Vancouver’s Namaste Technologies fires CEO; shares tank

Cannabis retailer had been targeted by short sellers at Citron Research

Shares of Namaste Technologies fell 14.5% on Monday, bringing the company's market cap to $362.4 million | Shutterstock

Vancouver’s Namaste Technologies on February 4 revealed that it has fired CEO Sean Dollinger and removed him from its board of directors following an internal investigation that found that Dollinger allegedly breached his fiduciary duty to the company and improperly benefitted. Meni Morim is the new CEO.

The company is also now considering what it calls “all value-maximizing alternatives,” including putting itself up for sale.

The news prompted the company’s shares (TSX-Venture:N) to plunge 14.5% to $1.18. The company’s market capitalization is now $362.4 million.

Short seller Citron Research made headlines in September for alleging fraud at Namaste. It released a report suggesting that the company should have a target price of $0.25.

The company’s internal investigation probed asset sales, such as its 2017 transaction to sell its Dollinger Enterprises US Inc. for US$400,000. Buyers in that deal were ventures in which Mr. Dollinger and Namaste’s head of marketing, David Hughes, have beneficial interests, according to the company.

Namaste bills itself as operating the largest cannabis e-commerce platform in the world, with more than 30 websites in more than 20 countries, under various brands. Its product offering, through its subsidiaries, includes vaporizers, glassware, accessories, CBD products and medical cannabis in the Canadian market through its licensed subsidiary, CannMart.com.

Dollinger did not immediately respond to Business in Vancouver’s request for a comment.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom