Australian medicinal cannabis company Creso Pharma (ASX: CPH) has appointed a director of US business development to capture opportunities in the growing market after New York State legalised recreational marijuana last week.

Meanwhile, competitor Cann Global (ASX: CGB) has proposed a new trial to treat Multiple Sclerosis with a new cannabis strain in partnership with Western Sydney University.

Leading cannabis executive John Griese has taken up the new role at Creso, bringing nearly 30 years of experience in consumer package goods and significant knowledge of the cannabis sector to the position.

Most recently, Griese was the chief operating officer at Supreme Cannabis Company (SCC), a Toronto Stock Exchange listed entity with a market capitalisation of CAD$194.9 million.

Creso hopes Griese’s experience at SCC and other cannabis companies will give Creso a leg up in the North American market.

As COO of SCC, Griese was responsible for product development, commercialisation initiatives, procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain management.

Prior to working for SCC, Griese was COO of Bloom Farms, a cannabis manufacturer and distributor based in California, where he implemented processes necessary to meet regulatory requirements in the state.

Following recent legalisation of recreational cannabis in New York State, Griese will focus on NY and Vermont to outline a strategy for Creso to begin delivering products into the US.

NY is expected to become one of the largest recreational marijuana markets in the country, valued at US$4.2 billion.

While Creso’s ability to export into the US will remain subject to the federal legalisation of cannabis, the company hopes having Griese on the ground may give it an opportunity to be a first mover in the market.

Cracking into the US would build on Creso’s presence in North America, with the Australian company already established in Canada via its wholly-owned subsidiary Mernova Medical.