, and none have any relationships with us of the type that is required to be disclosed under Item 404 of Regulation S-K. None of our executive officers serves or has served as a member of the Board, Compensation Committee or other Board committee performing equivalent functions of any entity that has one or more executive officers serving as one of our directors or on our Compensation Committee.
Nomination of Directors
The Board has not established a formal nominating committee. Rather, a majority of the Board’s independent directors recommends director nominees for the Board’s selection in a vote in which only independent directors participate, with the independence requirements applicable to such directors confirmed at such time. The Board adopted a resolution to adopt this director nominee selection process upon determining that compliance with the NASDAQ Rules, which require that director nominees (other than the Altria Nominees) are recommended for the Board’s selection by independent directors within the meaning of such term under applicable NASDAQ Rules constituting a majority of the Board’s independent directors in a vote in which only independent directors participate, with the independence requirements applicable to such directors to be confirmed at such time, adequately encourages an objective nomination process.
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Individuals are selected with the desired background and qualifications, taking into account the needs of the Board at the time. In making recommendations, the Board’s independent directors consider:
the competencies and skills that the Board considers to be necessary for the Board, as a whole, to possess;
the competencies and skills that the Board considers each existing director to possess;
the competencies and skills each new nominee will bring to the boardroom;
whether or not each new nominee can devote sufficient time and resources to his or her duties as a Board member; and
diversity criteria, pursuant to the Diversity Policy (as defined herein) as further described below under “– Diversity”.
See “Proposal No. 1–Election of Directors” above for a discussion of Altria’s right to designate director nominees under the Investor Rights Agreement. The Board’s independent directors will consider director candidates recommended by Shareholders, and the Company’s articles contain advance notice provisions setting out advance notice requirements for the nomination of directors of the Company by a Shareholder, as further described below.
Shareholder Recommendations for Director Nominations
The Company’s articles contain advance notice provisions setting out advance notice requirements for the nomination of directors of the Company by a Shareholder (who must also meet certain qualifications outlined in the articles) (the “Nominating Shareholder”) at any annual meeting of Shareholders, or for any special meeting of Shareholders if one of the purposes for which the special meeting was called was the election of directors (the “Advance Notice Requirements”). The following description is a summary only and is qualified in its entirety by the full text of the applicable provisions of the Company’s articles which are available on the Company’s website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
In addition to any other applicable requirements, for a nomination to be made by a Nominating Shareholder, the Nominating Shareholder must give timely notice of such nomination in proper written form to the Corporate Secretary of the Company at the principal executive offices of the Company. To be timely, a Nominating Shareholder’s notice to the Corporate Secretary must be made: (i) in the case of an annual meeting of Shareholders, not less than 30 nor more than 65 days prior to the date of the annual meeting of Shareholders; provided, however, that in the event that the annual meeting of Shareholders is to be held on a date that is less than 50 days after the date (the “Notice Date”) on which the first public announcement of the date of the annual meeting was made, notice by the Nominating Shareholder may be made not later than the close of business on the 10th day following the Notice Date; and (ii) in the case of a special meeting (which is not also an annual meeting) of Shareholders called for the purpose of electing directors (whether or not called for other purposes as well), not later than the close of business on the 15th day following the day on which the first public announcement of the date of the special meeting of Shareholders was made. The Company’s articles also prescribe the proper written form for a Nominating Shareholder’s notice.
The chairperson of the meeting has the power and duty to determine whether a nomination was made in accordance with the notice procedures set forth in the articles and, if any proposed nomination is not in compliance with such provisions, the discretion to declare that such defective nomination will be disregarded.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board may, in its sole discretion, waive any requirement in the Advance Notice Requirements.
Diversity
The Board has adopted a written policy concerning diversity on the Board and with respect to executive officers (the “Diversity Policy”). The Board believes that diversity is important to ensure that Board members and executive officers possess the necessary range of perspectives, experience and expertise required to achieve the Company’s objectives and deliver for its stakeholders. The Company believes that diversity mitigates the risk of group think, ensures that the Company has the opportunity to benefit from all available talent and enhances, among other things, its organizational strength, problem-solving ability and opportunity for innovation. The
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Diversity Policy states, among other things, that the Board should consider diversity criteria including, but not limited to, any characteristic that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another, such as gender, geographical representation, education, religion, ethnicity, race, nationality, culture, language, aboriginal or indigenous status and other ethnic distinctions, sexual orientation and disability, when determining the composition of the Board. It is an objective of the Company that diversity be considered when hiring executive officers and in connection with succession planning. There is currently one woman on the Board (representing 14% of the directors of the Company) and two women in executive officer positions (representing 25% of the executive officers of the Company).
The Company has not adopted numerical targets regarding the representation of women or persons with other self-identified diversity characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or cultural background, on the Board or in executive officer positions. However, the Company monitors the level of representation of women and persons with other self-identified diversity characteristics on the Board and in senior management positions.
Board Diversity Matrix (As of April 27, 2023)
Total Number of Directors
7
 
Female
Male
Non-
Binary
Did Not Disclose
Part I: Gender Identity
Directors
1
5
0
1
Part II: Demographic Background
African American or Black
0
1
0
0
Alaskan Native or Native American
0
0
0
0
Asian
0
0
0
0
Hispanic or Latinx
0
0
0
0
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
0
0
0
0
White
1
4
0
0
Two or More Races or Ethnicities
0
0
0
0
LGBTQ+
0
Did Not Disclose Demographic Background
1
Environmental, Social and Governance: Cronos Style
Since its founding, Cronos has had a mission to improve people’s lives by unlocking the full potential of cannabis. We aspire to be the leading cannabinoid company with brands that connect to consumers, with a winning culture, and industry-leading innovation.
As we strive to improve people’s lives and generate long-term value for our shareholders, we are guided by the following principles:
People & Community. We believe in fostering the most valuable global cannabis community comprised of passionate and daring people.
Quality Products. We believe in developing innovative and meaningful products that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our consumers.
Integrity & Leadership. We take pride in leading the industry forward responsibly.
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Environmental Sustainability: Utilizing Fermentation as a means of Production
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. Certain rare cannabinoids naturally occur in the cannabis plant, but in minimal amounts. In partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings Inc. (“Ginkgo”), one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, the Company is leveraging fermentation to bring rare cannabinoids to consumers. Conventional methods of cultivating and extracting cannabinoids not only makes access to rare cannabinoids expensive, but the process is also resource intensive, leaving a large carbon footprint.
To measure the potential environmental impact of utilizing fermentation to produce rare cannabinoids, the Company retained Intertek Health Sciences Inc. (“Intertek”) to carry out a Life Cycle Assessment comparing conventional methods to fermentation for four different cannabinoids: cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
The third-party verified results of this assessment showed that the environmental footprint of growing plants indoors is high and using innovative fermentation processes is a solution that dramatically lowers the environmental impact of cannabinoid production. On average, the carbon footprint savings of using the Company’s fermentation method is 99.8% when compared to traditional extraction methods. In pioneering new technologies that produce rare cannabinoids using fermentation, the Company is not only creating a viable path to harnessing the full power of cannabinoids, but also creating a sustainable process.
Social: Investing in our People
The Company is committed to building disruptive intellectual property by advancing cannabis research, technology and product development and is seeking to develop an iconic brand portfolio. Our employees are critical to achieving this mission. To compete and succeed in our highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry, it is crucial that we continue to attract, develop, motivate and retain skilled, talented and passionate employees. We seek to build a winning team and to foster a community where everyone feels included and empowered to do their best work.
Compensation and Benefits. Our compensation program is designed to attract, motivate and reward talented individuals who possess the skills necessary to support our business objectives, assist in achieving our strategic goals and create long-term value for our Shareholders. We believe we offer competitive compensation and benefits in each of our locations, including long-term equity awards to eligible employees under our equity incentive plans to reward and retain talented individuals and align employee and Shareholder interests.
Safety, Health and Well-being. The safety, health and well-being of our employees are paramount to the Company. We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of health and welfare programs, including benefits that support their physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help them improve or maintain their personal health.
Health and Safety Standards. We have standard operating procedures in place to ensure high standards of workplace safety are met for the safety of our employees. In our Canadian production facilities, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and safety training for all staff is conducted annually, and on new hires’ first day they receive training in Good Manufacturing Practices protocol as well as site- and department-specific health and safety and security training.
Employee Engagement, Learning and Development. We are committed to developing our talent and building an agile and resilient organization with the skill sets to effectively adapt to changing business needs to best position the Company for success. We seek to foster a culture of employee learning, innovation and a drive to succeed through a talent development strategy that adapts to changing business needs. Management is an active enabler of our people strategy as we seek to recruit, retain and engage top talent that will maximize our business performance.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Ethical Business Practices. At Cronos, we believe it is our responsibility to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive team. We know that the best work comes when people from all different walks of life have a seat at the table.
We believe that a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment mitigates the risk of groupthink, ensures that the Company has the opportunity to benefit from all available talent and enhances, among other things, our organizational strength, problem-solving ability and opportunity for innovation. We continue to focus
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on understanding our diversity, equity and inclusion strengths and opportunities and executing on a strategy to support further progress. We are committed to hiring, developing and promoting employees with diverse backgrounds.
We seek to ensure this inclusivity is achieved through our regular anti-bias, anti-harassment, and annual Code of Business Conduct and Ethics training and support for our employees. We maintain a whistleblower policy and anonymous hotline for the confidential reporting of any suspected policy violations and provide training and education to our global workforce with respect to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and related policies.
Social: Caring for our Community
The Company is committed to responsibly leading the emerging global cannabinoid industry by focusing on product quality, limiting access to only adult consumers and transparent practices. In each region where we conduct research, we adhere to local laboratory testing requirements.
Our experience in Canada has prepared us to operate in strictly regulated environments and provide products that appeal to consumers because of their quality.
We demonstrate our commitment to responsible marketing by minimizing reach and appeal to those below the legal age of consumption, including through our packaging and our advertising practices.
Marketing Code. At Cronos we recognize there is a clear need for standards. That is why we proactively created our own. The principles in our Marketing Code apply to all marketing activities of all Cronos brands globally and are communicated to all business partners in any work they do on the Company’s behalf. The Marketing Code represents the Company’s commitment to responsible marketing standards. The Marketing Code standards are:
Our advertising will be targeted to adults.
We will highlight responsible cannabis consumption and any people depicted in any imagery will be adults.
Our brand websites and social media will be designed for adults.
Our marketing events will be targeted to adults and will promote responsible cannabis consumption.
We will provide our customers with facts and substantiate our claims.
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
The Board has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”), a written code of business conduct and ethics for the Company’s directors, officers and employees. The Code sets out the Board’s expectations for the conduct of such persons in their dealings on behalf of the Company.
The Board has delegated responsibility for monitoring compliance with the Code and for investigating and enforcing matters related to the Code to the Company’s executive officers, who will report breaches of the Code to the Company’s Legal Department, for matters regarding accounting, internal accounting controls and other auditing matters to the Audit Committee, or for matters involving the CEO or any other senior executive or financial officer of the Company to any member of the Board. The Company’s Legal Department or Audit Committee, as applicable, will promptly address all allegations of non-compliance with the Code and recommend corrective actions to local or head office management, as appropriate. The Company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary is responsible for allegations relating to the most serious violations of the Code. Any waivers of the Code can only be granted by the Company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary or the CEO and any such waivers are reported to the Audit Committee. The Company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary reports regularly to the Board and the Audit Committee regarding serious suspected and confirmed Code violations. Waivers of the Code for executive officers may only be granted by the Board or a Committee of the Board and will be disclosed to Shareholders as required under applicable law.
Directors and executive officers are required by the Code to promptly disclose any potential conflict of interest that may arise. If a director or executive officer has a material interest in an agreement or transaction, he or she is required to declare the interest in writing or request to have such interest entered in the minutes of
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meetings of directors and, where required by applicable law, abstain from voting with respect to the agreement or transaction. The Code requires the prior approval of the other members of the Board prior to any director accepting an appointment as a director or officer of a competitor or competing business or becoming otherwise professionally engaged with a competitor or competing business. If we make any amendments to the Code or grant any waiver, including any implicit waiver, we will disclose the nature of such amendment or waiver on our website within four days of such amendment or waiver.
A copy of the Code is available on the Company’s website at https://ir.thecronosgroup.com/governance/documents-charters.
Conflicts of Interest Policy
The Board has adopted a Conflicts of Interest Policy (the “Conflicts Policy”) that applies to the Company’s directors, officers and employees. The Conflicts Policy also applies to employees of affiliates and/or joint ventures controlled by or under common control of the Company (other than the Altria Group). The Conflicts Policy establishes the ethical standards and accountability expected of such persons in situations where there may be a conflict of interest. The Conflicts Policy is in addition to any requirements imposed by the Code, the Related Party Transactions Policy (described under “Related Party Transactions” below) and the requirements of the Investor Rights Agreement, which, among other things, requires the prior approval of an Independent Committee (as such term is defined in the Investor Rights Agreement) for any transaction between any member of Altria Group and the Company or any of its subsidiaries, subject to certain exceptions.
The Conflicts Policy sets out the Company’s commitment to avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest and the obligation of the Company’s directors, officers and employees to disclose such situations. In addition to the requirements of the Conflicts Policy, directors and director nominees are required to complete an annual questionnaire (the “Director Questionnaire”) with respect to any material interests or relationships that are, or could be perceived to be, an actual or potential conflict of interest with their obligation to act in the best interests of the Company, including details of the extent and nature of the actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest. Directors and director nominees are also required to disclose any new actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest if they become aware of them following the completion of the Director Questionnaire.
Insider Trading Policy; Anti-Hedging; and Anti-Pledging
In addition to the Code, the Company has an insider trading policy (the “Insider Trading Policy”) relating to the trading in securities of the Company by directors, officers and employees of the Company and its subsidiaries, and certain persons related to any such persons.
Among other things, the following transactions by directors and employees of the Company are prohibited by the Insider Trading Policy:
speculating in securities of the Company;
pledging securities of the Company as collateral for a loan;
buying the Company’s securities on margin;
short sales of the Company’s securities;
transactions in puts or calls relating to the Company’s securities; and
purchasing financial instruments, including prepaid variable forward contracts, equity swaps, collars, or units of exchange funds, that are designed to hedge or offset a decrease in market value of securities of the Company held, directly or indirectly by directors or employees, including equity securities granted as compensation.
Related Party Transactions and Related Party Transaction Policy
We or one of our subsidiaries may occasionally enter into transactions with certain “related persons.” Related persons include our executive officers, directors, nominees for director, 5% or more beneficial owners of our Shares, immediate family members of these persons and entities in which one of these persons has a direct or indirect material interest. We generally refer to transactions with these related persons as “related party transactions.”
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Our Board has adopted a written policy governing the review, approval and ratification of transactions between us and related parties (the “Related Party Transactions Policy”). Our Related Party Transactions Policy is designed to assist with the proper identification, review and disclosure of related party transactions. Under the Related Party Transactions Policy, the following types of transactions must be approved or ratified by a committee of the Board comprised of at least three independent directors (determined in accordance with applicable NASDAQ Rules and subject, in certain circumstances, to additional limitations) (the “Independent Committee”):
any transaction that exceeds $120,000 in which a related party has or will have a direct or indirect material interest;
any transaction that would require shareholder approval, a formal valuation or disclosure under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions;
any transaction pursuant to which a director or officer has a disclosable interest pursuant to Section 147 of the BCBCA or under any similar provision of any other corporate statute applicable to the Company;
any material amendment, modification, extension or termination of the Investor Rights Agreement;
any transaction that requires TSX approval under Part V of the TSX Company Manual; and
any other transaction for which disclosure would be required pursuant to Item 404 of Regulation S-K.
In determining whether or not to approve a related party transaction, the Independent Committee will take into account, among other relevant factors:
the terms of the transaction including the related party’s interest and the purpose and timing of the transaction;
whether the Company has demonstrable business reasons to enter into the transaction;
whether the transaction would impair the independence of a director; and
any potential reputational or other risk issues.
Certain transactions, including employment relationships, ordinary course sales of products, entering into any of the Commercial Arrangements (as defined below under “Altria Strategic Investment – Commercial Arrangements”) and certain other ordinary course non-preferential transactions, are considered preapproved transactions, and thus do not require specific approval under the Related Party Transactions Policy. The Related Party Transactions Policy is in addition to any requirements imposed by the Code, the Conflicts Policy and the requirements of the Investor Rights Agreement, which, among other things, requires the prior approval of an “Independent Committee” (as such term is defined in the Investor Rights Agreement) for any transaction between any member of Altria Group and the Company or any of its subsidiaries, subject to certain exceptions.
In November 2022, the Company entered into an agreement with an external vendor whereby the vendor would provide certain manufacturing services to the Company. The vendor then subcontracted out a portion of those services to another company whose chief executive officer is an immediate family member of Mr. Jacobson, our Chief Growth Officer. The Company has no direct contractual relationship with the related party. During 2022, the Company purchased approximately $645,000 of products and services under the agreement for manufacturing services and had no outstanding accounts payable related to the agreement as of December 31, 2022.
Relationship with Altria
See “Altria Strategic Investment” below for a discussion of the Company’s relationship with Altria.
Share Ownership Guidelines
The Company’s share ownership guidelines establish levels of ownership of Shares at five times the CEO’s salary and two times the salary for other executive officers, which includes each of the named executive officers. Shares held for purposes of the guidelines may include Shares owned outright by the executive officer or his or her spouse and earned but unvested share-based awards, and an executive officer, other than the CEO, has
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five years from his or her appointment as an executive officer to achieve the level of Share ownership applicable to such executive officer. The CEO has three years from his or her appointment to achieve the applicable level of Share ownership.
Board and Committee Assessment
The Board is responsible for assessing annually the effectiveness of the Board as a whole, the Board committees and the contribution of individual directors. Assessments of the Board and its committees will consider the Board mandate and the relevant committee charter, as the case may be. Assessments of individual directors will consider the position description and skills and competencies applicable to that individual. The full Board will discuss the collective assessment to determine what, if any, actions should be taken to improve effectiveness.
Director Term Limits
The Board has not adopted a term limit for directors. In light of the tenures of the nominees for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting and the nature of the industry in which the Company operates, the Board does not believe that adopting a term limit for directors is necessary or appropriate at this time.
Cease Trade Orders, Bankruptcies, Penalties or Sanctions
To the knowledge of the Company, none of the directors or director nominees is, as at the date of this Proxy Statement, or was within 10 years before the date of this Proxy Statement, a director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer of any company (including the Company) that was subject to a cease trade order, an order similar to a cease trade order or an order that denied the relevant company access to any exemption under securities legislation that was in effect for a period of more than 30 consecutive days:
(a)
that was issued while the director or executive officer was acting in the capacity as director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer; or
(b)
that was issued after the director or executive officer ceased to be a director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer and which resulted from an event that occurred while that person was acting in the capacity as director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer,
except that each of the directors was a director of the Company and, in the case of Mr. Gorenstein, Executive Chairman of the Company, when the Company was subject to a management cease trade order issued by the Ontario Securities Commission on November 16, 2021 in connection with the Company’s failure to timely file, as required by Ontario securities law, its interim financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2021, together with its related management’s discussion and analysis and certifications. The management cease trade order was revoked on February 23, 2022.
To the knowledge of the Company, none of the directors or director nominees, is, as at the date of this Proxy Statement, or was within 10 years before the date of this Proxy Statement, a director or executive officer of any company that, while the person was acting in that capacity, or within one year of that person ceasing to act in that capacity, became bankrupt, made a proposal under any legislation relating to bankruptcy or insolvency or was subject to or instituted any proceedings, arrangement or compromise with creditors or had a receiver, receiver manager or trustee appointed to hold its assets. To the knowledge of the Company, none of the director nominees has, within 10 years before the date of this Proxy Statement, become bankrupt, made a proposal under any legislation relating to bankruptcy or insolvency, or has become subject to or instituted any proceedings, arrangement or compromise with creditors, or had a receiver, receiver manager or trustee appointed to hold the assets of such person.
To the knowledge of the Company, none of the directors or director nominees, has been subject to (i) any penalties or sanction imposed by a court relating to securities legislation or by a securities regulatory authority or entered into a settlement agreement with a securities regulatory authority, or (ii) any other penalties or sanctions imposed by a court or regulatory body that would likely be considered important to a reasonable securityholder in deciding whether to vote for a director nominee.
Shareholder Communications with the Board of Directors
Shareholders and other interested parties who wish to communicate with our Board may do so by writing to the Corporate Secretary of the Company by email at corporate.secretary@thecronosgroup.com. The
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non-management directors have established procedures for the handling of communications from Shareholders and other interested parties and have directed our Corporate Secretary to act as their agent in processing any communications received. Communications that relate to matters that are within the scope of the responsibilities of our Board and its committees are forwarded to the Independent Lead Director.
Communications that relate to matters that are within the responsibility of one of the committees are also to be forwarded to the Chair of the appropriate committee. Communications that relate to ordinary business matters that are not within the scope of our Board’s responsibilities, such as customer complaints, are sent to the appropriate Company personnel.
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SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS,
DIRECTORS AND MANAGEMENT
The following table sets forth information, based on data provided to us or filed with the SEC, with respect to beneficial ownership of our Shares as of March 31, 2023 for (i) all persons known by us to own beneficially more than 5% of our outstanding Shares, (ii) each of our NEOs named in the Summary Compensation Table included under “Executive Compensation” herein, (iii) each of our current directors and director nominees, and (iv) all of our current directors, director nominees, NEOs and other current executive officers as a group. Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC. These rules generally attribute beneficial ownership of securities to persons who possess sole or shared voting power or investment power with respect to such securities. Except as otherwise indicated, all persons listed below have sole voting power and dispositive power with respect to the Shares beneficially owned by them, subject to applicable community property laws. Except as otherwise indicated, the address for each Shareholder listed below is c/o Cronos Group Inc., 111 Peter Street, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.
Name and Address of Beneficial Owner
Number of Shares
Beneficially Owned(1)
Percent
of Class
Greater than 5% Shareholders
 
 
Altria Group, Inc.(2)
156,573,537
41.1%
 
 
 
Directors, Director Nominees, and NEOs
 
 
Michael Gorenstein(3)
10,780,809
2.8%
Jason Adler(4)
14,048,476
3.7%
Jody Begley
0
—%
Murray Garnick
0
—%
Heather Newman
0
—%
Kamran Khan
0
—%
Dominik Meier
0
—%
Elizabeth Seegar
0
—%
Kendrick Ashton Jr.
0
—%
James Rudyk
154,987
*
James Holm
7,121
*
Anna Shlimak
312,683
*
Ran Gorelik
96,282
*
Jeffrey Jacobson
228,464
*
Kurt Schmidt
2,342,774
*
Robert Madore
698,982
*
All directors, director nominees, NEOs and other current executive officers of the Company as a group (17 persons)
28,814,190
7.6%
*
Less than 1%.
(1)
Amount of Shares shown includes (i) Shares subject to options which may be exercised within 60 days as follows: Gorenstein – 1,076,054 Shares, Adler – 150,000 Shares, Rudyk – 118,750 Shares, Holm – 7,121 Shares, Shlimak – 200,000 Shares, Jacobson – 19,745 Shares, Schmidt – 2,000,000 Shares, Madore – 675,000 Shares, and all directors, director nominees, NEOs and other current executive officers of Cronos as a group – 4,312,772 Shares; and (ii) Restricted Share Units that vest within 60 days as follows: Gorenstein – 62,659 Shares, Shlimak – 28,292 Shares, Jacobson – 12,411 Shares, and all directors, director nominees, NEOs and other current executive officers of Cronos as a group – 129,219 Shares.
(2)
The amount reported represents 156,573,537 Shares directly held by Maple Acquireco (Canada) ULC and beneficially owned by Altria, with respect to which Altria, Altria Summit LLC, Maple Holdco (Bermuda) Ltd, and Maple Acquireco (Canada) ULC have shared dispositive power and voting power.
(3)
Excludes 503,478 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund 1, L.P., 2,014,228 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green GP 1, LLC, 450,012 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund III, LLP, and 1,049,988 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund III(Q), LLP, as Michael Gorenstein is a non-managing member of Gotham Green Partners and therefore does not have beneficial ownership of such Shares.
(4)
The amount reported represents 503,478 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund 1, L.P., 2,014,228 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green GP 1, LLC, 450,012 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund III, L.P., 1,049,988 Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund III(Q), L.P. and 10,030,770 Shares beneficially owned by Jason Adler (which includes Shares subject to options which may be exercised within 60 days as set forth in Note 1 above and Shares held by the Rachel Adler 2020 Gift Trust, of which he is the trustee). Gotham Green GP 1, LLC is the general partner of Gotham Green Fund 1, L.P. and Gotham Green Fund 1(Q), L.P., and Mr. Adler is the Managing Member of Gotham Green GP 1, LLC. Gotham Green GP III, LLC is the general partner of Gotham Green Fund III, L.P. and Gotham Green Fund III(Q), L.P., and Mr. Adler is the Managing Member of Gotham Green GP III, LLC. While Mr. Adler may be deemed to have beneficial ownership and shared dispositive and voting power with respect to the Shares beneficially owned by Gotham Green Fund 1, L.P., Gotham Green GP 1, LLC, Gotham Green GP III, LLC, Gotham Green Fund III, L.P. and Gotham Green Fund III(Q), L.P., Mr. Adler disclaims that he is the beneficial owner of such Shares.
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Equity Compensation Plan Information
The following table sets forth information regarding our equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2022 and does not reflect grants made in 2023 for 2022 performance:
Plan Category
(a)
Number of Shares
to be issued
upon exercise
of outstanding
options, warrants
and rights
(b)
Weighted average
exercise price
of outstanding
options, warrants
and rights
(c)
Number of
shares remaining
available for
future issuance
under equity
compensation plans
(excluding securities
reflected in
Column (a))
Equity compensation plans approved by Shareholders(1)
5,350,600
$9.19
15,661,011
Equity compensation plans not approved by Shareholders(2)
Total
5,350,600
15,661,011
(1)
Consists of the 2020 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan (the “2020 Omnibus Plan”), the 2018 Stock Option Plan (the “2018 Option Plan”) and the Amended and Restated Stock Option Plan (the “2015 Option Plan”). See note 10 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 regarding share-based payments.
(2)
Excludes the Deferred Share Unit Plan for Non-Executive Directors, pursuant to which non-employee directors receive cash-settled Deferred Share Units.
Altria Strategic Investment
As of March 31, 2023, the Altria Group beneficially held 156,573,537 Shares and had the right to acquire additional Shares under its pre-emptive and top-up rights as discussed below.
Warrant
Prior to December 16, 2022, Altria had the right to acquire up to an additional 84,243,223 Shares at a per share exercise price of C$19.00 (the “Warrant”). On December 16, 2022, Altria notified the Company that its wholly owned subsidiary, Altria Summit LLC, irrevocably relinquished the Warrant and all rights that it may have held in the Warrant or any Shares underlying the Warrant for no consideration.
Investor Rights Agreement
On March 8, 2019, in connection with the closing of Altria Group’s investment in us (the “Altria Investment”), we entered into the Investor Rights Agreement with Altria pursuant to which Altria received certain governance rights which are summarized below.
Board Representation
See “Proposal No. 1–Election of Directors” above for a discussion of Altria’s right to designate director nominees under the Investor Rights Agreement.
The Investor Rights Agreement also provides that, subject to certain exceptions, for so long as Altria is entitled to designate one or more Altria Nominees, we agree to appoint to each committee established by the Board such number of Altria Nominees that represents Altria’s proportionate share of the number of directors comprising the Board (rounded up to the next whole number) based on the percentage of our issued and outstanding Shares beneficially owned by the Altria Group at the relevant time.
Approval Rights
The Investor Rights Agreement also grants Altria, until the Altria Group beneficially owns less than 10% of our issued and outstanding Shares, approval rights over certain transactions that may be undertaken by us. We have agreed that we will not (and will use our commercially reasonable efforts to cause our affiliates not to), without the prior written consent of Altria:
consolidate or merge into or with another person or enter into any similar business combination;
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acquire any shares or similar equity interests, instruments convertible into or exchangeable for shares or similar equity interests, assets, business or operations with an aggregate value of more than C$100,000,000, in a single transaction or a series of related transactions;
sell, transfer, caused to be transferred, exclusively license, lease, pledge or otherwise dispose of any of our or any of our significant subsidiaries’ assets, business or operations in the aggregate with a value of more than C$60,000,000;
except as required by applicable law, make any changes to our policy with respect to the declaration and payment of any dividends on our Shares;
subject to certain exceptions, enter into any contract or other agreement, arrangement, or understanding with respect to, or consummate, any transaction or series of related transactions between us or any of our subsidiaries, on the one hand, and any related parties, on the other hand, involving consideration or any other transfer of value required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404 of Regulation S-K; or
engage in the production, cultivation, advertisement, marketing, promotion, sale or distribution of cannabis or any Related Products and Services (as those terms are defined in the Investor Rights Agreement) in any jurisdiction, including the U.S., where such activity is prohibited by applicable law as of the date of the Investor Rights Agreement (subject to certain limitations).
Pre-Emptive Rights and Top-Up Rights
Pursuant to the terms of the Investor Rights Agreement, Altria, provided the Altria Group continues to beneficially own at least 20% of our issued and outstanding Shares, will have a right to purchase, directly or indirectly by another member of the Altria Group, upon the occurrence of certain issuances of Shares by us (including issuances of Shares to Ginkgo under the collaboration and license agreement (the “Ginkgo Collaboration Agreement”) dated September 1, 2018 between Gingko and the Company (each, a “Ginkgo Issuance”)) (each, a “Triggering Event”) and subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, up to such number of Shares issuable in connection with the Triggering Event which will, when added to the Shares beneficially owned by the Altria Group immediately prior to the Triggering Event, result in the Altria Group beneficially owning the same percentage of our issued and outstanding Shares that the Altria Group beneficially owned immediately prior to the Triggering Event (in each case, calculated on a non-diluted basis). The price per Share to be paid by Altria pursuant to the exercise of these pre-emptive rights will be, subject to certain limited exceptions, the same price per Share at which the Shares are sold in the relevant Triggering Event; provided that if the consideration paid in connection with any such issuance is non-cash, the price per Share that would have been received had such Shares been issued for cash consideration will be determined by an independent committee (acting reasonably and in good faith); provided further that the price per Share to be paid by Altria pursuant to the exercise of its pre-emptive rights in connection with a Ginkgo Issuance will be C$16.25 per Share.
In addition to (and without duplication of) the aforementioned pre-emptive rights, the Investor Rights Agreement provides Altria with top-up rights, exercisable on a quarterly basis, whereby, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals and for so long as the Altria Group beneficially owns at least 20% of our issued and outstanding Shares, Altria (or another member of the Altria Group to which it has assigned such right) shall have the right to subscribe for such number of Shares in connection with any Top-Up Securities (as defined herein) that we may, from time to time, issue after the date of the Investor Rights Agreement, as will, when added to the Shares beneficially owned by the Altria Group prior to such issuance, result in the Altria Group beneficially owning the same percentage of our issued and outstanding Shares that the Altria Group beneficially owned immediately prior to such issuance. “Top-Up Securities” means any of our Shares issued:
on the exercise, conversion or exchange of our convertible securities issued prior to the date of the Investor Rights Agreement or on the exercise, conversion or exchange of our convertible securities issued after the date of the Investor Rights Agreement in compliance with the terms of the Investor Rights Agreement, in each case, excluding any of our convertible securities owned by any member of the Altria Group;
pursuant to any share incentive plan of the Company;
on the exercise of any right granted by us pro rata to all Shareholders to purchase additional Shares and/or other securities of the Company (other than a right issued in a rights offering in which Altria had the right to participate);
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in connection with bona fide bank debt, equipment financing or non-equity interim financing transactions with our lenders, in each case, with an equity component; or
in connection with bona fide acquisitions (including acquisitions of assets or rights under a license or otherwise), mergers or similar business combination transactions or joint ventures undertaken and completed by us,
in each case, other than (A) Shares issued pursuant to Altria’s pre-emptive right and (B) Shares issued pursuant to the Ginkgo Collaboration Agreement.
The price per Share to be paid by Altria pursuant to the exercise of its top-up rights will be, subject to certain limited exceptions, the volume-weighted average price of our Shares on the TSX for the ten full trading days preceding such exercise by Altria (or another member of the Altria Group to which it has assigned such right); provided that the price per Share to be paid by Altria pursuant to the exercise of its top-up rights in connection with the issuance of Shares pursuant to the exercise of options or warrants that were outstanding on the date of closing of the Altria Investment will be C$16.25 per Share without any setoff, counterclaim, deduction or withholding.
Standstill Covenant
The former restrictions on Altria’s ability to acquire Shares in the open market under the Investor Rights Agreement have terminated.
Registration Rights
The Investor Rights Agreement provides the Altria Group with the right, subject to certain limitations and to the extent permitted by applicable law, to require us to use reasonable commercial efforts to file a prospectus under applicable securities laws and/or a registration statement, qualifying our Shares held by the Altria Group for distribution in Canada and/or the U.S. In addition, the Investor Rights Agreement provides the Altria Group with the right to require us to include our Shares held by the Altria Group in any proposed distribution of Shares in Canada and/or the U.S. by us for our own account.
Commercial Arrangements
In connection with the Altria Investment, we and Altria and/or one or more other members of the Altria Group have entered into certain commercial support arrangements (the “Commercial Arrangements”), pursuant to which Altria provides us with strategic advisory and consulting services on matters which may include research and development, marketing, advertising and brand management, government relations and regulatory affairs, finance, tax planning, logistics and other corporate administrative matters. The services under the Commercial Arrangements are provided on customary terms and for a services fee payable by us that is equal to Altria’s reasonably allocated costs plus 5%.
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COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Throughout this Compensation Discussion & Analysis (“CD&A”), we describe our executive compensation philosophy, program and decisions made in 2022 for our NEOs. For a complete understanding of the executive compensation program, this disclosure should be read in conjunction with the Summary Compensation Table and other executive compensation-related disclosure included in this Proxy Statement.
For 2022, the Company’s NEOs included our current Chairman, President and CEO, our former President and CEO, our current Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), our former CFO, and our next three most highly compensated executive officers. The following individuals are the NEOs for the year ended December 31, 2022:
Name
Position
Michael Gorenstein
Chairman, President and CEO(1)
James Holm
CFO(3)
Anna Shlimak
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategy
Jeffrey Jacobson
Chief Growth Officer
Ran Gorelik
General Manager (Cronos Israel)
Kurt Schmidt
Former President and CEO(2)
Robert Madore
Former CFO(4)
(1)
Mr. Gorenstein was appointed as President and CEO effective March 21, 2022.
(2)
Mr. Holm was appointed as CFO effective November 14, 2022.
(3)
Mr. Schmidt retired from his role as President and CEO effective March 21, 2022 and continued to be employed by the Company until April 6, 2022.
(4)
Mr. Madore ceased serving as CFO of the Company (and as an employee) on November 14, 2022.
Executive Summary
Overview of Executive Compensation Program
The cannabis industry is highly competitive and rapidly evolving due to stringent regulatory frameworks and changes in economic, market and political conditions. As a result, we believe it will take discipline, deliberate strategic growth and flexibility to succeed and create long-term value for our Shareholders.
Our executive compensation program is designed to attract, motivate and retain talented and high-performing executives to lead the Company’s business strategy and objectives, while also effectively aligning the compensation of our executives with the creation of long-term value for our Shareholders. The Compensation Committee is responsible for designing an executive compensation program that ensures an appropriate level of risk-taking by the Company’s executives. The Compensation Committee designs our executive compensation program to support our compensation philosophy and goals to:
position the Company competitively within the external market against which we compete for talent;
align the interests of our executives with those of our Shareholders by tying significant portions of pay to performance, paying a substantial portion of compensation in incentive compensation and equity, subjecting equity compensation to multi-year vesting periods and requiring share ownership; and
tie executive compensation to performance and achievement of the Company’s business goals and ensure that compensation varies based on business performance and achievement of individual objectives.
Our 2022 annual compensation package for our NEOs (other than Mr. Holm, who joined the Company in November 2022) consists of base salary, short-term incentives based on Company and individual performance, and long-term incentives in the form of restricted share units (“Restricted Share Units”), which, with the exception of the Restricted Share Units granted to Mr. Holm and certain Restricted Share Units granted to Mr. Gorenstein (each as described below), vest ratably on an annual basis over three years. In setting target compensation packages for our NEOs, the Compensation Committee reviewed the total compensation opportunity for each executive compared to compensation offered to executives in comparable positions within the Cronos Peer Group (as defined below), along with other comparative factors. The Company’s short-term incentive
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compensation program (the “STIC Program”) is designed to reward the achievement of the Company’s short-term goals, which are primarily related to the Company’s revenues and growth, and each executive’s achievement of individual performance goals. The long-term incentive equity component of our target compensation packages is designed to retain our executives and incentivize them to achieve long-term financial and strategic objectives.
In connection with Mr. Holm’s appointment as CFO of the Company, effective November 14, 2022, Mr. Holm received a sign-on bonus in the form of a one-time lump-sum cash payment of $250,000, a one-time sign-on grant of 113,947 stock options (“Stock Options”) that vest ratably on a quarterly basis over a four-year period, and 15,974 Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of the grant date. The sign-on awards are one-time in nature. The one-time lump-sum cash sign-on award is to be earned upon one year of service as a retention tool, and the sign-on equity awards are intended to align Mr. Holm’s interests with our Shareholders’ interests. In connection with Mr. Gorenstein’s appointment as CEO and President of the Company, effective March 21, 2022, Mr. Gorenstein received a one-time sign-on grant of 3,000,000 Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of the grant date and an additional grant of 499,826 Restricted Share Units on December 13, 2022 that vest in three substantially equal installments on each of December 13, 2023, December 13, 2024, and December 13, 2025.
The notable features of the Company’s 2022 executive compensation program, both what we do and what we don’t do, which were designed to align with “best practice” compensation governance, are provided below.
What We Do
What We Don’t Do
Make pay decisions aligned with our compensation philosophy
Guarantee short-term cash incentive amounts
Regularly review the competitiveness and appropriateness of pay levels for senior executives versus industry peers
Re-price or back-date equity awards
Deliver the majority of executive compensation in “at risk”, variable incentives
Issue equity awards with an exercise price below the closing price of our Shares on the trading date immediately before the grant date
Pay for performance, with the actual value received from incentive awards directly aligned with key Company operating and financial results and individual goals
Provide any excise tax gross-ups or other payment or reimbursement of excise taxes on severance in connection with a change of control
Grant equity-based long-term incentives which vest over multi-year periods
Offer off-market executive benefits and perquisites
Reinforce an ownership culture, with long-term incentives settled in Shares and Share ownership guidelines for our executives
Make “single-trigger” payments upon a change of control or maintain any plans that require single-trigger change of control acceleration of equity awards to our NEOs upon a change of control (other than in limited cases due to special circumstances(1))
Prohibit employees, officers and directors and others who could potentially possess material nonpublic information from pledging, hedging and other securities transactions intended to lock in the gain on share price growth
Maintain pay policies and practices that pose a material adverse risk to the Company
Retain external and independent advisors to support the Compensation Committee on executive compensation decisions throughout the year
 
 
Maintain a clawback policy that applies to cash, equity or equity-based incentive or bonus compensation paid to any current or former Company executive officer
 
 
(1)
Described in more detail under “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control — Long-Term Incentive Awards under the 2020 Omnibus Plan —Mr. Gorenstein” and — Mr. Schmidt”.
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Say-on-Pay
At our 2022 annual meeting of Shareholders, our Shareholders demonstrated their strong support of our executive compensation program, with approximately 95% of votes cast in favor of the advisory “say-on-pay” proposal, excluding abstentions and broker non-votes. We believe this vote reflected strong support for our executive compensation program design, which focuses on (i) incentives and metrics that align executive officer interests with Shareholder interests, and (ii) recruitment, engagement, motivation and retention of our executive officers. Although no changes were made to our executive compensation program based on the 2022 say-on-pay vote, we continue to evaluate our executive compensation program to ensure alignment of management incentives with Shareholder interests, which alignment we view to be essential to our long-term success.
Progress Towards Our Strategic Objectives: 2022 Highlights
Our compensation decisions for 2022 were driven by our overarching goal of creating value for Shareholders. We seek to create value for Shareholders by focusing on four core strategic priorities:
growing a portfolio of iconic brands that responsibly elevate the consumer experience;
developing a diversified global sales and distribution network;
establishing an efficient global supply chain; and
creating and monetizing disruptive intellectual property.
2022 Business Highlights
Spinach® Branded Product Portfolio Expansion in Canada
Throughout 2022, the Company expanded its Spinach® gummies portfolio under both SOURZ by Spinach® and Spinach FEELZ™, with the following new products:
April 2022: SOURZ by Spinach® Cherry Lime (Hybrid), 10mg of THC per pack
July 2022: Spinach FEELZ™ DEEP DREAMZ CBN, 10mg of THC and 5mg of CBN per pack
October 2022: SOURZ by Spinach® Tropical Triple Berry 2:1 CBD:THC, 20mg of CBD and 10mg of THC per pack
December 2022: Spinach FEELZ™ 1:3 THC+CBC Mango Lime, 10mg of THC and 30mg of CBC per pack
In 2022, the Company was also focused on renovating both its vape and pre-roll offerings and launched the products below in those categories in 2022:
Vape:
August 2022: Spinach FEELZ™ Deep Dreamz Blackberry Kush (7:1 THC|CBN) 1-gram vape
May 2022: Spinach® Cosmic Green Apple and Polar Mint Vortex (800 mg/g THC) 1-gram vapes
In November 2022, the Company launched two infused pre-rolls in Canada. The first, Fully Charged Atomic GMO, was launched under the Spinach® brand and is offered in a 5-pack with 0.5 grams per pre-roll. Second, the Company launched Tropical Diesel CBG, a 3-pack of CBG infused pre-rolls with 0.5 grams per pre-roll under the Spinach FEELZ™ sub-brand.
Intellectual Property Initiatives
In 2022, the Company continued to progress its fermentation initiative in partnership with Ginkgo. The Company achieved equity milestones for the following cannabinoids in 2022:
June 2022: tetrahydrocannabivaric acid
November 2022: cannabichromenic acid
December 2022: cannabichromevarinic acid
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Strategic and Organizational Update
As the Company advances its strategy to build disruptive intellectual property by advancing cannabis research, technology and product development, the Company is determined to realign the business around its brands. The organizational and cost initiatives undertaken beginning in 2022, are intended to position the Company to drive profitable and sustainable growth over time. The program consists of the following:
1.
Centralizing functions under common leadership to increase efficient distribution of resources, improve strategic alignment and eliminate duplicative roles and costs;
2.
Evaluating the Company’s global supply chain and performing product reviews, and pricing and distribution optimization in order to reduce fixed expenses and reduce complexity; and
3.
Implementing an operating expense target to optimize cash deployment for activities such as margin accretive innovation and U.S. adult-use market entry.
In March 2022, following the evaluation of its global supply chain, the Company announced the planned exit of its Peace Naturals Campus in Stayner, Ontario, Canada. However, in February 2023, the Company announced a shift in its strategic plans for the realignment of its business, with the intent to retain select components of its operations at the Peace Naturals Campus (namely, distribution and warehousing, certain research and development activities and manufacturing of certain of the Company’s proprietary innovation products).
Continuing to optimize and maintain an agile supply chain is a core element of the Company’s strategy. Importantly, the Company has focused on building joint ventures and partnerships around the world with best-in-class operators, such as Cronos GrowCo, the Company’s joint venture with leading Canadian large-scale greenhouse operators. As Cronos GrowCo has developed its capabilities, it has become an important component of the Company’s biomass supply. The Company looks forward to leveraging Cronos GrowCo’s capabilities in premium flower cultivation and efficient downstream processing, with the intention to improve profitability of the Company’s Canadian operations.
Appointments
The Company also transitioned a number of key leadership roles during 2022. On March 21, 2022, the Company appointed Mr. Gorenstein as President and CEO. Mr. Gorenstein also continues to serve as Chairman of the Board. As of March 21, 2022, Mr. Schmidt retired from the position of President and CEO. To assist with the transition, Mr. Schmidt remained employed by the Company until April 6, 2022.
In addition, in January 2022, the Company appointed Mr. Jacobson as Senior Vice President, Head of Growth (North America). Mr. Jacobson was then promoted to Chief Growth Officer in October 2022 upon his assumption of the duties previously performed by John Griese, our former Senior Vice President, Head of Operations (North America). In April 2022, the Company appointed Mr. Doucet as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary (previously Senior Vice President, Legal, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Secretary).
In August 2022, the Company appointed Mr. Weigensberg as Senior Vice President, Research and Development. Last, the Company appointed Mr. Holm as CFO on November 14, 2022, replacing Mr. Madore who ceased to serve as CFO on the same date.
Governance of Executive Compensation
Framework for Compensation Decisions
Role of Compensation Committee
The Compensation Committee is currently comprised of three directors of the Company, each of whom is considered to be independent under applicable NASDAQ Rules: Jody Begley (Chair), Jason Adler and James Rudyk. See “Board of Directors, Committees and Governance—Committees of Our Board of Directors—Compensation Committee.”
The Compensation Committee is responsible for reviewing and determining the compensation of the executive officers of the Company and for reviewing and making recommendations to the Board concerning the compensation of directors. Based on the recommendations of the Compensation Committee, the Board is responsible for determining the compensation paid to the directors of the Company.
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The Compensation Committee considers the performance of the Company and the individual executive officers in executing their responsibilities to determine total compensation for the Company’s executive officers. The Compensation Committee also considers compensation data gathered from the Cronos Peer Group and relevant market data in making compensation decisions. See “Discussion and Analysis of 2022 Compensation— Benchmarking Target Compensation.”
The Compensation Committee’s assessment of corporate performance for executive compensation purposes is based on a number of qualitative and quantitative factors, including execution of ongoing projects and transactions, operational performance, progress on key growth initiatives and the remediation of material weaknesses related to the restatements of the Company’s 2019 and 2021 interim financial statements (the “Restatements”). The NEOs do not automatically receive any particular award based on the Compensation Committee’s determination of the overall performance of the Company, but rather the determination establishes the background for the Compensation Committee’s subsequent review of each NEO’s individual performance. See “Discussion and Analysis of 2022 Compensation—Elements of Compensation—Short-Term Incentive Compensation—Performance Measures.” Further, the Compensation Committee makes its final determination of executive compensation in an executive session not attended by the NEOs whose compensation is being deliberated. From time to time, the Compensation Committee delegates certain duties to members of management in accordance with the Compensation Committee Charter.
Role of the CEO and the Senior Vice President, Global Head of People
The Compensation Committee works with our CEO and our Senior Vice President, Global Head of People to formulate the specific compensation plan and award designs, including targets and weightings in support of business performance measures necessary to align our executive compensation program with our business objectives and strategies.
Generally, the CEO and the Senior Vice President, Global Head of People participate in meetings of the Compensation Committee at the Compensation Committee’s request to provide relevant background information regarding the Company’s strategic objectives and to evaluate the performance of, and make compensation recommendations for, the other executive officers. The Compensation Committee utilizes the information provided by the CEO and the Senior Vice President, Global Head of People along with advice from its independent compensation consultant and the knowledge and experience of the Compensation Committee members in making compensation decisions. The CEO and the Senior Vice President, Global Head of People do not review or recommend compensation for themselves or for each other.
Role of Compensation Consultant and Independence
The Compensation Committee first retained Mercer (Canada) Limited (“Mercer”) in 2018 to assist in evaluating our executive compensation program and in setting executive officer compensation. During 2022, Mercer assisted the Compensation Committee by providing services, including the following:
reviewing and updating the Cronos Peer Group;
conducting a comparison of the Company’s executive and director compensation programs to those of the Cronos Peer Group;
updating the Compensation Committee on evolving compensation trends and best practices;
advising the Compensation Committee on the competitiveness of our executive compensation program design and award values; and
participating in Compensation Committee meetings, as requested.
Mercer supported the Compensation Committee in evaluating our executive compensation by developing the Cronos Peer Group, which includes cannabis, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals and consumer-packaged goods companies with similar market capitalizations, geographic footprints, organizational complexity and size or with which we could potentially compete for talent. Mercer benchmarked components of the total compensation package for each of our executive officers to those for comparable positions in the Cronos Peer Group and, in some cases, other relevant market data. The Compensation Committee considers input from Mercer when making compensation decisions; however, the Compensation Committee’s final decisions reflect many factors and considerations.
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In 2022, Mercer was engaged directly by the Compensation Committee but regularly consulted with management in performing work requested to be performed by the Compensation Committee. Neither Mercer nor any of its affiliates performed any separate services for management.
The Compensation Committee annually reviews the independence of its compensation consultant. The Compensation Committee has determined that Mercer is independent and that its work with the Compensation Committee during 2022 did not raise any conflict of interest.
Compensation Governance Features
Share Ownership Guidelines. To reinforce our ownership culture, in March 2021, the Committee adopted share ownership guidelines that require executives to acquire and hold a certain number of Shares. The Company’s share ownership guidelines establish levels of ownership of Shares at five times the salary for the CEO and two times the salary for other executive officers, which includes each of the currently employed NEOs. Shares held for purposes of the guidelines may include Shares owned outright by the executive officer or his or her spouse and earned but unvested share-based awards, and an executive officer (other than the CEO) has five years from his or her appointment as an executive officer to achieve the level of Share ownership applicable to such executive officer. The applicable window to achieve the prescribed level of Share ownership for the CEO is three years. Each executive officer is within the applicable window to achieve the prescribed level of Share ownership.
Prohibition on Insider Trading. The Company’s insider trading policy applies to employees, officers, directors, consultants, secondees, interns and any third-party service providers who are in a position to possess inside information in the course of services provided to the Company (the “Covered Personnel”). The insider trading policy prohibits Covered Personnel from trading in our securities (or securities of any other publicly traded issuer with which the Company does business) while in possession of material nonpublic information or during blackout periods applicable to such Covered Personnel, other than in connection with a Rule 10b5-1 plan adopted in compliance with the policy.
Anti-Hedging Policy. As part of the Company’s insider trading policy, Covered Personnel are also prohibited from, directly or indirectly, entering into any speculation, short-selling, hedging or monetization transactions relating to our securities or otherwise trading in any instrument relating to the future price of our securities, such as a put or call option, futures contract, short sale, collar or other derivative security.
Anti-Pledging Policy. The Company’s insider trading policy also prohibits Covered Personnel from pledging Shares as collateral for any loan. On a case-by-case basis, the policy’s administrators may grant an exemption to the prohibition and may subject any such exemption to specific requirements and criteria to prevent any disposition of our securities while Covered Personnel are in possession of inside information.
Anti-Fraud Policy. The Company’s anti-fraud policy sets out the Company’s expectations and requirements relating to the prohibition, recognition, reporting and investigation of suspected fraud, corruption, misappropriation and similar irregularities. Under the anti-fraud policy, any employee or director who violates the terms of such policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or removal, as applicable, without notice.
Clawback Policy. The Company’s clawback policy applies to any current or former executive officer of the Company for the purposes of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and all other personnel who are subject to our enhanced sub-certification process. The policy permits the Company to clawback any annual or long-term cash, equity or equity-based incentive or bonus compensation paid, provided or awarded to any covered employee on or after February 28, 2020, the effective date of the clawback policy, that either (i) is outstanding and unpaid, whether vested or unvested, that was awarded to the covered employee; or (ii) was paid to and received by the covered employee (including gains realized through the exercise of Stock Options or share appreciation rights) during the three-year period preceding the date of a clawback event. The Company intends to review its clawback policy regarding accounting restatements in light of the SEC’s adoption of new rules to implement Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Risk Management. Among other duties, the Compensation Committee is responsible for reviewing the Company’s incentive compensation arrangements and determining whether those arrangements require modification to ensure they do not encourage inappropriate or unintended risk taking. In its assessment, the Compensation Committee reviewed the Company’s compensation structure and noted numerous ways in which
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risk is potentially mitigated by practices and policies that include: the balanced mix between short- and long-term incentives; the use of multiple performance measures for short-term cash incentive awards of the NEOs; prohibitions against speculating, short-selling and hedging; the prohibition on pledging of securities; and the existence of anti-fraud and clawback policies. Based on its analysis in 2022, the Compensation Committee believes that the architecture of the Company’s compensation programs provides various safeguards, including stock ownership guidelines, anti-hedging and pledging policies and a Clawback policy, to protect against undue risk-taking and has concluded that none of the Company’s incentive plans are likely to motivate behavior that would result in a material adverse impact to the Company.
Tax Considerations
The Compensation Committee structures the Company’s compensation program to attract, retain and motivate executives in a manner that serves the long-term interests of the Company’s Shareholders. The Compensation Committee takes into account a variety of considerations, including tax deductibility and other tax implications when designing the executive compensation program, including Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, which generally limits the tax deductibility of compensation in excess of $1 million to “covered employees”. However, the Compensation Committee retains discretion and flexibility to award non-deductible compensation as it deems appropriate and in furtherance of the Company’s compensation philosophy and objectives.
Discussion and Analysis of 2022 Compensation
Compensation Philosophy
The Compensation Committee believes that Shareholder interests are advanced if the Company assembles, motivates and rewards a high-performing management team. To promote this objective, the Compensation Committee developed an executive compensation program with the following goals in mind:
position the Company competitively within the external market against which we compete for talent;
align the interests of our executives with those of our Shareholders by tying significant portions of pay to performance, paying a substantial portion of compensation in incentive compensation and equity, subjecting equity compensation to multi-year vesting periods and requiring share ownership; and
tie executive compensation to performance and achievement of the Company’s business goals and ensure that compensation varies based on business performance and achievement of individual objectives.
Benchmarking Target Compensation
Compensation levels for the Company’s NEOs were compared to compensation paid by a group of peer companies approved by the Compensation Committee (the “Cronos Peer Group”). The companies selected to be part of the Cronos Peer Group were cannabis, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals and consumer-packaged goods companies with similar market capitalizations, geographic footprints, organizational complexity as compared to the Company or with which the Company could potentially compete for talent.
With respect to 2022 NEO pay decisions, the Cronos Peer Group was comprised of the following 16 companies.
Company
Industry
Revenue (last 12 months) ($)
(millions)(1)
Market capitalization as of
December 31, 2022 ($)
(millions)(1)
Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.
Biotechnology
329.2
3,430.3
Aurora Cannabis Inc.(2)
Pharmaceuticals
162.8
300.5
Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.
Packaged Foods and Meats
2,530.5
2,664.2
Canopy Growth Corporation(2)
Pharmaceuticals
339.2
1,126.5
Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
74.1
81.8
Columbia Care Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
524.7
298.4
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
1,310.4
3,087.6
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Company
Industry
Revenue (last 12 months) ($)
(millions)(1)
Market capitalization as of
December 31, 2022 ($)
(millions)(1)
FibroGen, Inc.
Biotechnology
140.7
1,505.2
Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Biotechnology
285.7
512.3
J&J Snack Foods Corp.
Packaged Foods and Meats
1,413.5
2,877.6
Medifast, Inc.
Personal Products
1,598.6
1,253.3
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
2.2
1,392.1
The Simply Good Foods Company
Packaged Foods and Meats
1,188.3
3,804.4
Tilray, Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
602.5
1,644.7
Trulieve Cannabis Corp.
Pharmaceuticals
1,239.8
1,408.4
USANA Health Sciences, Inc.
Personal Products
998.6
1,021.8
Cronos Group Inc.
Pharmaceuticals
91.9
962.8
(1)
All financials in the table above are from S&P Capital IQ as of December 31, 2022.
(2)
Revenue values were converted from C$ to USD using the Bank of Canada exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7692 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022. Market capitalization values were converted from C$ to USD using the December 31, 2022 Bank of Canada exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7383.
Elements of Compensation
Rather than strictly applying formulas and weightings to forward-looking performance objectives, which may lead to unintended consequences for compensation purposes, the Compensation Committee exercises its discretion and uses its sound judgment in making compensation determinations. The Compensation Committee’s comprehensive assessment of the overall business performance of the Company, including corporate performance against objectives (both quantitative and qualitative), business circumstances and, where appropriate, relative performance against peers, provides the context for individual NEO evaluations for total direct compensation.
The NEOs provide services under employment agreements, described in more detail below, which provide for fixed base salaries and certain benefits. Under their employment agreements, the NEOs are also eligible to receive performance-based incentive compensation, as discussed below. Fixed compensation and performance-based incentive compensation together represent total direct compensation.
Given the highly regulated and rapidly evolving nature of the cannabis industry, markets and products, it is challenging to design a compensation structure to attract and retain the kind of executive talent required to support the Company’s growth and expansion plans. Industry practices are variable and therefore compensation data analysis requires significant business judgment and interpretation of underlying business conditions. The Compensation Committee considers the Company’s business strategy, the expertise of its executives, and the ongoing evolution of industry and competitive compensation practices in establishing a tailored pay program that will attract and retain its executive talent.
In determining appropriate compensation levels, the Compensation Committee considers, in addition to market data and practices:
the executive’s experience, performance, contributions and job proficiency;
retention risks and succession planning considerations;
best practices and regulatory considerations;
internal equity relative to other executives; and
the then-current trading price of Company Shares.
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Base Salary
Base salaries for our NEOs are intended to reflect the scope of their responsibilities, performance, skills and experience as compared with relevant and comparable market talent. Base salaries are fixed pursuant to each NEO’s employment agreement and are reviewed periodically by the Compensation Committee. Occasionally, we may make adjustments to base salaries during the year to align with comparable base salaries among the Cronos Peer Group or in recognition of significant contributions to the Company.
Current NEO
Base Salary as of
12/31/2021
Base Salary as of
12/31/2022
Percentage Change(1)
Michael Gorenstein
$775,000
James Holm
$385,000
Anna Shlimak
$230,000
$270,000
17.4%
Jeffrey Jacobson
$335,076(2)
Ran Gorelik
$268,380(3)
$268,380(3)
0%
Former NEO
Base Salary as of
12/31/2021
Base Salary as of
End Date
Percentage Change
Kurt Schmidt
$520,000
$520,000(4)
0%
Robert Madore
$450,000
$450,000(4)
0%
(1)
Percentage change excludes changes resulting solely from changes in exchange rates.
(2)
The amounts reported for Mr. Jacobson are converted from C$ to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7978 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022.
(3)
The amounts reported for Mr. Gorelik are converted from Israeli New Shekels to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of ILS1.00 to $0.2982 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022.
(4)
Messrs. Schmidt and Madore ceased serving in their positions as CEO and CFO, respectively, in 2022. Accordingly, the amounts reported for Messrs. Schmidt and Madore for 2022 reflect their respective base salaries as of immediately prior to the date that each ceased to serve in their respective positions.
Short-Term Incentive Compensation
Short-term cash incentives are intended to reward executives for achieving the Company’s financial and business objectives (the “Business Performance”) and each executive’s own individual performance (the “Individual Performance”). The 2022 short-term cash incentive target as a percentage of base salary for each NEO was determined by the Compensation Committee after consideration of the executive’s position, scope of responsibilities, ability to influence Company results and competitive pay practices among the Cronos Peer Group and relevant market data. Short-term cash incentives are paid only after both the Business Performance and the Individual Performance results are assessed against targeted levels of performance. None of our NEOs are guaranteed a short-term incentive bonus amount.
Target Incentive Amounts
The table below shows the target 2022 short-term incentive opportunities for each of our NEOs, expressed as a percentage of base salary and in dollars (each, a “Target Incentive Amount”).
Current NEO
2022 Base Salary
2022 Short-Term Incentive
Target as Percentage of Base
Salary
2022 Target Incentive
Amount
Michael Gorenstein
$605,137(1)
150%
$907,706
James Holm(2)
$385,000
Anna Shlimak
$270,000
86%
$232,200
Jeffrey Jacobson(3)
$335,076
115%
$385,337
Ran Gorelik(4)
$268,380
35%
$93,933
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Former NEO
2022 Base Salary
2022 Short-Term Incentive
Target as Percentage of Base
Salary
2022 Target Incentive
Amount
Kurt Schmidt(5)
$520,000
Robert Madore(5)
$450,000
125%
$562,500
(1)
Represents salary prorated for the portion of 2022 in which Mr. Gorenstein served as CEO.
(2)
Per the terms of the Holm Agreement (as defined herein), Mr. Holm will be eligible to participate in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan beginning in fiscal year 2023. Mr. Holm was not eligible to participate in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan for fiscal year 2022.
(3)
The amounts reported for Mr. Jacobson are converted from C$ to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7978 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022.
(4)
The amounts reported for Mr. Gorelik are converted from Israeli New Shekels to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of ILS1.00 to $0.2982 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022. Mr. Gorelik’s short-term incentive compensation target amount is based off of his base salary plus ILS69,300, which is a portion of the car allowance paid to Mr. Gorelik.
(5)
The amounts reported for Messrs. Schmidt and Madore for 2022 reflect their respective base salaries as of immediately prior to the date that each ceased to serve in their respective positions. Mr. Schmidt retired from his role as President and CEO effective March 21, 2022 and was not eligible for a cash bonus for fiscal year 2022. Mr. Madore received a pro-rated annual bonus for the 2022 fiscal year pursuant to the terms of his separation agreement.
Performance Measures
For 2022, 60% of a NEO’s short-term incentive compensation payout under the 2022 STIC Program (the “NEO 2022 Bonus Amount”) is based on the Company’s Business Performance results as compared to performance targets (the “Business Performance Rating”), with quantitative Business Performance results adjusted based on qualitative Business Performance factors. The remaining 40% of the NEO 2022 Bonus Amount is based on Individual Performance results (the “Individual Performance Rating”).
2022 Short-Term Incentive Payout
The amount of each NEO’s 2022 short-term incentive payout was determined by the following formula, subject to a maximum payout equal to 142% of the Target Incentive Amount:
graphic

Business Performance Rating
For 2022, each NEO’s Business Performance Component was evaluated using the net revenue and adjusted EBITDA (“Adjusted EBITDA”) of the Company, which is intended to further align the Company’s “one team” mindset. Each of net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA were weighted equally and are described in more detail below.
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Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that excludes non-cash items or items that do not reflect the Company’s assessment of on-going business performance. Management believes that Adjusted EBITDA provides the most useful insight into underlying business trends and results and provides a more meaningful comparison of year-over-year results than GAAP net income, the closest GAAP measure. Management uses Adjusted EBITDA for planning, forecasting and evaluating business and financial performance, including allocating resources and evaluating results relative to employee compensation targets.
Targets for the measures for the Business Performance Component were aligned to what we believed to be the expectations of our investors at the time of setting the Company’s 2022 annual budget. The Business Performance Rating is calculated by taking the average of the ratings for each Business Performance Component and, subject to the sole discretion of the Compensation Committee, adjusting this result up or down based on qualitative Business Performance factors identified by the Compensation Committee. The Compensation Committee did not adjust the Business Performance Rating for any executive officer for 2022 based on these qualitative Business Performance factors.
The Business Performance Component for 2022 is comprised of two measures:
Net Revenue. Net revenue for purposes of the Business Performance Component is the Company’s net revenue on a consolidated basis in accordance with GAAP, which the Company considers to be a key measure of growth and expansion of the Company’s business.
Adjusted EBITDA. Management defines Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) before interest, tax expense, depreciation and amortization adjusted for: share of loss from equity accounted investments; impairment loss on goodwill and intangible assets; impairment loss on long-lived assets; gain on revaluation of derivative liabilities; gain on revaluation of financial instruments; transaction costs related to strategic projects; impairment loss on other investments; foreign currency transaction loss; other, net; loss from discontinued operations; restructuring costs; share-based compensation; and financial statement review costs and reserves related to the Restatements, including the costs related to the settlement of the SEC’s and the Ontario Securities Commission’s (the “OSC”) investigations thereof and legal costs defending shareholder class action complaints brought against the Company as a result of the 2019 restatement. A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss) is included in Appendix B.
Under the 2022 STIC Program, the Business Performance Component rating may range from 0% to 150%, where achieving the Target corresponds to a 100% rating for the Business Performance Component. The Business Performance Component is subject to a minimum performance threshold (the “Threshold”) and a maximum performance level (the “Maximum”). If a Threshold is not met for the Business Performance Component, it will be scored as 0% when calculating the Business Performance Rating. Actual Business Performance results that meet or exceed the Maximum will result in a score of 150% for the Business Performance Component.
For 2022, the rating for the Business Performance Component was calculated as follows:
Business Performance Component
Actual Result
Business Performance Component Rating Calculation
(expressed as a % of target)
Below Threshold
0
Greater than Threshold, less than Target
((actual result – Threshold) / (Target – Threshold)) * 100
Equal to Target
100
Greater than Target, less than Maximum
(((actual result – Target) / (Maximum – Target)) * 50) + 100
Equal to or greater than Maximum
150
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The table below shows the (i) Threshold, (ii) Target and (iii) Maximum targets for each measure of each Business Performance Component established by the Compensation Committee for the 2022 STIC Program, each of which were set in the first quarter of 2022, (iv) the actual results achieved for each measure in 2022, (v) the rating for each measure for the Business Performance Component, and (vi) the combined ratings for the Business Performance Component.
Business Performance
Threshold
(in millions)
Target
(in millions)
Maximum
(in millions)
2022 Actual
Measure
Rating
Component
Rating
Cronos Global
Net revenue
$61.4
$102.4
$143.4
$91.9
74.38
112.19
Adjusted EBITDA*
$(137.0)
$(109.7)
$(95.9)
$(86.2)
150
*
Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to the definition set forth above and Appendix B for the reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income (loss).
The overall quantitative Business Performance Rating was 112.19%. The Compensation Committee retains the ability to make adjustments to the Business Performance Ratings based on qualitative achievements of the Company but did not do so in 2022.
Individual Performance Measures
Incentive awards are differentiated based on Individual Performance, with 40% of the Target Incentive Amount for our executives based on Individual Performance. For each NEO, the Individual Performance Rating can range from 0% to 130%.
Individual Performance factors were specific to each NEO’s job function. In determining the Individual Performance of our NEOs, the Compensation Committee noted the highlights of the 2022 performance of each NEO who received an Individual Performance rating in respect of 2022 as described below.
Mr. Gorenstein led the strategic realignment of our business in 2022, which included centralizing functions under common leadership, a global review of our supply chain footprint, and the implementation of operating expense targets and cost savings program that yielded $28.7 million in operating expense savings in 2022. Mr. Gorenstein continues to be keenly focused on maximizing the effectiveness of our spending while searching for additional opportunities to remove costs from the system. Mr. Gorenstein oversaw the enactment of a more active treasury management strategy that led to an improved rate of return on cash and short-term investments. Mr. Gorenstein oversaw the capital allocation strategy across our global infrastructure in an effort to ensure capital is being spent to advance our priority of being a global leader in branded cannabinoid products.
Ms. Shlimak led our internal and external communication, government affairs, corporate strategy and investor relation functions. Ms. Shlimak oversaw the efforts to expand our government affairs engagement program across North America establishing the Company’s credibility, reputation and influence with key governmental and regulatory stakeholders, including through membership in various industry trade groups. Ms. Shlimak led corporate strategic planning, strategic business and corporate development initiatives. Ms. Shlimak oversaw the implementation of our strategic realignment in 2022, which included surpassing our operating expense savings target by achieving total cost reductions of approximately $28.7 million. Ms. Shlimak continued to oversee and manage the Company’s engagement with the investment and sell-side community by helping analysts better understand the Company’s innovation and portfolio strategy.
Mr. Jacobson led our marketing, innovation, operations and sales team in North America as well as consumer insights and data analytics for our global business. Mr. Jacobson set the strategy for our brands and was responsible for leading our global teams to help execute the Company’s vision. Mr. Jacobson oversaw the implementation of our strategic realignment in 2022, helping drive the centralization of functions under common leadership to increase efficient distribution of resources, improve strategic alignment and eliminate duplicative roles and costs. Mr. Jacobson continues to oversee the development of our borderless product portfolio highlighted by the success of our Spinach® brand across categories in Canada.
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Mr. Gorelik led Cronos Israel’s operations and contributed to its strong performance in 2022. Mr. Gorelik led the efforts to establish the PEACE NATURALS® brand and win market share in the Israeli medical market. Mr. Gorelik developed and began executing a plan to hire personnel for market execution, quality assurance, cultivation and manufacturing. Mr. Gorelik also began working to optimize manufacturing operations processes with a view towards balancing the growth and procurement of raw materials to demand and implemented a robust sales and operations planning process.
Mr. Schmidt retired from his role as President and CEO effective March 21, 2022 and did not receive an Individual Performance Rating for 2022. Mr. Madore ceased serving as CFO on November 14, 2022 and did not receive an Individual Performance Rating. Mr. Madore’s separation agreement specified that Mr. Madore’s pro-rated annual bonus for the 2022 fiscal year had an individual performance component of $123,750. For more information on the calculation of Mr. Madore’s 2022 Bonus Amount, see “NEO 2022 Bonus Amounts” below. Mr. Holm did not receive a performance rating for 2022 due to his fourth quarter start date.
NEO 2022 Bonus Amounts
Based on the considerations described above, the Compensation Committee approved the following NEO 2022 Bonus Amounts and determined that Individual Performance Ratings would not exceed the Business Performance Rating in order to better align the bonus amounts with the Company’s 2022 performance:
Current NEO
2022 Target
Incentive Amount
Business
Performance Rating
Individual
Performance Rating
Actual NEO 2022
Bonus Amount
Approved
Michael Gorenstein
$907,706
112%
112%
$1,018,355
James Holm(1)
Anna Shlimak
$232,200
112%
112%
$260,505
Jeffrey Jacobson(2)
$385,337
112%
112%
$432,310
Ran Gorelik(3)
$93,933
112%
112%
$105,383
Former NEO
2022 Target
Incentive Amount
Business
Performance Rating
Individual
Performance Rating
Actual NEO 2022
Bonus Amount
Approved
Kurt Schmidt(4)
Robert Madore
$562,500
112%(5)
N/A(5)
$470,838(5)
(1)
Per the terms of the Holm Agreement, Mr. Holm will be eligible to participate in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan beginning in fiscal year 2023. Mr. Holm was not eligible to participate in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan for fiscal year 2022.
(2)
The amounts reported for Mr. Jacobson are converted from C$ to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7978 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022.
(3)
The amounts reported for Mr. Gorelik are converted from Israeli New Shekels to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of ILS1.00 to $0.2982 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022. Mr. Gorelik’s short-term incentive compensation target amount is based off of his base salary plus ILS69,300, which is a portion of the car allowance paid to Mr. Gorelik.
(4)
Mr. Schmidt retired from his role as President and CEO effective March 21, 2022 and was not eligible for a cash bonus for fiscal year 2022.
(5)
Mr. Madore’s separation agreement specified that Mr. Madore’s pro-rated annual bonus for the 2022 fiscal year has an individual performance component of $123,750 and a business performance component equal to: $562,500, multiplied by 60%, multiplied by the Business Performance Rating percentage determined solely by the Company, and thereafter multiplied by a fraction where the numerator is 11 and the denominator is 12.
Long-Term Incentive Compensation
Long-term incentives are intended to attract, retain and motivate our executive officers, align the interests of our executive officers with Shareholders, and promote ownership of the Company’s equity by our executives. Through ownership in our Shares, executive officers benefit from share price appreciation resulting from the achievement of positive long-term business results.
The Compensation Committee is responsible for approving equity grants for executive officers. Prior to 2019, equity grants to executive officers were generally made in the form of Stock Options and determined on an ad hoc basis. Beginning in 2020, the Company introduced grants of long-term incentives in the form of
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Restricted Share Units, intended to reinforce share ownership and retention of participants. The Restricted Share Units complement outstanding Stock Options to provide a balanced focus on Shareholder value creation and share price appreciation. Equity awards approved by the Compensation Committee are granted after the end of any scheduled blackout period following such approval to ensure that equity grants are made in coordination with the release of material non-public information.
Restricted Share Unit grants for 2022 (other than to Messrs. Gorenstein and Holm) will vest ratably over three years and settle in newly issued Shares from treasury. The actual value of the compensation received from Restricted Share Units will depend on the Share price on the date that a participant elects to sell his or her Shares. This relationship reinforces direct alignment with the interests of our Shareholders. In 2022, the Compensation Committee considered equity compensation practices of the Cronos Peer Group and general industry market data in making equity grant decisions.
One-Time Sign-On Awards
In connection with Mr. Gorenstein’s appointment as CEO and President, he received a one-time grant of 3,000,000 Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of their grant date and settle in Shares. For more information on Mr. Gorenstein’s one-time sign-on grant, see “Employment Agreements—Gorenstein Agreement.”
In connection with Mr. Holm’s appointment as CFO, he received one-time grants of 113,947 Stock Options that vest ratably on a quarterly basis over a four-year period following the date of grant and 15,974 Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of their grant date and settle in Shares on a one-for-one basis. For more information on Mr. Holm’s one-time sign-on grants, see “Employment Agreements—Holm Agreement.”
NEO 2022 Long-Term Equity Awards
Based on the considerations described above, the Compensation Committee approved the following long-term incentive grant values for NEOs in 2022:
Current NEO
Number of Restricted
Share Units
Number of Stock
Options
2022 Long-Term Incentive
Grant Value ($)(1)
Michael Gorenstein
3,969,863(2)
0
13,601,778
James Holm
15,974(3)
113,947(3)
300,000
Anna Shlimak
90,000
0
270,000
Jeffrey Jacobson
153,587(4)
0
410,098
Ran Gorelik
66,666
0
200,000
Former NEO
Number of Restricted
Share Units
Number of Stock
Options
2022 Long-Term Incentive
Grant Value ($)(1)
Kurt Schmidt
0
0
0
Robert Madore
262,500
0
787,500
(1)
These are calculated based on grant date fair value including, solely with respect to the Stock Options granted to Mr. Holm, a Black-Scholes valuation.
(2)
Includes, in addition to Mr. Gorenstein’s one-time grants, 470,038 Restricted Share Units attributed to 2020, 2021 and 2022 that were held back in connection with ongoing investigations by the SEC and the OSC, which were subsequently settled on October 24, 2022. On August 5, 2022, the Compensation Committee approved the release of these held-back equity grants conditioned upon settlement of the SEC and OSC investigations.
(3)
Reflects Mr. Holm’s one-time sign-on grants.
(4)
Includes 58,287 Restricted Share Units attributed to 2020 and 2021 that were held back in connection with ongoing investigations by the SEC and the OSC, which were subsequently settled on October 24, 2022. On August 5, 2022, the Compensation Committee approved the release of these held-back equity grants conditioned upon settlement of the SEC and OSC investigations.
For more information regarding our NEOs’ target incentive opportunities specified under their employment agreements and other arrangements, see “Employment Agreements” below.
Employment Agreements
Each of the NEOs provides services pursuant to an employment agreement. The severance and change of control provisions of our NEOs’ employment agreements and other arrangements are described in more detail in the section entitled “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change of Control.”
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Gorenstein Agreement
The Company entered into an amended and restated executive employment agreement, effective March 21, 2022 (the “Gorenstein Agreement”), setting forth the terms of Mr. Gorenstein’s employment. The Gorenstein Agreement provides for an annual base salary of $775,000, an annual target bonus opportunity of 150% of base salary, and, beginning in the 2023 fiscal year grant cycle, annual grants with a target incentive opportunity of not less than $1,937,500. In addition, Mr. Gorenstein received a one-time sign-on grant of 3,000,000 Restricted Share Units on March 21, 2022 that vest on the third anniversary of the grant date and an additional grant of 499,826 Restricted Share Units on December 13, 2022 that vest in three substantially equal installments on each of December 13, 2023, December 13, 2024, and December 13, 2025.
The Gorenstein Agreement also provides, consistent with Mr. Gorenstein’s prior employment agreement, that Mr. Gorenstein was eligible to receive annual bonuses in respect of the Company’s 2019 fiscal year, 2020 fiscal year, and 2021 fiscal year and long-term incentive award grants in respect of the Company’s 2020 fiscal year, 2021 fiscal year, and 2022 fiscal year, each of which were released upon the conclusion of the SEC investigation into the Company on October 24, 2022.
In the event Mr. Gorenstein’s employment is terminated by the Company without Just Cause or he resigns for Good Reason (each, as defined in the Gorenstein Agreement), he would be entitled to a severance payment in the amount of his annual base salary and target bonus, employee benefit continuation for up to one year following termination, a pro-rated annual bonus for the year of termination, and accelerated vesting of his outstanding equity-based awards, subject to Mr. Gorenstein entering into a release of claims in favor of the Company and its affiliates and related entities. The Gorenstein Agreement also includes perpetual confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions, non-competition and customer non-solicitation covenants that apply during the term of Mr. Gorenstein’s employment and for a period of one year following termination and an employee non-solicitation covenant that applies during the term of Mr. Gorenstein’s employment and for a period of two years following termination.
Schmidt Agreement and Schmidt Separation Agreement
The Company entered into an employment agreement effective September 9, 2020 with Kurt Schmidt (the “Schmidt Agreement”). Pursuant to the Schmidt Agreement, Mr. Schmidt acted in the capacity of President and CEO of the Company until March 21, 2022. The Schmidt Agreement provided for an annual base salary of $520,000, and participation in the employee benefit programs of the Company and in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan. Mr. Schmidt was eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with an initial target incentive opportunity of $1,300,000, provided that the actual amount, if any, of the grants was determined in the discretion of the Board or the Compensation Committee, as applicable.
In connection with his appointment as the Company’s President and CEO in 2020, Mr. Schmidt received a one-time sign-on grant of equity-based awards, comprised of (a) 2,000,000 Stock Options that were scheduled to vest ratably on an annual basis over a five-year period following the date of grant; and (b) 450,000 Restricted Share Units that were scheduled to vest on the third anniversary of the grant date and settle in Shares.
Mr. Schmidt retired from his position as the Company’s President and CEO effective March 21, 2022 and from employment with the Company on April 6, 2022. As part of Mr. Schmidt’s separation agreement, dated March 21, 2022 (the “Schmidt Separation Agreement”), the Company agreed to (i) pay to Mr. Schmidt a lump sum separation payment of $520,000 (representing one year of his annual base salary) and $11,990.49 (in lieu of continuing his benefits for a year) and (ii) provide Mr. Schmidt with an annual bonus in respect of the Company’s 2021 fiscal year in the amount of $675,027.60, which was released upon the conclusion of the SEC investigation into the Company on October 24, 2022. In addition, Mr. Schmidt’s outstanding equity awards, including his sign-on grants, vested in connection with his retirement, and the expiration date of certain vested Stock Options was extended to September 10, 2027.
Holm Agreement
The Company entered into an executive employment agreement, dated November 14, 2022, with Mr. Holm (the “Holm Agreement”). Pursuant to the Holm Agreement, Mr. Holm will receive an annual base salary of $385,000 and will be eligible for an annual target bonus opportunity of 115% of annual base salary beginning in 2023. Starting in the 2023 fiscal year, he will be eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with an
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initial target incentive opportunity of $577,500. Additionally, Mr. Holm received an initial one-time grant of $250,000 in Stock Options that vest ratably on a quarterly basis over a four-year period and $50,000 in Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of the grant date, as well as a cash signing bonus of $250,000.
In the event Mr. Holm’s employment is terminated by the Company without Just Cause or he resigns for Good Reason (each, as defined in the Holm Agreement), he would be entitled to a severance payment in the amount of his annual base salary, employee benefit continuation for up to one year following termination, and a pro-rated annual bonus for the year of termination, subject to Mr. Holm entering into a release of claims in favor of the Company and its affiliates and related entities. The Holm Agreement also includes perpetual confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions, non-competition and customer non-solicitation covenants that apply during the term of Mr. Holm’s employment and for a period of one year following termination and an employee non-solicitation covenant that applies during the term of Mr. Holm’s employment and for a period of two years following termination.
Madore Agreement and Madore Separation Agreement
The Company entered into an employment agreement, dated August 6, 2021, with Mr. Madore (the “Madore Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Madore Agreement, Mr. Madore acted in the capacity as CFO of the Company. The Madore Agreement provided for an annual base salary of $450,000 and participation in the employee benefit programs of the Company and, beginning in 2022, in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan. Mr. Madore’s annual target bonus opportunity was initially 125% of base salary. Mr. Madore was eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with an initial target incentive opportunity of $787,500 starting in 2022.
In connection with Mr. Madore’s appointment as CFO, Mr. Madore received a one-time sign-on bonus in the form of a one-time lump-sum cash payment of $372,000, which became earned and payable on August 6, 2022. In addition, Mr. Madore received a one-time sign-on grant of equity-based awards, comprised of (a) 900,000 Stock Options that vest ratably on a quarterly basis over a four-year period following the date of grant and (b) 50,000 Restricted Share Units that vest on the third anniversary of the grant date.
Effective as of November 14, 2022, Mr. Madore ceased to be employed by the Company. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the Madore Agreement and outstanding equity award agreements, Mr. Madore was entitled to a payment in an amount equal to one year of his annual base salary, employee benefit continuation for up to one year following November 14, 2022, a pro-rated annual bonus for the 2022 fiscal year, and 37,500 outstanding Restricted Share Units and 450,000 unvested Stock Options held by Mr. Madore would vest on an accelerated basis, in each case, subject to Mr. Madore entering into a customary release of claims in favor of the Company and its affiliates and related entities.
On February 8, 2023, the Company entered into a separation agreement with Mr. Madore (the “Madore Separation Agreement”). The Madore Separation Agreement specifies that Mr. Madore’s pro-rated annual bonus for the Company’s 2022 fiscal year will have an individual performance component of $123,750 and a business performance component equal to: $562,500, multiplied by 60%, multiplied by the Business Performance Rating percentage determined solely by the Company, and thereafter multiplied by a fraction where the numerator is 11 and the denominator is 12. In addition, the Madore Separation Agreement provides for lump sum payments of $18,356.61 and $450,000, in full satisfaction of the Company’s obligations to Mr. Madore under the Madore Agreement, as specified above, including (i) employee benefit continuation for one year, grossed up, in lieu of the continuation of group insured benefits he was entitled to under the Madore Agreement and (ii) one year of his annual base salary, respectively.
Shlimak Agreement and Shlimak Letter Agreement
The Company entered into an employment agreement dated February 20, 2020 with Ms. Shlimak (the “Shlimak Agreement”). Pursuant to the Shlimak Agreement, Ms. Shlimak acted in the capacity of Senior Vice President, Communications, Investor Relations and Government Affairs of the Company. The Shlimak Agreement provided for an annual base salary of $230,000. Ms. Shlimak is eligible to participate in the Company’s benefits programs and in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan as may be in effect from time to time. Ms. Shlimak’s annual target bonus opportunity was initially 86% of base salary. Ms. Shlimak is eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with an initial target incentive opportunity of $230,000.
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Effective as of February 17, 2022, the Company and Ms. Shlimak entered into a letter agreement (the “Shlimak Letter Agreement”) setting forth the terms and conditions of her employment as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategy and increasing Ms. Shlimak’s base salary to $270,000 to align her base salary with comparable base salaries among the Cronos Peer Group and in recognition of her contributions to the Company. Ms. Shlimak’s annual target bonus opportunity under the Shlimak Letter Agreement remains 86% of base salary, and Ms. Shlimak’s target incentive opportunity with respect to equity-based awards is 100% of base salary.
Jacobson Agreement
The Company entered into an employment agreement dated June 21, 2019 with Mr. Jacobson, which was amended via a letter agreement dated November 7, 2022 (the “Jacobson Agreement”). Pursuant to the Jacobson Agreement, Mr. Jacobson acts in the capacity of Chief Growth Officer of the Company. The Jacobson Agreement provides for an annual base salary of C$420,000 (or $335,076 per year based on the Bloomberg average exchange rate of C$1.00 to $0.7978 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022). Mr. Jacobson is eligible to participate in the Company’s benefits programs and in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan as may be in effect from time to time. Mr. Jacobson’s annual target bonus opportunity is 115% of base salary, and Mr. Jacobson is eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with a target incentive opportunity of 115% of base salary.
Gorelik Agreement
Cronos Israel G.S. Cultivation Ltd. and the Company entered into an employment agreement dated August 16, 2020 with Mr. Gorelik (the “Gorelik Agreement”). Pursuant to the Gorelik Agreement, Mr. Gorelik acts in the capacity of General Manager, Cronos Israel. The Gorelik Agreement provides for a monthly base salary of ILS75,000 (or $268,380 per year based on the Bloomberg average exchange rate of ILS1.00 to $0.2982 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022). Mr. Gorelik is eligible to participate in the Company’s annual cash bonus plan as may be in effect from time to time. Mr. Gorelik’s annual target bonus opportunity is 35% of base salary. Additionally, the Company and Mr. Gorelik have opened and maintain a Keren Hishtalmut, a savings and investment plan, pursuant to which the Company contributes an amount equal to 7.5% of Mr. Gorelik’s base salary and Mr. Gorelik contributes an amount equal to 2.5% of his base salary. Mr. Gorelik is eligible to receive annual grants of equity-based awards with an initial target incentive opportunity of $200,000.
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COMPENSATION COMMITTEE REPORT
The members of the Compensation Committee have reviewed and discussed the contents of the CD&A with management. Based on such review and discussion with management and our compensation consultants, and subject to the limitations on the role and responsibility of the Compensation Committee, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board that the CD&A be included in this Proxy Statement issued in connection with our Annual Meeting and incorporated by reference into our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Compensation Committee
Jody Begley, Chairman
Jason Adler
James Rudyk
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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
Summary Compensation Table
The table below summarizes the total compensation paid or earned by each of the NEOs for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, as applicable.
Name and Principal
Position
Year
Salary
($)(1)
Bonus
($)(2)
Stock Awards
($)(3)
Option
Awards
($)(1)(3)
Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation
($)(1)(4)
All Other
Compensation
($)(1)(5)
Total ($)(1)
Michael Gorenstein Chairman, President and CEO
2022
679,840
13,656,406
1,146,270(11)
1,010,764
16,493,280
2021(10)
394,000
591,000(13)
8,702
993,702
2020
477,381(12)
591,000(13)
16,159
1,084,540
James Holm
CFO(6)
2022
37,019
250,000
50,000
250,000
27,288
614,307
Anna Shlimak
SVP, Corporate Affairs and Strategy
2022
270,000
270,000
260,505
800,505
2021
230,000
230,000
183,048
8,979
652,027
2020
191,077
197,800
460,000(9)
195,767
38,660
1,083,303
Jeffrey Jacobson,
Chief Growth Officer
2022
297,809
457,264
432,310
1,187,383
Ran Gorelik
General Manager (Cronos Israel)
2022
268,380
200,000
105,383
113,606
687,369
2021
278,460
200,000
136,424
129,340
744,224
Kurt Schmidt
Former President and CEO(7)
2022
196,000
531,990
727,990
2021
520,000
1,300,000
675,028(14)
2,495,028
2020
146,000
2,376,000
7,349,600
243,616
10,115,216
Robert Madore
Former CFO(8)
2022
408,462
372,000
787,500
470,838
506,278
2,545,078
2021
164,423
 
365,500
4,576,500
5,106,423
(1)
The amount reported for Mr. Gorenstein in 2022 represents salary paid to Mr. Gorenstein as Executive Chairman prior to March 21, 2022 and salary paid to him as CEO and President after his appointment on March 21, 2022. The amounts reported for Mr. Jacobson are converted from C$ to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate of C$1.00 to 0.7978 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022. The amounts reported for Mr. Gorelik are converted from Israeli New Shekels to USD using the Bloomberg average exchange rate (a) of ILS1.00 to $0.2982 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2022 and (b) of ILS1.00 to $0.3094 for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2021. Amounts reported as Salary include lump-sum payments made for unused and accrued vacation days of $40,000 for Mr. Schmidt and $34,615 for Mr. Madore.
(2)
Amounts set forth for Mr. Holm reflect a one-time cash signing bonus in connection with his appointment in November 2022. Amounts set forth for Mr. Madore reflect a one-time cash signing bonus in connection with his appointment in August 2021 that was earned in August 2022. Amounts set forth for Ms. Shlimak reflect a one-time cash signing bonus in connection with her appointment in February 2020.
(3)
The amounts in these columns represent the aggregate grant date fair value of the relevant award(s) presented, as determined in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, “Compensation—Stock Compensation” (“ASC 718”). See note 10 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 regarding assumptions underlying valuation of equity awards. Amounts set forth for Mr. Gorenstein reflect his one-time sign-on grants of 3,000,000 Restricted Share Units in March 2022, 470,038 Restricted Share Units attributed to 2020, 2021 and 2022 that were held back in connection with ongoing investigations by the SEC and the OSC, which were subsequently settled on October 24, 2022, and an additional grant of 499,826 Restricted Share Units made in December 2022. Amounts set forth for Mr. Schmidt reflect his one-time sign-on grants of 2,000,000 Stock Options and 450,000 Restricted Share Units in 2020, and an annual grant of 124,401 Restricted Share Units made in 2021. Amounts set forth for Mr. Holm reflect his one-time sign-on grants of 113,947 Stock Options and 15,974 Restricted Share Units. Amounts set forth for Mr. Madore reflect his one-time sign-on grants of 900,000 Stock Options and 50,000 Restricted Share Units. Amount set forth for Mr. Jacobson includes 58,287 Restricted Share Units attributed to 2020 and 2021 that were held back in connection with ongoing investigations by the SEC and the OSC, which were subsequently settled on October 24, 2022. For more information, see “Long-Term Incentive Compensation” above.
(4)
Incentive plan amounts determined as more specifically discussed under “—Compensation Discussion and Analysis—Elements of Compensation—Short-Term Incentive Compensation.” The amounts in this column represent short-term cash incentive awards earned based on performance in a particular year to be paid in the subsequent year.
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(5)
The items comprising “All Other Compensation” for 2022 are:
Name
Perquisites and
Other Personal
Benefits ($)
Severance
Payment ($)
Tax Preparation
and Consulting
Fees ($)
Consulting
Services ($)
Tax Gross
Up ($)
Company
Contribution to
Deferred
Compensation Plan
Total ($)
Michael Gorenstein
985,000(a)
25,764(b)