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Former Nike store executive joins cannabis firm

One of the leading vertically integrated cannabis operators in the United States has tapped a retail veteran to head up its expanding store operations.

Curaleaf has named Chris Melillo as senior VP, retail operations. He will be responsible for spearheading Curaleaf's dispensary expansion rollout and establishing a consistent customer experience for retail stores across the United States.

Most recently, Melillo served as VP of stores for footwear and apparel retailer DTLF/Villa. Prior to that, from 2013 to 2016, he was senior director of stores North America for Nike. He also served in management roles at Equinox and PetSmart.

Melillo has been instrumental in retail expansions, store design/construction, merchandising and omnichannel commerce in hundreds of stores, in addition to developing and leading retail teams across the country, Curaleaf said.

"As we strategically expand our business by growing our dispensary footprint, it was vital to attract a leader with extensive experience in managing multi-unit operations,” said Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf. "Chris's background makes him well-equipped to help develop the Curaleaf retail brand beyond our existing network in 12 states. Chris will support Curaleaf's growth through the realization of our strategic plan to establish a national retail footprint with consistent, streamlined atmospheres, driving foot traffic and adoption of the well-established Curaleaf brand."

Headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts, Curaleaf has a presence in 12 states. The company owns and operates 28 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites and nine processing sites with a focus on highly populated, limited license states, including Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
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