Executive Spotlight Archives - Page 2 of 5 - Green Market Report

StaffStaffJuly 30, 2019
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5min3220

Erik Knutson is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Keef Brands, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CanCore Concepts Inc. (owner of Keef Brands Intellectual Property), and Director of SeroVita Holding Corp. Knutson has a decade of experience operating a wide variety of enterprises within the legal cannabis markets. He co-founded Keef Brands in 2010 in Boulder, CO, as one of the first companies to infuse soda with cannabis. The company has since expanded and is a pioneering developer, producer, and distributor of award-winning cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, oils, and more available at over 800 retail locations across the U.S., including California, Colorado, Arizona, Michigan and Nevada, as well as in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. In addition, Knutson holds several leadership positions in the industry, serving as Co-Founder and President of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), founding board member of the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) and co-founder of the Denver Packaging Company (DPAC).

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A –

Full birth name: Erik Knutson 

Date of birth: 3/6/81

Title: CEO and Co-founder

Company: Keef Brands 

Years at current company: Nine (Keef Brands was founded in 2010)

Education profile: I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Before embarking on this great adventure that is the legal cannabis industry, I worked as a contractor with my family. We ran a successful construction business until the Great Recession tore up the housing market.  

Company Mission: Keef Brands’ mission is to create a cultural love affair with cannabis and become a familiar complement to life through products that whet your appetite and have you asking for more. Our vision is to celebrate and advance progress of the social adventure aspect of the cannabis category. We embody a bold vision of industry collaboration and consumer accessibility. Our goal is to remix the expectations of what cannabis is and isn’t with an inclusive gathering of friends, family, newcomers, old-timers, CannaSeurs and CannaCurious.

Company’s most successful achievement: Rather than one specific achievement, we at Keef Brands are proud to reflect on our overall expansion this past decade. Back in 2010 when my brother Kelly and I decided to launch Keef Brands, the cannabis space was very different than today. There wasn’t an “industry” and making and selling it wasn’t a “profession.” But we were driven by passion and curiosity. We wanted to remix the classic soda flavors of our childhood with a special ingredient for adults and make drinkable cannabis. We started by infusing soda in my kitchen and have gone on to sell a million bottles. Now Keef Brands products are at more than 800 retail locations across the United States including in Colorado, California, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, as well as in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. We’ve also been fortunate to partner with other companies to introduce additional innovative products to market, including THC-infused beer in collaboration with Ceria Brewing Company. And we’re far from hitting our ceiling – there’s more room for Keef Brands to continue to grow and evolve.  

Has the company raised any capital: Yes

If so, how much? Sub $5m

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: To build the best-selling and most-loved Canna beverage brand in the world. We plan to continue to expand both within the United States and worldwide, while remaining an innovator in the infused beverage space and beyond.  

 

 

 


StaffStaffJuly 29, 2019
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5min2880

David Metzler is currently the CEO of CBDCapitalGroup, an investment and operating company that helps small companies grow by providing them with the capital. Metzler specializes in entrepreneurship and has closed over $30 million over the last eight years in both investment capital and business development deals for his last two companies. His first venture, OneHealth, grew to over 60 employees after he secured approximately $16 million of venture capital funding. Metzler expanded his second company, Wildfire, Inc., to 450 studio locations across the U.S. As CEO of CBDCapitalGroup, Metzler is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs succeed through his experiences and the necessary resources.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: David Metzler

Title: Chief Executive Officer

Company: CBDCapitalGroup

Years at current company: 1

Education profile: David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, both from Columbia University.  He also has an FAA Air Traffic Control license from his time in the U.S. Navy. 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: David held many executive positions prior to joining the cannabis industry, including founding and leading two successful companies dedicated to uplifting the health of others. As an investment banker, David helped raise more than $626M of private placements and advisory assignments. He also analyzed thousands of companies as both an Investment Banker at CIBC World Markets in New York and as a Venture Capitalist at Mission Ventures in San Diego, preparing him to spot potential in CBD companies and management teams. However, his most proud accomplishment is the time he served in the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, he was a rescue swimmer before switching positions to become an air traffic controller. In the Navy, he received three Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals and was named Sailor of the Year at just 19 years old. 

Company Mission: CBDCapitalGroup wants to help entrepreneurs by working alongside them to provide them with the capital, expert advice and mentoring and operational resources to find financial success and an early exit. 

The Company wants to bridge the gap between the non-professionals who have been in the industry for many years and the new “suits” who bring a high level of professionalism but lack a strong background knowledge on cannabis and CBD. 

Company’s most successful achievement: CBDCapitalGroup’s executives hold a vast amount of experience and have done over $1 billion in product sales prior to joining the company. The company was founded at the end of 2018 and has already acquired its first company with more in the pipeline.

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

If so, how much?: We are closing a $2M round now, which will allow us to buy the first three companies in 2019 and have $5M-$10M of combined revenue under management.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes we will close a Series A round in 2020 allowing us to grow our revenue to $20M+ through both organic and acquisitive growth. 

Most important company five-year goal: CBDCapitalGroup actually has a very important three-year goal. By 2022, the company aims to achieve a nine figure valuation, as its portfolio companies grow alongside the booming CBD industry and is targeting a 36 month exit window.


StaffStaffJuly 26, 2019
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3min4090

Celeste Miranda is a seasoned marketing professional who has gathered significant notoriety in the cannabis industry over the past 9 years (10 additional in mainstream marketing). She has taken many cannabis start-ups through very successful launches, gaining unmatched exposure for what are now some of the largest industry brands. Celeste is a frequent speaker on marketing in the cannabis industry at some of the largest cannabis industry expos and events. 

She has pioneered the most renowned and highly-educational cannabis publications in the industry starting with Terpenes & Testing / Extraction Magazine, CBD Health & Wellness / TOPICAL Magazine and Journal of Cannabinoid Medicine. She also produces events such as the Original CBD Expo TOUR, Canna Farm Con and Concentration Conference, all powered by her publications. She sits on several boards within the cannabis industry including the Cannabis Cultural Association, CALM and MC4MS.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Celeste Miranda

Title: CEO and Founder

Company: MACE Media Group

Years at current company: 10

Education profile: BA

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Turning my MS diagnosis and subsequent relief from CBD into a powerhouse of companies to help others.

Company Mission: To disseminate the most accurate and current information on CBD research.

Company’s most successful achievement: There are several… Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Extraction Magazine, CBD Health and Wellness Magazine, TOPICAL Magazine, The CBD Expo Tour, Concentration: the Conference, the Journal of Cannabinoid Medicine and The CBD Industry Association.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No (not needed)

Any plans on raising capital in the future? No… we are successfully privately owned by a self-funded entrepreneur

Most important company 5 year goal: To get CBD completely and legally approved on federal and FDA levels.

 


StaffStaffJuly 25, 2019
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5min7560

Jessica Velazquez is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois & Nevada and Partner of Indiva Advisors LLP, a full-service accounting firm for cannabis and hemp businesses

Jessica assists business owners navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She guides c-suite executives achieve their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely held businesses as well as publicly traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing.

Jessica hails from traditional business, having worked for public accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, as well as Zappos.com. In 2013, Jessica started her own practice with an emphasis on income tax planning and strategic business consulting for closely held companies. After identifying a gap for qualified professionals in the cannabis industry, she sought advice from state and federal oversight boards and realized that her past experiences gave her the ability to understand the needs of both large and small, and decided to take the leap.

Jessica is Indiva Advisors’ main authority in 280E and general tax matters for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. She is responsible for representing clients in federal audit and collection cases and has a wealth of experience with state and local tax matters. She enjoys problem-solving and working with clients to achieve their tax and business goals.

Jessica holds a Master of Science in Taxation degree from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern Illinois University. She is actively involved in several professional organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Tax Professionals.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Jessica Velazquez

Title: Managing Partner

Company: Indiva Advisors LLP

Years at current company: 3 years (via business restructures)

Education profile: Master of Science in Taxation, Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Being a mom and that gift was from my daughters – Maya & Nayeli.  Raising my girls has taught me so much – patience, understanding, strife, humbleness, frustration, problem solving, fearlessness, adaptability, curiosity and how to dream big like a kid again!  

But professionally… I would say it was being part of an elite leadership team and building a tax dept as Corporate Tax Director for SHFL Entertainment Inc. I started as a Tax Manager and over the course of 4 years, I would work my way up to management level, develop and implement dept processes and procedures, participate in launching 4 different foreign offices and implement a new financial ERP system across 3 continents, with a team of 3 amazing team members that I hired and trained!

Company Mission: Our mission is to transform our expertise and understanding of the evolving cannabis industry into innovative, value-added solutions for our clients, our business partners, and our community.

Company’s most successful achievements: One of the things I’m most proud of is the team of talented professionals at Indiva, did I mention 75% of our employees are either women or minorities!? 

Our recent acquisition of Missouri Cannabis CPA, our continued growth and the success of our clients!

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

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Maybe

Most important company 5 year goal:  GROWTH

 


StaffStaffJuly 24, 2019
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5min4090

Nick Ortega is the Co-Founder and CEO of Claybourne Co, a cultivator and distributor specializing in growing brands throughout California. Claybourne’s house brand, Claybourne Co, is known for its innovative flower products such as the The Claybourne Power PackTM and the Claybourne Top Shelf 1oz jar. With a heavy focus on flower product innovation, Claybourne differentiates itself by offering retailers and consumers products that they desire by listening to their needs and not accepting the status quo. Innovation stems from consumer needs, and Claybourne prides itself on always having their ear to the ground to stay ahead of competition.

Prior to Claybourne, Nick was Global Product Manager for Dover Corporation where he led the global expansion of brands through new product development, sales and operations. At Claybourne, Nick uses his experience as a product focused executive to lead the strategic vision and execution of the company alongside his co-founders, Jonathan Griffith and Brent Barnes. Next on the horizon, using Brent Barnes’ vast plant breeding and agricultural experience to develop innovative cultivars that offer disease tolerance, heartiness, improved yields, and unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Green Market Report Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Nicholas William Ortega

Title: Chief Executive Officer

Company: Claybourne Co

Years at current company: 2

Education profile: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering – Cal Poly Pomona, Masters of Business Administration – University of California, Irvine

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I spent the majority of my career at Dover Corporation (DOV), most recently as Global Product Manager for key growth product lines within the Dover industrial pump portfolio. While under my management, these products realized over 65% YoY revenue growth for multiple years running while competing with decades old incumbents that had much larger budgets and brand recognition. The position taught me the importance of truly knowing your customers’ needs and the positive impact that new product development can have on both top and bottom line growth.

Company Mission: To curate a portfolio of feelings, attainable by all consumer demographics, backed by science, and communicated clearly to consumers through transparency.

Company’s most successful achievement: The Claybourne Power Pack is a product unlike any other on the market that launched on May 24th, 2019. It offers the customer a combination of products unlike anything they’ve seen in the California market to date. It includes an 1/8th of flower and a gram of high quality kief all in one re-usable rolling pouch. This is truly a product that culminated from consumer and buyer demand, thought of not by us but by our customers. We simply executed on their needs. In our opinion, there is no more perfect route to successful product development.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No. We are self-funded to date.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes. We are in the middle of closing our first Angel Round at a $1M raise, with a Series A on the horizon in 12 months.

Most important company 5 year goal: Through product innovation, we strive to be one of the top 5 brands in California in 5 Years.

 


StaffStaffJuly 19, 2019
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3min4050

Howard Lee is the CEO and co-founder of SōRSE Technology, a Seattle-based food and beverage tech company. Lee’s background spans both the startup and Fortune 500 world. Prior to SōRSE, Lee founded and fund-raised for two successful startups, served as CEO for Photo Works, a NASDAQ listed company, and as Senior Vice President at Disney, where he ran a division with thousands of people and millions of dollars in revenue.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Howard Lee

Title: CEO and Co-founder

Company: SōRSE Technology Corporation

Years at current company: 3+

Education profile: I attended College but didn’t graduate. Instead, I decided to go to Silicon Valley and work on start-ups in the early 80’s.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

  • I founded two successful companies that were Venture Backed. One was successful for investors and the other wasn’t.

  • I was the CEO of a NASDAQ listed company called Photo Works.

  • I was Senior Vice President of Disney Ecommerce & Catalog.

Company Mission: Our mission is to make working and consuming cannabis safer, easier, and more fun. We aim for our emulsion technology to be the standard for quality and safety in the industry. With the SōRSE emulsion, CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes can be added to any food, beverage, or topical product with even distribution, predictable onset, and without the cannabis taste or smell. The emulsion is also easily incorporated into any manufacturing process. These are differentiators that we see strengthening and improving the industry and benefiting producers and consumers in a significant way.

Company’s most successful achievement: Scaling the use of our emulsion to produce 10,000 units every 15 minutes for our customer(s).

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

If so, how much?: $10,000,000 to date.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? We do not have plans to raise additional capital; we are cash positive and profitable.

Most important company 5 year goal: Expanding our emulsion technology world wide and more thoroughly in North America


StaffStaffJuly 17, 2019
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3min4571

Dean Watershas been executing successful media/marketing strategies for a variety of Fortune 500 brands for over 30 years. After founding VIMBY, he forged a substantial alignment with Mark Burnett resulting in various nationally awarded creative campaigns. Last year, Dean founded The Flowertown Platform and The Flowertown Agency as a two-pronged approach designed to educate new consumers entering the marketplace and also to give cannabis brands the proper marketing tools for normalization.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

 

Full birth name: Dean Evan Waters

Title: CEO

Company: Flowertown, LLC

Years at current company: 1.5 years

Education profile: Started working in Media at age 18

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Worked in the cable industry from 1990-2004, many successes in the massive growth cable industry.  Started my own company that is still operating (2006-current day) called VIMBY.  VIMBY started as a destination website and ended up becoming a very successful brand studio after partnering w Mark Burnett. Many successful campaigns and awards with Mark Burnett as a partner for 9 years.  We were the Mark Burnett Content Studio.  VIMBY is still in existence in Burbank, CA.  

Company Mission: To equip new consumers with the confidence to explore the positive life-changing possibilities of cannabis, free of the existing stigmas. 

Company’s most successful achievement: We’ve secured an executive team comprised of award-winning creatives, producers and strategists along with strategic partnership with CohnReznick that is poised to be the industry leader in reaching new consumers entering the cannabis space.   

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

If so, how much?: $2.5M

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: To be the trusted household name in cannabis education, content, and product/retail recommendations at the standard of current CPG markets.

 


StaffStaffJuly 16, 2019
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4min3510

Shea Alderete is a passionate and strategic entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry. Shea has focused on revolutionizing cannabis for the past decade to provide clean medicine from its extraction, using his technical background to produce premium cannabis product and employ cutting-edge technology at Gen X. Previously, Shea had a professional career in baseball and recognized that there was a gap in the market for anti-inflammatory medicines for pain relief. Shea has long term experience working with reputable brands in the cannabis industry such as Moxie and HTH, where he set the innovative standard for cannabis extraction and paved the way for their success. He has won numerous cannabis product awards with the Cloud Vapes brand, which today is a $70M USD-a-year profitable business. In addition to this, Shea has won the Chalice Cup of California for the best CBD products as well as the Canada Karma Cup for the best vaporizer and terpenes in 2016.

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

 

Full birth name: Shea Alderete

Title: Founder and CEO

Company: Gen X Biosciences

Years at current company: 4 years

Education profile: Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Played professional Baseball. 

Company Mission: Gen X is consistently on the cutting edge of scalable production and delivers products that far exceed industry standards through its unique understanding of the chemistry and chemical processes involved in distillate extraction, coupled with access to the world’s best machinery and equipment. With the Company’s pending listing on the CSE and capital raise, Gen X is poised to be the leader in high-capacity and high-quality distillate production in California and beyond the Golden State.

Company’s most successful achievement: Gen X was the first ever cannabis brand to sponsor the 2016 X Games, giving Gen X national television exposure on ESPN and ABC as a sponsor of professional supercross star Tyler Bereman.

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

If so, how much?: Gen X has raised $3 million to date.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, we are raising another $2-3 million.

Most important company 5 year goal: Gen X’s strategy to-date has been focused on utilizing cutting edge technology and our proprietary “molecular perfection” distillation process to produce premium cannabis products. The next five years will allow us to spread the platform, not only across the 50 states in the U.S., but internationally as well.


StaffStaffJuly 15, 2019
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5min3930

Thomas came to CannaTrac® with a long list of attributes. His previous business experience includes over 18 years in residential and commercial real estate finance. During this time, he managed a corporate office along with 4 out-of-state offices and was responsible for over 100 employees. 

His professional marketing and advertising experience started in 2005, where he assisted with the development of an improved marketing campaign for 14 publications. He saw a niche and this led him to start T E G Resources, Ltd., in late 2007, where he provided marketing consulting to small-medium sized businesses looking to expand within their market and become more efficient. 

Gavin started as a consultant for CannaTrac Technology in September of 2015, assisting with marketing. After helping retool the layout of the company’s marketing plan, the company hired him as the Director of Marketing in February of 2016 and promoted him to COO in May of 2017. While in his position as COO, he established relationships throughout the industry and beyond. In January of 2019, the Board of Directors appointed him to the position of CEO.

Since he took the chair over CannaTrac has exploded, becoming first to market in multiple industries and making history. Through innovative marketing strategies and the excellent network he has established, Gavin has brought CannaTrac into the limelight and is moving closer and closer to making the company the go-to payment solution for cashless transactions.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Thomas E. Gavin IV

Title: Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Company: CannaTrac® Technology, Inc.

Years at current company: 4

Education profile: Gavin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Governors State University and is currently certified by the Independent Community Bankers of America as a Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Gavin gained valuable business and financial experience in his almost two decades in residential and commercial real estate finance, which included the management of over 100 employees. Following his time in the real estate industry, Gavin founded TEG Resources, Ltd. There, he used his business and marketing skills to assist many small to medium companies in enhancing efficiency and expanding into successful businesses. Finally, seeing an opportunity in an industry he is passionate about that merged his finance background with his unique ability to grow small businesses into successful ventures, he joined CannaTrac®.

Company Mission: CannaTrac®’s main mission is promoting safety within the cannabis industry through its cashless payment solution, the CannaCard®. The CannaCard® comes in both a physical card and a mobile app to encourage use through consumer convenience and remove cash from the cannabis industry. The Company also provides the cannabis industry with highly-vetted background checks through its company, FIRST, Inc, to strengthen trust between banks and cannabis companies. CannaTrac® educates both financial institutions and cannabis companies on how to work within the complicated federal regulatory framework to enhance partnerships that result in overall increased industry safety.

Company’s most successful achievement: CannaTrac® has recently announced a few large accomplishments, including placing CannaCard® loading stations in 18,000 locations, integration into the Adilas point-of-sale(POS) system, which serves more than 900 cannabis-related businesses, and a handheld POS system with popular payment service provider, NEXGO. Most notably, the Company has become the first-ever cannabis company to sponsor a red carpet event, including the Grammy Awards®, Oscars®, the Golden Globes® and Los Angeles Metropolitan Fashion Week.

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

If so, how much?: $3.1 Million

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: CannaTrac’s most important 5 year goals are to expand the brand into multiple countries and be recognized as the cannabis industry’s #1 cashless payment solution.

 


StaffStaffJuly 12, 2019
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8min9052

Jessica Billingsley is a technology pioneer, solutions creator and industry leader, providing proven compliance software solutions to the cannabis market. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Akerna—the first cannabis compliance technology company to be traded on Nasdaq—making her the first CEO from this market space to bring a company to a major U.S. exchange. Jessica is also the CEO of Akerna’s flagship subsidiary—MJ Freeway. She established MJ Freeway in 2010 and it is the leading seed-to-sale regulatory compliance technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Akerna also offers Leaf Data Systems as a government resource for public sector compliance. Combined entities tracked more than $15 billion in world-wide, client cannabis sales to date. She is the first woman ever from the cannabis industry to receive the prestigious Fortune’s “Most Promising Women Entrepreneur Award” and is also recognized as one of Inc.’s “Female Founders 100.” Jessica received a degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and lives with her daughter in Denver.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Jessica Billingsley 

Title: Chief Executive Officer, Akerna and Chief Executive Officer, MJ Freeway

Company: Akerna and MJ Freeway

Years at current company:  Akerna launched in June 2019. Nine and a half years at MJ Freeway.

Education profile:  At 16 years old, I received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of Georgia, where I received a degree in Communications and Computer Science.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:  Prior to forming MJ Freeway, I built and managed technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, corporate culture, finance, and strategic relations. I launched my first company at 22, and I’ve been a successful founder, owner, COO and CEO of several companies.

Company Mission: Our technology empowers a compliant cannabis industry to prove outcomes that positively change lives every day.

Company’s most successful achievement: Nine years ago, my co-founder and I invented seed-to-sale tracking upon identifying the need for organic material tracking and compliance SaaS solutions in the growing cannabis industry. We were supporting one of the first cannabis dispensaries and grows in Colorado, and saw that cannabis needed technology built for it not adapted from other industries. And we believed visibility across the entire supply chain from seed-to-sale would be a requirement for the industry’s sustained growth. MJ Freeway was born with the launch of our patent-pending cannabis seed-to-sale technology. Today, seed-to-sale tracking is a requirement of most state’s that regulate legal cannabis. And to date MJ Freeway has tracked more than $13B in legal cannabis sales.

In 2017, in response to what I saw as the maturing of the cannabis market to multi-state enterprise businesses, MJ Freeway launched the cannabis industry’s first ERP. We also led the international expansion in the cannabis technology sector very early on in 2012 in Canada then into Spain. Today, our total international footprint spans 13 countries. Innovation and seeing what opportunities are next on the horizon – and then being ready for them first – is a hallmark of MJ Freeway and now Akerna. 

Most recently, I’m proud of an accomplishment that is a testament to the entire MJ Freeway team. Via a merger between MJ Freeway and MTech, a shell company formed for the purpose of acquiring a cannabis technology company, Akerna is the first software company that serves cannabis businesses to be traded on a major U.S. exchange. Akerna is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol: KERN. It’s an unprecedented milestone signifying a shift in beliefs and generating ripples of opportunity.  

Finally, I’m proud to have broken a couple of glass ceilings by serving as CEO of a technology company and holding a CEO position in a publicly traded company. Unfortunately, both are very rare occurrences. MJ Freeway launched last year the One Woman Challenge campaign to empower women in their careers. I want to reverse the growing decline of women in tech. It’s appalling to learn there’s a smaller percentage of women working in tech today than 25 years ago. Please learn more about the #OneWomanChallenge on our website and social pages and get involved. 

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

If so, how much?: $25M in private financing prior to this most recent public transaction.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes. Akerna’s strategy is to consolidate cannabis technology companies to connect data points in the global cannabis supply chain. Raising capital is a piece of our strategy to fully execute on Akerna’s strategy and is a reason for our listing on Nasdaq to be able to access more cost effective capital.

Most important company 5-year goal: To build the world’s most transparent and accountable consumer packaged goods supply chain. There’s an explosion of growth in consumers’ desire for transparency in products, which starts with transparency in the supply chain. With MJ Platform’s technology, I can tell you what farm the cannabis in your gummy was harvested from, what date it was harvested, and what nutrients were added prior to harvest. We can then follow the progression of the exact cannabis in that gummy until the moment it was sold to you. Seed-to-sale technology gives an unprecedented level of transparency across the supply chain. We intend to build on MJ Platform and grow Akerna through acquisitions to connect more data points across the cannabis supply chain and empower businesses, governments, and the public with the information they need to make better decisions. We are excited about the explosive growth of this industry and how compliance technology will underpin it. 



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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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