Jeff Mooij lets out a cheer in front of his cannabis store in Callgary on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.
Darren Makowichuk / DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia
A man considered a cannabis industry pioneer in Calgary has left the company he founded.420 Investments Ltd., which operates five cannabis retail outlets in Alberta — including four in the city under its Four20 Premium Market brand — announced Wednesday that Jeff Mooij had left the company.“Everyone wishes him well and I’m sure he’ll end up in the industry somewhere,” said Four20 Premium Market’s vice-president of marketing Amber Craig.She said Mooij wasn’t pushed out but left on his own accord.Last month, Mooij’s title within the operation switched from president of Four20 Premium Market to chief visionary officer for 420 Investments.“We felt we needed someone with more retail experience as we built out and he seemed very comfortable with it at the time, but then things escalated and he wasn’t happy,” said company COO Kato Tomiyama, who expressed surprise.“His knowledge of the industry was outstanding for us . . . this was really his baby.”Mooij was one of the original cannabis entrepreneurs in the city after he founded 420 Clinic in Inglewood in 2014, which offered consultancy services for medical cannabis patients.Mooij became a leading local proponent of legalized recreational pot and an outspoken commentator about how that process was rolled out by Ottawa, the province and the city.
Jeff Mooij, former president of Premium 420 Market, serves a customer on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.
His company’s store at Southland Drive and Macleod Trail was one of the first two to open in the city when legalization kicked in last Oct. 17.“We’re very grateful for his vision, obviously, as he was the founder,” said Craig.“It’s been a crazy roller-coaster,” Mooij said last December, two months into legalization. “We have been working closely with officials and regulating bodies to ensure in 2019 the industry continues to grow in a responsible manner,” he said in a statement.“This is an industry that needs collaboration across sectors to make sure Canada is a global leader in the cannabis landscape”.The announcement of his departure came the same day Four20 Premium Market opened its fifth Alberta store, this one in Brooks, with expectations it’ll soon launch a sixth location in Canmore.Craig said the company is seeking a new CEO.Mooij didn’t return a call from Postmedia on Wednesday.BKaufmann@postmedia.comTwitter: @BillKaufmannjrn