Executive Spotlight Archives - Green Market Report

StaffSeptember 2, 2021
Ken-Belotsky-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

3min6900

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
Maitri-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C675&ssl=1

6min10870

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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6min16520

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
John-Fowle-Akerna-CFO.jpg?fit=500%2C400&ssl=1

6min20010

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. 

 


StaffAugust 4, 2021
Nina-Simosko-Akerna-CCO.jpg?fit=700%2C608&ssl=1

6min18690

Nina Simosko is Akerna’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). With more than 20 years’ experience in bringing strategic innovation to companies such as Oracle, SAP, and most recently, NTT Group, Nina is extremely well suited to her current role with Akerna. She oversees all of the company’s revenue generation streams, builds strategies to drive revenue growth, and plays a pivotal role in aligning revenue generation processes across the entire organization.

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q&A:

Title: 

Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

Company: 

Akerna

Years at current company: 

Two

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

At the time, I was the only female CEO to serve at NTT Group, a $110B consortium with 325,000 employees. NTT is a provider of fixed and mobile voice related services, Internet Protocol and packet communications services.

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. 

 


StaffJuly 28, 2021
David-McCullough-6178-crop-1.jpg?fit=755%2C753&ssl=1

6min9570

Prior to being appointed CTO of Akerna, David McCullough served as Akerna’s Executive Vice President of Product & Engineering, overseeing all software development, development operations, quality assurance, automations, systems, and security operations. He has 16 years of Software Engineering experience. Before joining Akerna, he was the CTO of StudentPublishing.com, where he actively managed the technical aspects of Student Publishing’s sale to and systems integration with lulu.com. David has extensive government systems experience and was also a professor at New Mexico State University where he taught courses in data communications and networking. 

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q & A:

 

Title:

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Company:

Akerna

Years at current company:

Six

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

Before David’s work in cannabis, he invented an online self-publishing software that allows schools and children to create and publish books online to be published as physical books and returned to the writer.

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 solution s: 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.


StaffJuly 16, 2021
cannabis-fields-2.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1

8min13401

Luis Merchan, President & CEO at Flora Growth Corp.

Luis Merchan, President and CEO of Flora Growth Corp., is a New York and Miami-based executive with over a decade of proven experience in enterprise sales management, corporate strategy, merchandising and expense management, and customer experience. During Luis’ term as Flora CEO, the company has added over 10,000 new investors, went public on the Nasdaq in May 2021, and now organized to support a portfolio of organic cannabis-based products rapidly growing through acquisitions and partnerships.

Title: 

President and CEO of Flora Growth Corp. 

 

Company: 

Flora Growth Corp. 

Years at current company: 

1 year, 1 month

Education profile: 

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, B.E., Industrial Engineering

McNeese State University, MBA, Business

Harvard Extension School, Marketing Management Graduate Certificate, Marketing. 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: 

Before joining the Flora Growth team, I previously served as Macy’s Inc.’s Vice President of Workforce Strategy and Operations where I managed the enterprise’s multibillion-dollar P&L expense line for the 540-store portfolio. Throughout my tenure at Macy’s, I led various sales and marketing initiatives including the B2B corporate sales team that was responsible for $160 million in annual revenue. I held a few executive-level roles at Macy’s Inc., including VP of Customer Experience and Selling Support Services and Group VP of National Merchandising and Sales – Beauty, as well as managerial roles at Target Corporation.

Company Mission:  

From the ground up, Flora is building a foundation designed to exceed customer expectations through purpose-built EU-GMP compliant or equivalent facilities for cultivation, extraction, and manufacturing. With rampant uncertainty in product quality across the cannabis industry, Flora’s mission is to offer a reliable and affordable cannabis solution. By controlling product quality across our value chain, we believe that we can confidently meet the stringent standards in our target countries.

Company’s most successful achievement:

Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) was the first-ever all-outdoor organic plant touching company to list on the NASDAQ. The company brought on 10,600 shareholders, making Flora a holder of one of the broadest shareholder bases in cannabis to ever list on NASDAQ.

The Colombian cultivator launched their U.S.-based IPO with the largest cultivation licensed for production in the country on May 11, 2021, without using a SPAC, reverse merger or dual listing.

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

To date, Flora has raised the full US$15M in capital through our Reg A+ offering. The Reg A+ is closed to any additional investments and we look forward to seeing how trading continues to succeed.

Flora is very proud to have generated revenue from our beauty and brands business ahead of raising money from our investors before our NASDAQ IPO. We’re ramping up and building an infrastructure that will support a very successful company for the future. This year, our revenue will be 10-20 times higher than it was last year and we’re already showing Q1 coming in 30-40% over budget, and we expect to have strong year-over-year growth over the next 5 years. We are pleased with our current revenue and are performing well ahead of our expectations.

We maximize return on capital invested by utilizing the entire cannabis plant to reduce waste and sensibly maintain operational flexibility to scale production and capitalize on growing wholesale and retail demand for our premium product portfolio.

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Profitability and EBITDA has been a priority for Flora Growth since day 1. Our margins are exceptionally high, we have one of the lowest growing costs, and started generating revenue early on in operations. We are optimistic that revenue will be cash flow positive in the coming years and hope to announce some exciting things next year that will help us achieve positive EBITDA. Flora expects operations to improve over the short term. We are, however, constantly evolving and expanding our infrastructure to acquire targets that will complement our current business model. 

Most important company 5-year goal: 

In 5 years, we see Flora Growth as a major global player in the cannabis industry. We’re looking to expand our global footprint in the European and Asia Pacific markets through extensive product innovation efforts and plan to grow with international partners to identify multiple distribution points across all 5 continents. 

We’re taking advantage of one of the best areas of growth geographically in Colombia to keep our costs down and further diversify our robust portfolio of brands utilizing all-outdoor and organic growth practices. We also have a GLOBAL G.A.P certification that allows us to export dry flower into countries around the world, are pending both a USDA Organic Seal Certification from the National Organic Program and a European Union Good Manufacturing Practices Certification (EU GMP) within the next year. 


StaffJuly 5, 2021
MJU_Logo_4C.png?fit=1200%2C344&ssl=1

7min11870

George Jage, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at MJ Unpacked

George Jage is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Jage Media and Jage Media’s national, cannabis CPG Trade Show MJ Unpacked. Jage Media also operates MJ Brand Insights, providing sharp, substantive, and reliable industry intel for cannabis brands and retailers. George Jage is widely revered as a B2B growth specialist and business builder with a proven track-record of identifying new markets and opportunities to scale national businesses. George excels in navigating complex landscapes and accelerating financial performance and asset growth for his clients and peers. Prior to founding Jage Media and its properties, George was Co-founder & Exec VP of the Off-Price Show (1993 – 2001), Co-founder & CEO of  World Tea Media (2002 – 2012), and Group Director of the Beverage Group at F&W Media (2013 – 2014). During their substantive growth years, George served as President of Marijuana Business Daily (2014 – 2017), and Chief Executive Officer of Dope Media (2017 – 2019) leading the six year old startup to its acquisition by High Times. George is recognized by Trade Show Executive as an Elite Leader, and is the recipient of the Jerry Valen Award of Distinction for Hospitality & Convention Executive of the Year by University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He’s been awarded the Nevada Entrepreneur Award by Business Magazine, named Top 20 Under 40 by Gourmet News, and the Next Generation of Leaders by Tradeshow Week Magazine. George holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He enjoys quality time with his family, camping, hiking, golf, and is continually awarded #1 DAD by his kids. For more information, please visit: https://www.jagemedia.com & https://mjunpacked.com

Full name: George Jage

Title: Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Company: Jage Media Inc. dba MJ Unpacked

Years at current company: 2

Education profile: Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: As CEO of Dope Media, I led the acquisition of the assets to High Times Holding Corp. As a lead executive for MJBizDaily, I led the strategic growth of MJBizCon from a 20 tabletop event at a racetrack to an over 1000 booth event at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 2014-2017. The event was recognized as the fastest-growing event in the U.S. by Tradeshow Executive Magazine in both 2015 & 2016. Additionally, I created and built World Tea Media — comprising World Tea Expo, World Tea News, World Tea Championships, and World Tea Academy — that fostered and supported the growth of the U.S. tea industry from ~$2B to ~$7B (and held the first-ever tea auction). And, I launched the Off-Price Show, growing it from 20 exhibitors in hotel rooms into the second-largest apparel show in the U.S. at the time.

Company Mission: Jage Media’s mission is to foster a community of brands and retailers and provide them the space and resources to thrive.

Company’s most successful achievements: We completed our Seed Round in February 2020, only the second company in Canopy Boulder’s history to complete the round prior to the conclusion of the cohort. In May 2020, we were the first company to launch a virtual tradeshow for the cannabis industry. Jage Media held three events last year for the Colorado, California, and Midwest markets. In October 2020, Jage Media launched MJ Brand Insights, dedicated to providing a sharp, substantive, and reliable source of industry intel for cannabis brands and retailers. In October 2021, MJ Unpacked will premier as a first-of-its kind trade event exclusively for cannabis CPG brands, retailers, and investors. In a newly imagined format, executives are free to learn from fellow professionals, explore expansion opportunities and prepare to be competitive in a national market.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): if so, how much?: Raised $725k in equity and convertible debt in February 2020.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? We are currently raising $500k through a SAFE with over 60% completed.


Most important company 5 year goal: To manifest and steward the leading brand-to-retail trade events in the cannabis industry.


StaffJune 30, 2021
sitka.png?fit=960%2C467&ssl=1

4min8020

Jeffrey Graham, CEO, Sitka Hash House

Jeffrey Graham is a California-based attorney and business professional with 30 years of experience in finance and corporate affairs. Since assuming the role of CEO at Sitka Hash House, he led the company’s recapitalization to facilitate expansion of the brand to statewide distribution in California.  Throughout his career, he has achieved positive results in various sectors including education, entertainment, and real estate.  Also an avid student of American literature and constitutional law, Jeff has taught at a university in Europe and middle and high schools in Southern California.

 

 

 

 

Full birth name: Jeffrey Graham 

Title: Chief Executive Officer

Company: Sitka Hash House, sitkagold.com

Years at current company:  3

Education profile: Graham is a graduate of Brown University (B.A.), Loyola Marymount (M.A., English), and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: 

Prior to the cannabis business, Graham focused on education as director of a Rudolf Steiner school, COO of a foundation-funded developer of school facilities for high-quality charter school operators serving at-risk urban populations, and executive director of the Los Angeles office for a community development financing institution. Graham helped create over 12,000 public school seats to help low-income communities and 300 private school seats, as well as facilities for non-profits serving low income communities by raising and leveraging many millions of dollars. As a real estate lawyer and developer, Graham built several hundred residential units, an award winning transit oriented village, and assembled and managed a $250 million multi-state commercial real estate portfolio. And as a key advisor, Graham assisted the recapitalizations of two New York Stock Exchange companies: Fairfield Communities and US Home.

 

Company Mission: Sitka’s mission is to be recognized as the premier maker of hashish across the USA.  Sitka aims to maximize the smoking experience through highly crafted Sitka Goods and Glass products supported by education and outreach for consumers and businesses looking to maximize engagement with the growing hashish market.

 

Company’s most successful achievement:  Product quality and innovation, evidenced by the fact that Sitka makes 9 of the top 10 selling hash products in Washington State.  Sitka has expanded into California. Sitka has a diverse and inclusive corporate culture and a healthy environment where people are excited to come to work. 

 

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

if so, how much?: $1,500,000

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Not at present, but will if, as, and should the need arise.

Most important company 5-year goal: To establish Sitka as the leading hashish brand, bar none, in the US and build a positive cash flow business to expand beyond Washington and California while continuing to innovate around cannabis products, glass and goods, to engage and educate the consumer.


StaffJune 28, 2021
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5min10200

 

Dan Roda is co-founder and CEO of Abaca, a digital financial platform connecting cannabis businesses with bank accounts, payment processing, lending, and more. Dan has over a decade of private and in-house legal practice experience, serves on the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and the Emerging Markets Coalition boards, and sits on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Hemp Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full name: Daniel Jonathan Roda, however, he goes by Dan Roda

Title: CEO

Company: Abaca

Years at current company: 4

Education profile:

Tulane University – BS, Finance

Villanova Law School – JD

University of Alabama School of Law – LL.M., Taxation

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

While it was certainly flattering to be named to a local publication’s “Best Lawyers in Little Rock” list in 2013 and 2014, perhaps my proudest professional accomplishment pre-cannabis was placing into service a $25+ million branded hotel development that occupies two beautiful historic Little Rock buildings, both of which were crumbling when we found them. While the project took a large team of talented people to accomplish, I played a key role in putting everything together, and I feel satisfaction every time I drive past it.

Company mission:

Abaca’s mission is to normalize access to modern financial services across the U.S. for cannabis and hemp industries. We enable deposits, electronic payments, and access to capital for cannabis business, all while ensuring our partner financial institutions remain compliant in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. Our goal is simple – to make accessing best-in-class financial services as easy and affordable to cannabis businesses as they are to virtually every other business.Company’s most successful achievement: 

We recently hit an interesting milestone at Abaca – we’ve now processed over $1 billion in cannabis commerce on behalf of our clients. To me, this represents more than just the growth of our company. It represents $1 billion in cash that otherwise would’ve been on the streets creating safety risks and logistical headaches for our clients, and for everyone they do business with, too – even the states and counties to which they pay taxes and fees. The cannabis plant is so incredibly powerful. While we don’t cultivate, process, or dispense it directly ourselves, we take pride in our role in improving the daily lives of those who do work with the plant directly. Abaca enables them to focus on what they do best – delivering the best possible cannabis experience to their customers and patients.

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

If so, how much?: $1.35M

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Yes. We’ve experienced pretty exciting growth over the last couple of years, even through the pandemic, and we expect to open a Series A round soon to enable us to take things to the next level.

Most important company five-year goal:
We’ll have succeeded in our mission if, five years from now, the “cannabis banking problem” is no more than a distant memory; and, meanwhile, we’re still hard at work empowering the financial lives of cannabis operators coast to coast in new and innovative ways.


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