Executive Spotlight Archives - Green Market Report

StaffJune 23, 2022
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7min6310

Juva Life (OTC: JUVAF) is a life sciences research company with an immense background in cannabis, allowing the company to cultivate and to derive small molecule compounds that target inflammation in the human body. Currently Juva Life is working with Juva-019 and Juva-041, which are non-cannabinoid molecules found to be naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Juva Life’s assets include one micro business, one cannabis cultivation facility and two cannabis delivery companies in California. The company was founded by Doug Chloupek in 2018, with the ultimate goal of bringing together a hand-picked team of cannabis industry veterans and leading, highly-respected medical researchers to create rigorously-tested, consistent, quality products built on research and a retail system that fosters informed customers through education and science. 

Doug has an immense background in both medical and adult-use cannabis, and was the visionary, co-founder, and COO of BAS Research. BAS Research (BAS) was California’s first licensed medical cannabis manufacturing and research group, dedicated to developing breakthrough pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products. He is a strong believer that standardized dosing and research is the first step to confirming the effectiveness of medical cannabis. The pharmaceutical industry follows an existing set of processes, and takes many different pathways to achieve an ultimate goal. Juva Life is taking a chemical approach to research versus a biological one, and is using modern tools to identify potential answers. In short, cannabis is known to anecdotally reduce pain and inflammation – Juva Life’s goal is to identify how and why this works, and isolate the specific molecules responsible for positive pain management effects in humans. 

Full name: Doug Chloupek 

 

Title: Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board

 

Company: Juva Life

 

Years at current company: 4

 

Education profile: I took an atypical route – I graduated high school 2 years early, and college wasn’t for me. I worked hard as a young person, homeschooled myself and have been working a 40/hr week job since age 15. 

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: 

Over the past 12 years, I have led and created seven successful cannabis businesses, including the operation of cannabis retail businesses for 9 of those years, cultivation businesses for 8 of those years, and manufacturing businesses for 6 of those years. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, I acquired an additional 12 years of experience in marketing, brand creation, and advertising. I had been in media sales for about a decade, launched an online advertising/marketing firm for attorneys back in 2005, and had an entertainment company booking entertainers for local venues. Unlocking the health benefits hidden in cannabis was the motivating and all-consuming factor to create Juva and has brought us to where we are today. 

Company Mission: 

The Company’s mission is to leverage its unique knowledge of the chemistry and anti-inflammatory properties contained within cannabis to develop safe and effective therapeutics. We believe there are unappreciated small molecules identified by Juva and found in the cannabis plant that hold the keys to regulating inflammation in the human body. Our team of scientists are doing the much-needed research to validate our findings using established pharmaceutical assays to prove their efficacy.

Company’s most successful achievement:  

The discoveries of proprietary non-cannabinoid molecules, JUVA-019 and JUVA-041.

Juva-019 is a molecule found and derived from cannabis. It is a non-cannabinoid molecule, which is a naturally occurring molecule that is different from THC and CBD, with no psychoactive effects. Juva Life’s research team discovered Juva-019 by screening the whole library of compounds in cannabis using standard pharmaceutical assays, looking for compounds that stood out for their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Juva-041 is unique in that it actually inhibits multiple cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation in the human body. Juva Life’s researchers expect Juva-041 to have a potentially broader application than Juva-019, and have identified a process for straightforward, inexpensive synthesis of this molecule, without having to cultivate cannabis.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no)? If so, how much?:

Yes, $36 million to date

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: 

Juva Life’s goal is to unlock the secret of cannabis’ relationship with inflammation and pain management. Our team’s deep research background brings together top experts across multiple disciplines to apply a level of science and rigor not historically seen in the cannabis industry. At the core of its research, Juva Life is embarking to discover why and how cannabis works, and who it works for. With the recent discoveries of JUVA-019 and JUVA-041, we believe we are well on track to accomplish this goal. 

 


StaffDecember 17, 2021
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8min20520
After a two-decade career in healthcare in a busy California ER, Chris Weld moved back to New England and settled with his family on an old apple farm in Sheffield, a right-to-farm village in the southwest corner of Massachusetts known for endless rows of corn and Revolutionary-era uprisings. A historic and pristine granite-based spring on his farm inspired Weld to create Berkshire Mountain Distillers in 2007, with the distillery earning national accolades.
After 10 years producing craft spirits, the legalization of recreational cannabis prompted Weld to participate in an industry that is aligned with the creative, mindful, and agricultural ethos of the Berkshires. Long a believer in the use of cannabis for wellness, Weld has seen the positive economic impacts on local communities driven by Community Impact Fee contributions, town and state taxes, good-paying jobs, and increased revenue for local businesses. The Pass, a vertically-integrated cannabis company, opened its first retail outlet in 2020 and distributes its branded products to 30+ dispensaries across Massachusetts.
Getting into cannabis was a natural step for someone who has been a lifelong gardener and avid cook.  Weld’s distillery experience also lends itself to a fuller understanding of flavor profiles, distillation techniques, and agricultural practices. The scientist in him was fascinated by the uses and breeding of a plant used the world over for thousands of years.
Weld’s background in biochemistry and twenty years on the frontline of an ER inform his empirical view of why adults should have access to legal cannabis. Cannabis exhibits proven benefits for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and sleep disorders; and draconian and ineffectual drug laws have historically and disproportionately impacted BIPOC. Weld eagerly looks forward to the research that federal legalization of cannabis will allow, with much-needed exploration of the health and wellness benefits of the plant and its chemical components, and greater potential for social and economic impact.
  • After a two-decade career in healthcare in a busy California ER, Chris Weld headed back to his New England roots, becoming an entrepreneur and one of the first craft distillers in the U.S., winning nationwide accolades for his spirits.
  • Chris Weld created the award-winning craft distillery Berkshire Mountain Distillers in 2007, with his spirits earning accolades by the NY Times, Washington Post, James Beard Foundation, Boston Globe, Playboy Magazine, GQ, Cool Hunting, and Details.
  • Weld established his distillery in Sheffield, Mass., a small, rural, right-to-farm town in southwestern Massachusetts.
  • Cannabis use was not an issue in the ER; cannabis exhibits proven benefits for those suffering from PTSD, epilepsy, pain, and sleep disorders;
  • Weld eagerly looks forward to the research that federal legalization of cannabis will trigger, with much-needed exploration of the health and wellness benefits of the plant and its chemical components, and great potential for social and economic impacts.
  • When The Pass’ new facility is fully operational, Berkshire Welco will have created about 100 jobs, a sizable amount for a small rural town and an area suffering from population loss and brain-drain.

The Pass:

    • The Pass/Welco has created jobs in an area that continues to experience population decline and loss of good-paying jobs; co-founder Chris Weld first made news and created jobs in Sheffield when he founded his award-winning craft distillery, Berkshire Mountain Distillers (NY Times rates Greylock Gin #1), in Sheffield in 2007.
    • The Pass/Welco is adding a third, 40,000 square-foot facility that will initially create 30 new full-time jobs to support manufacturing, processing, and packaging. This will bring the total Welco job count to approximately 100 positions, a sizable amount for a small rural town like Sheffield, and there are plans for further expansion in the future.
    • The Pass is a startup that is poised to scale, with a talented group of folks who possess a startup mentality (creativity, nimbleness, ability to pivot, dogged and passionate) and the skills (agriculture/production experience, retail expertise, wholesale and distribution expertise, marketing prowess, business strategy) to make it happen.
    • The new site will first increase production to meet statewide demand, with additional space and increased extraction capabilities, and plans for newer technologies to come online at the former extrusion factory.
    • The Pass is currently using ethanol extraction for distillate and concentrates. At its new production site, the company will add hydro-carbon extraction and nanotechnology for edibles, creating quicker onset of the products’ health and wellness benefits, especially for conditions like anxiety and pain.
    • Staff is a talented group of individuals with diverse backgrounds, including many former food industry and agriculture experts, longtime West Coast cannabis industry pros, a former art-dealer-turned-weed-dealer, a geologist, and one director who spent 6 years in R+D at Dupont.

StaffDecember 10, 2021
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8min21280

Klee Irwin is an author, physicist and businessman who serves as CEO and Chairman of Irwin Naturals Inc and Director of Quantum Gravity Research (QGR), a non-profit research institute he founded in 2009.

Founded by Klee in 1994, Irwin Naturals is an award-winning global nutraceutical company providing with products selling in nearly 100,000 outlets, ranging from Whole Foods to Walmart, and having a North American brand recognition in excess of 100 million people. The company expects to be the world’s first household name level player to move into the cannabis and psychedelic mental health spaces. Irwin Naturals is a long-time supporter of Vitamin Angels, which aims to provide lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition thereby reducing preventable illness, blindness, and death and creating healthier communities.

As the Director of QGR, Klee manages a dedicated team of mathematicians and physicists developing emergence theory. The mission of the organization is to discover the geometric first-principles unification of space, time, matter, energy, information and consciousness. Since 2009, the team has published over 60 papers and journal articles laying out some of the mathematical building blocks and axiomatic ideas for this unification model.

Outside of his work in physics and nutraceuticals.  Klee is active in supporting students, scientists, educators and founders in their aim to discover solutions leading to high-impact positive change in the world. He has supported and invested in a wide range of people, causes, and companies including Change.orgUpworthyDonors ChooseMoon Express, the X PRIZE Foundation, and Singularity University, where he is an Associate Founder.

Full birth name: Klee Martin Irwin

 

Title: Chairman & CEO

 

Company: Irwin Naturals Inc.

 

Years at current company: 27

 

Education profile: Some College

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Founded and then led Irwin Naturals to 27 consecutive years of profit culminating with 2021 as the single most profitable year.

Company Mission: To heal the world with plant medicine.

Company’s most successful achievement: We created a brand not just known by over 100 million North Americans but a rare “cult-brand” or brand that sells at the top of its class with virtually no advertising. As part of this, we were able to become one of the largest sellers of CBD in the mass market while also having one of the lowest prices per dose.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

 Most important company 5-year goal:  In Q1 of 2022, we expect to be the world’s first household name brand to move into cannabis. In order to remain profitable, we will do this as a licensing model in most or all legal states in the US and other countries around the world. In addition, we will become the first nationally recognized brand to extend into the psychedelic mental health space, again remaining profitable because of the legality of the psychedelic ketamine. We intend to become the Jenny Craig of psychedelic mental health clinics. That is, the first large scale national chain offering price accessible healing.


StaffDecember 1, 2021
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5min18800

Jesus Burrola is Chief Executive Officer of POSIBL, the cannabis farm of the future and engine for several of California’s leading brands. With over 1,000,0000 units of the packaged product to date, POSIBL is redefining what it means to produce the highest quality cannabis. Jesus is a proven leader who believes in his teams as the primary driver of growth. He leads the organization’s growth strategy in sales and operations and the best team at POSIBL to position the company as a global market leader. Prior to POSIBL, Jesus worked for 15 years at Beacon Building Products, the largest publicly traded building materials distributor in North America. Jesus was at the company during growth from $1 Billion to $8 Billion — through a combination of 30+ acquisitions and launches into new markets. Jesus worked his way up from a trainee to a National Vice President, managing a $700M  business segment. During Jesus’ time there, he held roles in both Sales Management and Operations and was tasked with integrating several large acquisitions. Jesus holds a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University. He enjoys quality time with his family, playing golf, and exploring great cuisine.

POSIBL

POSIBL is redefining what it means to produce the highest quality cannabis. Leveraging a state-of-art system that uses less to do more, POSIBL brings the best greenhouse technology and expertise from traditional agriculture into cannabis, and pairs it with the best possible genetics to produce the perfect flower — grown in an ethical, sustainable, free of pesticide and cost-efficient way, year-round. POSIBL’s Smart Greenhouses use best in class climate control, requiring less water per pound of flower, and are three times more energy efficient than indoor growers. Combining pesticide-free agro-technology and committed human talent, POSIBL comprises a dedicated and gifted team who understand these state of the art systems to perfection — believing in them to help improve production and value with every harvest. With Good Will and Great Work, Anything is POSIBL. For more information, please visit:

Full name: Jesus Burrola

Title: CEO

Company: POSIBL

Years at current company: 1 year

Education profile: BS in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Playing a role in growing Beacon from a $1B to $8B during my 15 years there, through a combination of greenfields and acquisitions into new markets and verticals.

Company Mission: To grow the perfect flower in an ethical, sustainable, pesticide-free and cost efficient way year round.

Company’s most successful achievement: Being the engine behind 12 of the leading cannabis brands in California, and supporting over 50 different SKUs for our partners.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: +$38M including all rounds

 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? As growth opportunities arise, we would consider future rounds.

Most important company 5 year goal: Completion of our High-Tech Greenhouse and new processing facility buildout, which will allow us to produce the highest quality greenhouse flower at a very affordable price.


StaffSeptember 30, 2021
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4min26760

Ken VandeVrede is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and active Board Member of HillviewMed Inc. Ken serves on the ATACH Cannabis Beverage Council, and formerly served on the boards of both ONE Cannabis and Terra Tech Corp. 

 

As a third-generation expert in agriculture, Ken began his cannabis career at Terra Tech Corp, the first publicly traded company in the US to touch the cannabis plant. Under Ken’s leadership, Terra Tech acquired over $150M in assets in multiple markets, and increased revenues from startup to over $40M annually. 

 

Continuing to build upon his cannabis leadership expertise, Ken founded HillviewMed, a next-generation hemp, and cannabis company. One of the first companies to receive a hemp cultivation license in the state of New Jersey, Hillview is also the parent company for several notable brands in the cannabis space including Kalo, the first-ever truly water-soluble full spectrum cannabis beverage. In its first 18 months, Kalo grew to 10 states and 15+ distribution partners. Hillview continues to innovate towards the future, delivering consistent, reliable cannabis products to meet consumer and pharmaceutical needs through our state-of-the-art patented water-soluble process. 

 

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

I founded  Edible Garden, the leader of sustainable produce grown in zero-waste inspired™ greenhouses by local farmers who are dedicated to a farm-to-future approach. Edible Garden was one of the first companies to grow local greens and produce to ensure everyone has access to fresh tasting nutritionally dense produce. My family and I successfully exited Edible Garden when it was acquired by a public traded urban agriculture company in 2012. Moving into hemp and cannabis was a natural transition.

 

Company Mission:

At HillviewMed, we are committed to providing wellness to all through the power of natural ingredients, utilizing proven science and our deep rooted knowledge in agriculture.

 

Company’s most successful achievement: 

Last year we launched our first product brand, a line of hemp-infused seltzers called Kaló, with a strategic focus on building a consumer brand and strong retail presence along the Eastern seaboard. Today, our hemp seltzer is available in eight flavors and distributed in 10 states by a collective of beer, alcohol and beverage distributors. Now we’re building on that success with the launch of a 5mg THC-infused Kaló seltzer, which we’ll introduce next month in 31 dispensaries across the state of Maine.

 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):

if so, how much?:

We have raised over $3 million from friends and family.

 

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

We are in the process of raising more capital to fund Kaló’s explosive growth and expand both our product line and distribution footprint.

 

Most important company 5-year goal:

We aim to build a successful, profitable company with consumer and pharmaceutical cannabis products, with a five-year exit in mind.

 


StaffSeptember 28, 2021
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5min26080

Robert (Bob) Fireman has served as CEO and President of MariMed, Inc. since July 2017, and has served as a director of the company since its formation. Bob has been a driving force of the legal cannabis industry since 2010, when he and current MariMed CFO Jon Levine entered the industry through an investment in a California cannabis license. Over most of the next decade, the company served as advisors to license holders in multiple states, successfully helping them secure their licenses, hiring and training their staff, providing management services to them, designing and developing their facilities, and developing and licensing to them a number of high-quality, proprietary products.

Bob subsequently led the company’s successful transformation to a plant-touching, highly profitable multi-state operator that cultivates, produces and distributes award-winning cannabis products that are top-sellers in the markets in which they are available. They include the premium flower brand Nature’s Heritage, Betty’s Eddies fruit chews, K-Fusion precision-dosed, chewable mint tablets, and more.

Prior to MariMed, Bob developed a number of successful businesses across diverse industries. He created Consumer Card Marketing, Inc (CCMI), which pioneered the implementation of card-based loyalty marketing programs for 50,000 retail, grocery and drug stores and was later sold to a division of News Corporation. Later, he created and now sits on the Board of Directors of Sky Vegetables, a hydroponic farming company that delivers fresh produce to lower-income citizens in the Bronx, New York. 

Mr. Fireman holds a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from Suffolk University Law School.

 

Robert (Bob) Fireman

Title: 

CEO and President

Company: 

MariMed, Inc. (OTCQX: MRMD)

Years at current company: 

8 years.

Education profile:

BA degree from the University of Wisconsin 

JD from Suffolk University Law School

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

I’m perhaps most proud to have devoted most of my professional and personal life to helping improve the lives of those less fortunate than me. That’s core to MariMed’s mission, but it’s been a consistent thread for decades. For example, I was a political activist and also served as a public defender in my early years as an attorney. Later, I founded an urban hydro-farming business that delivers fresh produce to lower-income citizens in the Bronx, NY.  

Company Mission:

MariMed is dedicated to improving lives every day through our products, actions, and values. 

Company’s most successful achievement:

We have built a successful and profitable business while maintaining a culture of collaboration, innovation, compassion, and integrity. I believe that’s what has driven the trust in our products that we’ve established with our customers, and ultimately why they are top sellers in the markets where they’re available.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): 

Yes.

If so, how much?:

$105 million.

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Not at this time. Our strong balance sheet and cash position have positioned us to implement our strategic growth plan without the need to raise additional funds.

Most important company 5-year goal:

MariMed’s most important 5-year goal is to own the most beloved, trusted, and best-selling cannabis products in the country while being recognized as an exceptional corporate citizen. 


StaffSeptember 2, 2021
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3min18800

Co-founder of Bright Box, the leading Connected Car technology provider, responsible for strategic decisions, fundraising and M&A. Bright Box was acquired by Zurich Insurance Group in 2018. Co-founder of BrightConsult, the top software partner of Microsoft in Eastern Europe in the Automotive industry. Company was acquired by Incadea Gmbh in 2011. As a private investor did more than 30 transactions with early- and late-stage companies in the US, Israel, and EU.

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q&A:

 

Full birth name: Ken (Innokenty) Belotsky

Title: Partner

Company: Negev Capital

Years at current company: 1

Most successful professional accomplishment before psychedelics: two successful exits from startups, where Ken was a co-founder, with 25x+ return for the seed investors

Company Mission: Negev Capital the USD$25+ million fund is in the battle against the current Mental Health Pandemic by investing in companies that develop novel drugs for psychiatric disorders based on psychedelic compounds. 

Company’s most successful achievement: Over $9M USD invested in 14 companies that develop novel drugs for psychiatric disorders based on psychedelic compounds over past 6 months. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):  Yes. 

If so, how much?:$20M+ USD 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? We are always looking for suitable LP’s to work with on a mission to battle against the current Mental Health Pandemic.

Most important company 5 year goal: We believe that psychedelic medicine will be not only disruptive to the practice of psychiatry, but hold the potential to reduce enormous amounts of human suffering, and we are committed to helping the field mature, and further promote ways for these treatments to reach all of those in need. 


StaffAugust 20, 2021
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6min23230

Maitri Elevated Wellness was founded by third-generation Southwestern Pennsylvania residents who are deeply invested in the region’s wellbeing and development. They view Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program as an opportunity to help patients suffering from serious medical conditions, support intervention efforts to address the region’s opioid crisis, and provide career training and well-paying jobs for local residents in the medical marijuana industry.

A diverse group of over 200 Southwestern Pennsylvania residents provided the startup capital to make our vision for a locally-rooted and community-based cannabis company a reality. “We are privileged to serve Pennsylvania patients at our two dispensaries in Southwestern Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh and Uniontown. Our Grower/Processor facility in O’Hara Township is under construction and we look forward to launching our unique line of medical marijuana products in 2020.”

Jimil Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Maitri

Jimil Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Maitri, is a dynamic and highly accomplished cannabis industry professional with a proven track record of expertise in business development, finance, and investment strategies. Before taking over as CEO Jimil led the development and management of the company’s financial materials and functions, risk management and insurance coverage,as well as provided strategic direction for the Company’s financing and long-term investment strategies, as CFO. Prior to devoting his work fulltime to Maitri in 2017, Jimil worked in finance business development for over 15 years as an effective entrepreneur and leader within various organizations in the banking industry. Jimil has a Masters Degree in Finance from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business and Bachelors Degree in Economics from Washington & Jefferson College. Jimil serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, the Pace School, and Washington & Jefferson College. A highly motivated top-performer, Jimil leverages a deep understanding of trading and business development strategies to drive revenue and exceed profitability targets.

 Title:

CEO of Maitri

 Company:

Maitri

 Years at current company:

4 years (2017-Present)

 Education profile:

Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business – MBA Finance

Washington & Jefferson College – BA Economics

Royal Holloway, University of London – Economics Course

 Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

My most successful accomplishment before I worked in cannabis probably took place when I worked at PNC helping to build several business lines working in their capital markets group for over 11 years. I had the opportunity to build two multimillion-dollar businesses whilst I was at the bank.

 Company Mission:

Our Mission is to cultivate, produce and dispense quality medical marijuana products for Pennsylvania patients who suffer from qualifying medical conditions and diseases.

Company’s most successful achievement:

Maitri’s most successful achievement has been our ability to take on multi-state operators and remain a company that is focused on the mission we started with at the beginning – which was to treat our employees the right way as well as to bring craft cannabis on a commercial scale to the PA market.

 Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): if so, how much?

Maitri has raised over $15m in equity capital and over $4m in debt capital.

 Any plans on raising capital in the future?

There are always plans to raise capital and maximize our use of the capital markets. It is often very difficult to raise capital in the cannabis market as a result of federal restrictions, but we have proven to be successful in this endeavour. We don’t see any obstacles in our way and have a great story to tell investors now and in the future.

 Most important company 5-year goal:

Maitri’s most important 5-year goal is to continue to grow the business whilst maintaining our culture as we continue to scale the business. Our culture has been instrumental in our success to date and will continue to be key as we grow and expand our business inside and outside PA. Maitri also wants to continue fighting for adult use legalization in Pennsylvania to help further increase access to safe and legal cannabis.

 


StaffAugust 16, 2021
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6min25720

Ray Thompson is the Chief Operations Officer at Akerna. He has 15+ years of corporate management experience including operations, sales, and talent management. From 2008 to 2016, Ray served as the Senior Vice President of VisionLink, a multiagency humanitarian software platform. From 2016-2018, Ray was Head of Customer and Sales Operations at Gloo, a people development platform. With 20+ years experience in software systems, Ray specializes in meeting the unique needs of high growth technology companies and helping them scale. Ray has an MBA from University of Denver.

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q&A:

Title:

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Company:

Akerna 

Years at current company:

3

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

Before Ray’s work in cannabis, he was part of the team that launched e-commerce for large brands like Vitamins.com and Whole Foods Market. During this time, Ray and his team pioneered many e-commerce features, including 1-click ordering, auto-refills and subscribe & saves, setting the standard when the industry was still nascent and paving the path for the e-commerce giants of today.

Company Mission: 

We are passionate about solving problems that better our world. Akerna provides data-driven cannabis solutions worldwide across the entire cannabis supply chain. Our technology empowers the cannabis industry to prove outcomes that positively change lives every day. 

Company’s most successful achievement: 

Our CEO, Jessica Billingsley, co-founded the company that invented seed-to-sale tracking in 2010. This was done upon identifying the need for organic material tracking and compliance SaaS solutions in the nascent cannabis industry. We recognized that due to the unique complexities and needs of the industry, cannabis needed technology built for it specifically, not just adapted from other industries. We believed visibility across the entire supply chain from seed-to-sale would be a requirement for the industry’s sustained growth. Today, this type of tracking is a requirement of most states that regulate legal cannabis.  

In 2017, we launched MJ Platform, the cannabis industry’s first ERP in response to the maturing of the cannabis market to multi-state enterprise businesses. We also led international expansion in the cannabis technology sector very early on in 2012 in Canada then into Spain. Today, our total footprint spans 23 states and 15 countries. Innovation and seeing what opportunities are next on the horizon – and then being ready for them first – has been a hallmark of Akerna since the inception of our flagship product MJ Freeway.   

In 2019, Akerna became the first cannabis software business to be traded on a major U.S. exchange, Nasdaq (ticker KERN). This listing was an unprecedented milestone for the cannabis industry and signified a shift in beliefs and generated ripples of opportunity for the future of the industry.    

Since then, we have grown the Akerna family to include many leading cannabis and alcohol technology solutions: Ample Organics, Last Call Analytics, Leaf Data Systems, MJ Freeway/MJ Platform, solo sciences, Trellis, and Viridian Sciences.  

Today, Akerna is the cannabis industry’s only scaled technology provider, enabling compliance, regulation, and taxation. We provide the single most comprehensive product ecosystem for cannabis operators that have businesses across any part of the supply chain, from seed-to-sale. This provides transparency and accountability along virtually every piece of the supply chain.   

Over the past decade, we have seen much change in the political and social environments surrounding cannabis. As we prepare for a post-legalization landscape and the industry continues to consolidate and mature, we firmly believe the enterprise capabilities we offer, including comprehensive compliance solutions and financial reporting integrations, will become increasingly crucial to the future leaders of the cannabis industry.    

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):  

Yes 

If so, how much? 

Since going public Akerna has raised $22,000,000 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? 

 We feel we are well capitalized today and continue to have institutional support and access to the markets should the need arise.  We are always carefully evaluating the needs of the business to maximize long-term shareholder value.  

Most important company 5 year goal: 

To be the dominant provider of technology to the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries, while also serving additional verticals by providing complete accountability and transparency to what consumers are putting in and on their bodies. 

 


StaffAugust 6, 2021
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6min29650

Throughout his career, Fowle has overseen several divisions such as finance, business operations, business intelligence, and monetization operations. Before joining Akerna, he served as CFO for REV360, a SaaS and business services company, and as vice-president and controller for WELLTOK. While at WELLTOK, Fowle led the successful diligence and integration of six acquisitions valued at over $230 million. Fowle is a certified public accountant. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q&A:

Title:

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Company:

Akerna

Years at current company:

Two

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

People are the most important asset in any business. From my tenure in Fortune 500 to my time in emerging growth, I have mentored and managed many individuals, with varied backgrounds, across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  To see them develop both personally and professionally and move on to have highly successful professional careers, and to know I played a part of that, is by far my greatest professional accomplishment.

Company Mission: 

We are passionate about solving problems that better our world. Akerna provides data-driven cannabis solutions worldwide across the entire cannabis supply chain. Our technology empowers the cannabis industry to prove outcomes that positively change lives every day. 

Company’s most successful achievement: 

Our CEO, Jessica Billingsley, co-founded the company that invented seed-to-sale tracking in 2010. This was done upon identifying the need for organic material tracking and compliance SaaS solutions in the nascent cannabis industry. We recognized that due to the unique complexities and needs of the industry, cannabis needed technology built for it specifically, not just adapted from other industries. We believed visibility across the entire supply chain from seed-to-sale would be a requirement for the industry’s sustained growth. Today, this type of tracking is a requirement of most states that regulate legal cannabis.  

In 2017, we launched MJ Platform, the cannabis industry’s first ERP in response to the maturing of the cannabis market to multi-state enterprise businesses. We also led international expansion in the cannabis technology sector very early on in 2012 in Canada then into Spain. Today, our total footprint spans 23 states and 15 countries. Innovation and seeing what opportunities are next on the horizon – and then being ready for them first – has been a hallmark of Akerna since the inception of our flagship product MJ Freeway.   

In 2019, Akerna became the first cannabis software business to be traded on a major U.S. exchange, Nasdaq (ticker KERN). This listing was an unprecedented milestone for the cannabis industry and signified a shift in beliefs and generated ripples of opportunity for the future of the industry.    

Since then, we have grown the Akerna family to include many leading cannabis and alcohol technology solutions: Ample Organics, Last Call Analytics, Leaf Data Systems, MJ Freeway/MJ Platform, solo sciences, Trellis, and Viridian Sciences.  

Today, Akerna is the cannabis industry’s only scaled technology provider, enabling compliance, regulation, and taxation. We provide the single most comprehensive product ecosystem for cannabis operators that have businesses across any part of the supply chain, from seed-to-sale. This provides transparency and accountability along virtually every piece of the supply chain.   

Over the past decade, we have seen much change in the political and social environments surrounding cannabis. As we prepare for a post-legalization landscape and the industry continues to consolidate and mature, we firmly believe the enterprise capabilities we offer, including comprehensive compliance solutions and financial reporting integrations, will become increasingly crucial to the future leaders of the cannabis industry.    

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):  

Yes 

If so, how much? 

Since going public Akerna has raised $22,000,000 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? 

 We feel we are well capitalized today and continue to have institutional support and access to the markets should the need arise.  We are always carefully evaluating the needs of the business to maximize long-term shareholder value.  

Most important company 5 year goal: 

To be the dominant provider of technology to the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries, while also serving additional verticals by providing complete accountability and transparency to what consumers are putting in and on their bodies. 

 


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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