Our Team

The production of compliant pharmaceutical-quality cannabis-based medicines and ingredients requires significant experience in cultivation, R&D, GMP manufacturing, portfolio management, quality, and regulatory compliance.

Cannasouth’s people are our greatest assets, and we have assembled a highly experienced and vibrant team with over 200 years of combined GMP and pharmaceutical R&D experience.

The founders of the business have been involved in the industrial hemp industry since 1995 and gained one of the first licences to cultivate industrial hemp in New Zealand in 2002.

Cannasouth’s board members and directors have a broad range of business experience covering multiple industry sectors.

Tony Ho – Independent Non-Executive Chairman

Tony has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. Tony holds numerous non-executive directorships with a number of ASX and NZX listed companies. He was previously a director of Yates New Zealand Limited.

Mark Lucas – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Mark is an experienced business manager who designs and implements operational business systems throughout Cannasouth. With strong data system DNA, Mark is a skilled manager who brings a wealth of business knowledge and experience to this role.

Mark’s business background spans 25 years. He is an entrepreneur by nature with a passion for business and has been involved in a number of businesses from initial conception through to mature, well-established companies. Mark’s key strengths include management, human resources/staff, project management, contract negotiation, sales and marketing, financial control, and business strategy.

Christine Pears – Independent Non-Executive Director

Christine is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Auckland, and is a member of the Institute of Directors.

She is currently the Independent Chair of Y North Inc and a Non-executive Director of McKay Limited, Franklin Veterinary Services, and NZX-listed Marlborough Wine Estates Group Limited.

Previously she held CEO roles within horticulture, laboratory services, and the wine sectors and Chief Financial Officer roles within an NZX-listed wine company, a successful property group, and several technology companies.

Mark Scapens – Non-Executive Director

Mark has over 30 years of business experience covering horticulture, retail, wholesale, education and property sectors.

He has launched start-ups, bought businesses, and sold them. Mark’s experience includes 20 years in government-funded private education where he operated to high standards of compliance and service delivery.

Mark’s core strengths include an ability to envisage a big picture, long-range view, and an appetite for emerging industries. He loves creating something from nothing as well as breathing life back into businesses.

Tony Clark – Chief of Manufacturing

Tony has more than 20 years of engineering, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industry experience, having worked with Pentair Valves & Controls Pacific Pty Ltd and Douglas Manufacturing Ltd.

He is a highly professional senior business leader where previous roles have included General Manager and Operations Manager. Tony has worked extensively in full GMP environments and is a member of NZPICS (Association for Operations and Supply Chain Professionals).

Pierre Booysen – Chief of Compliance

Pierre has extensive knowledge and experience in the medicinal cannabis industry and the New Zealand regulatory system, having worked as a Senior Advisor (GMP audit) with Medsafe and Team Leader with the Medicinal Cannabis Agency. He is a pharmacist by profession, with a background in various production, regulatory affairs and quality roles in the pharmaceutical industry. Pierre holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

David Macaskill – Chief Commercial Officer

David is a registered Trans-Tasman patent attorney, and barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand with a Master of Science (Chemistry) and Bachelor of Law.
He has 17 years’ experience in intellectual property strategy spanning a range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, animal healthcare, medical devices and software, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and agri-tech.
Before joining Eqalis as Strategy and Operations lead, David was a partner in New Zealand’s largest privately owned intellectual property specialist boutique. His passion is technology development and commercialisation.