New Bedford Report Details Cannabis Industry’s Executive and Board Compensation in Canada & U.S.


Subscribe to receive industry-focused thought leadership and insights, delivered right to your inbox Subscribe

Tilray’s Brendan Kennedy earned $31,817,459 – the highest overall compensation



TORONTO, ONT – May 26, 2020 – The first-ever comprehensive report of Executive and Board compensation in the North American Cannabis industry has been published by the Bedford Consulting Group.

“This is Bedford’s inaugural industry-wide survey of compensation awards and practices for Cannabis Executives and Board members. It provides detailed insights into management compensation in this rapidly evolving industry,” says Bedford Managing Partner and Compensation Practice lead Frank Galati. “These figures are based on data from 2019. The current increased volatility in the cannabis sector means compensation for senior leaders in 2020 will decline significantly. This presents a significant opportunity for Boards to rethink elements of compensation.”

The Compensation Report: Cannabis, features an analysis of nearly 100 Cannabis industry companies publicly listed on the TSX, TSXV, CSE, NYSE, Nasdaq, and ASX. The data includes compensation for 449 Board Members and 437 Cannabis industry executives.

To provide context, the report compares the cannabis industry results with compensation practices from two closely related sectors, namely the Dietary Supplements and Food and Beverage industries. Results focus on the key elements that make up total compensation, including base salary, annual bonus, equity (share-based awards and options-based awards) and pension.


Report Highlights:


  • Brendan Kennedy of Tilray Inc., earned this highest total overall compensation in 2019 at $31,817,459, with equity compensation making up 97% of this total.
  • Median total compensation ranged widely, from $27,278 for directors at companies with a market cap under $100 million, up to $241,830, for directors at companies with market cap over $1 billion.
  • At the 50th percentile, Cannabis CEO total compensation was $1,712,759 for companies over $1 billion in market cap . By comparison, CEOs at the same 50th percentile and market cap in the Dietary Supplements and Food and Beverage industry earned $4,632,015.
  • 38% of Cannabis companies had at least one female board member. However, only 8% of the 437 Named Executive Officers were female.


Regarding the comparisons with Dietary Supplements and Food and Beverage, Bedford Partner Darren Raycroft notes there are specific elements in the industries that provide insightful comparisons.

“All of these industries are similarly regulated, whereby their product development processes and go to market are quite similar,” says Raycroft. “Additionally, through Bedford’s executive search Cannabis practice, we have found that Cannabis companies have been and remain keenly interested in recruiting talent from these industries given the relevancy of experience and skillset”.

The report found CEOs in the Dietary Supplements and Food and Beverage industry receive significantly higher total compensation than their cannabis peers at all market cap tiers. The gap is most pronounced for market caps over $1 billion, where the difference is a result of larger short-term bonus payouts and more common usage of share-based long term incentive awards.

To access the report, please visit


About Bedford Consulting Group

The Bedford Consulting Group is one of Canada’s leading privately-held executive search firms. Bedford is the Toronto partner of Transearch International, a global executive search organization, operating in 40 countries. In addition to executive search, Bedford provides executive compensation expertise, offering remuneration reports, executive pay benchmarking, reward strategy and pay mix, annual cash incentives, performance metrics and market trends. To learn more about Bedford, please visit


SOURCE Bedford Consulting Group, Inc. Media Contact: Adam Michael Segal, Communications Director