Our Team

Cannasouth has built a vibrant business management and research team with members experienced in advanced cannabinoid, cultivation, extraction, fractionation, and purification.

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

Our operational team includes GMP production processes and endocannabinoid system experts, with our research team supported by experts in neuropathic pain and organic chemistry.


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.

Conor English – Independent Non-Executive Director

Conor has a broad agriculture background. He is Chairman of Agribusiness New Zealand Limited and NZX listed QEX Logistics Limited. He is a Director of GMP Pharmaceuticals Group Ltd, Esports New Zealand, and Quotable Value. He recently completed a 3 year term as one of only two external independent advisors to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on monetary policy. He has had a number of other roles including 6 years as CEO of Federated Farmers. Conor has extensive good governance and business experience, with strong global insights around New Zealand products and exports, combined with strong international networks and relationships.

Mark Lucas – Executive 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.

Colin Foster – Chief Financial Officer

Colin is a chartered accountant with a Bachelor of Management Studies and a Post-graduate Diploma in Treasury & Financial Management. He has 33 years of successful accounting and management experience, including 18 years as a Chief Financial Officer, during which time he was actively involved in strategy development and the establishment of a number of off-shore subsidiaries. Colin has a strong track record in financial modelling, treasury management, information systems management, and developing high-performing finance teams.

Mark Balchin – Chief Manufacturing Officer

Mark has 20 years experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry in roles spanning Manufacturing, Quality and Senior Management.   Mark brings to Cannasouth exceptional knowledge and expertise in pharmaceutical and dietary supplement manufacture including GMP, Quality Assurance, Facility Design and efficient process operations. He has a Bachelors degree in Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering.

Mark is also CEO and Director of Midwest Pharmaceutics NZ Limited, 60 per cent of which Cannasouth acquired in September 2019.

Brenda van Zyl – Corporate Strategy Manager

Brenda’s recent business experience encompassed spending seven years in the USA leading a biotechnology manufacturing company from start-up, to fast growth, and right through to acquisition. Brenda has a Bachelor of Science and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration and is an associate member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. Her strengths are in the areas of innovation, vision, commercial management, progressive high-performance leadership and organisational culture management.

David Gill – Chief Scientific Officer

David’s expertise is in product development specializing in drug delivery technologies and process development.  His career spans 40 years in pharmaceutical research, product development and R&D management.  He has held roles in academia, start-ups, multinational and specialist pharmaceutical companies and has been directly involved in the development and commercialization of numerous products in both human and veterinary health for global markets.  David has a diploma in Chemistry and a PGDip / MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and a named inventor on several patents.

John Sanders – Chief Commercial Officer

John has more than 20 years of commercial, sales and marketing experience, both globally and in New Zealand, with blue chip pharmaceutical and health supplement companies such as Bayer, Merck, Wyeth and Roche. The roles have included senior sales, marketing and management leadership positions covering over the counter and prescription medicines in categories such as pain management, skin care, multi-vitamins, allergy, and cough & cold.

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