Lorne Gertner

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Lorne Gertner
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Toronto, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
  • Sam Gertner (father)

Lorne Gertner (born 1955) is an entrepreneur and investor in the Canadian cannabis industry.[1] He co-founded several formative companies within the Canadian cannabis sector, including the first publicly traded medical marijuana company in North America (Cannasat Therapeutics, now known as Cyncapsus Therapeutics)[1][2], the first publicly traded merchant bank in the medical marijuana industry (PharmaCan, now known as the Cronos Group)[1] and with his son, Alan Gertner, he co-founded one of North America’s first cannabis lifestyle companies (Tokyo Smoke)[3]. For his longstanding and diverse industry involvement, he is often referred to in the media as “the godfather of Canadian cannabis.”[4][1]

Gertner is presently a co-founder and board member of GoodCap Pharmaceuticals, a company that focuses on mental and physical health benefits of the naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug psilocybin.[5] He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design where he teaches about design and entrepreneurship.[6]

Early Life

Gertner was born in Toronto, Canada. His father (Sam Gertner) was one of the founders of Mister Leonard, a prominent Canadian women’s sportswear company.[2] Gertner attended the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1982 and briefly working as an architect before joining Mister Leonard.[6]


Between 1989 and 1997, Gertner was president of Mister Leonard where he learned first-hand about retail and manufacturing. In 1998, Gertner co-founded Hill & Gertner Capital Corporation, a merchant bank with investments in Quadrangle Architects Ltd., as well as other companies in retail merchandising, real estate, fashion, and cannabis.[3][7]

Gertner was also an early investor in the Canadian cannabis sector, co-founding, investing, and acting as a board member for several companies in the early stages of legalized cannabis in Canada.[8]

This work included co-founding Cannasat Therapeutics (now known as Cyncapsus), which acquired Prairie Plant Systems, which won the first single-source contract from Health Canada to supply legal medical marijuana.[3] Cannasat was Canada’s first publicly traded medical marijuana company, and also an early distributor of alternative delivery systems for cannabis such as oral strips and vape pens.[8]

In 2014, Gertner co-founded PharmaCan (now known as Cronos Group)[8] the first publicly traded merchant bank in the medical marijuana industry.

In 2015, prior to the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, Gertner co-founded Tokyo Smoke[4] as a design-focused cannabis lifestyle brand selling coffee, clothing, and cannabis paraphernalia.[9] The goal was to leverage design to build a positive perception of cannabis.[9] In 2018 Tokyo Smoke was sold along with the sale of its parent company Hiku Brands Ltd to Canopy Growth Corporation before it was a licensed cannabis retailer.[10]

Between 2005 and 2007, Gertner also acted as president and CEO of the fashion company Pink Tartan,[6] and was instrumental in developing Toronto Fashion Week.[11] In 2011, Gertner began lecturing and teaching as an adjunct professor at the Daniels Faculty.[6]

In 2020, Gertner became chair of CannaGlobal Wellness (now GoodCap Pharmaceuticals )[12], a company that focuses on the mental and physical health benefits of the naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug psilocybin.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Margolin, Madison (June 3, 2021). "Canadian "Godfather of Cannabis Lorne Gertner is on a Mission to Normalize the Plant". Civilized.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lorne Gertner: A 360 Degree View of Cannabis Today - CannaTech Panama, retrieved 2021-05-13
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 April 13, Murad Hemmadi; 2017 (2017-04-13). "The 'godfather of Canadian cannabis' on the pot industry's future". Macleans.ca. Retrieved 2021-05-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Berkow, Jameson. "The 'Godfather Of Canadian Cannabis' Is Launching A Psilocybin Startup". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  5. Gamage, Michelle (2020-07-06). "Cronos Group, Tokyo Smoke co-founder Lorne Gertner launches psychedelics startup". Mugglehead Magazine. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Lorne Gertner". Daniels. 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  7. "Lorne Gertner". boundless.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 April 18, Murad Hemmadi; 2017 (2017-04-18). "Marijuana investor Lorne Gertner on the future of Canada's pot business". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. Retrieved 2021-05-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Q&A: Lorne Gertner on Cannabis, Psychedelics and Design". Azure Magazine. 2021-03-18. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  10. "Canopy to acquire Tokyo Smoke parent company in $250 million retail play". financialpost. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  11. "The Team". Toronto Fashion Week. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  12. "CannaGlobal Appoints World-Class Board and Announces Rebranding to GoodCap Wellness". financialpost. Retrieved 2021-05-13.

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