Technology Archives - Green Market Report

StaffMay 20, 2022
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Cannabis plant tracking company Metrc has named Michael Johnson, a Metrc veteran who has been serving as president and chief financial officer as CEO, effective immediately. The former CEO Jeff Wells, who was also co-founder and chair of the board of directors, has transitioned to chief visionary officer. The company also announced that Lewis Koski, who has served as a chief operating officer since 2019, has been promoted to chief strategy officer. Additionally, Steve Asma, the operations and customer experience leader joins the Metrc team as senior vice president of customer experience.

“This is an exciting time for Metrc, with technology advancements at the forefront that will pave the way for more sophisticated programs that maintain safe and secure markets,” said Jeff Wells. “As we rapidly expand our business, we feel it’s the perfect time to restructure and expand our leadership team. Since joining Metrc, Michael has been integral in scaling our company, driving core financial decisions, and enhancing business practices across the board. It’s been a privilege to serve and represent Metrc as CEO – I’m exceptionally proud of the work we’ve accomplished, and I’m excited to continue to work closely with Michael in his new role. Transitioning to CVO, I’ll have the opportunity to help craft and see through the long-term vision for our company – to provide the necessary data for the assurance of a secure, diverse, and resilient legal cannabis market, along with exceptional service. Our brightest days are ahead of us.”

Metrc currently holds exclusive government contracts in every region of the U.S., with a total of 21 government contracts to date. With four newly announced state contracts in March and April 2022 alone, Metrc sits at the forefront of radio-frequency identification (RFID) data collection for regulatory compliance in the country. To date, the company has a 100% contract renewal rate and has tracked more than 150 million cannabis plants and 70 million packages – these numbers are expected to rapidly grow with the expansion of existing markets and the creation of new ones.

Michael Johnson added: “It is an honor to become the CEO of such an innovative and groundbreaking company. This dedicated and creative team has collectively guided our business processes and substantially expanded our operations, providing a bedrock for the efficient and impactful company we’ve become. I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to Jeff, our management team, and the board of directors for the opportunity to spearhead the advancement of our RFID technology and SaaS platform, which is transforming the regulated supply chain sector. I look forward to leading Metrc in its next chapter of growth – furthering our mission to power technological innovation and data-driven regulations.”

 


StaffApril 22, 2022
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This article was republished with permission from Cannabiz Media. 

Cannabiz Media has been tracking cannabis and hemp licenses globally since 2015. Over those seven years, we have aggregated a mass of data on licenses, companies, and transactions that result in change of license ownership.

After compiling 500 transactions in our Cannabiz Intelligence platform, we wanted to take a closer look at how key publicly traded MSOs were adding to their store footprints. Our goal was to determine which stores were “built” versus those that were “bought”.

Key Findings

  • Almost 12% of US cannabis stores are owned by a public company.
  • 338 of these stores have changed hands, and 29 public companies were involved in these transactions.
  • Almost 60% of the store acquisitions occurred in five states (Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, and Arizona).
  • The number of stores changing hands has increased every year. In 2021, we found 185 stores that were purchased, up from 53 in 2020.

Background

According to the Cannabiz Media License Database, there are currently 8,909 stores/dispensaries in the US. Of those licenses, 1,048 (11.8%) are owned by public companies, and we found 338 stores that changed hands. A total of 29 public companies were involved in these transactions.

The graph below shows the number of stores that have changed hands. We only included closed deals.

Leaderboard

In trying to assess the footprint impact, we compiled the number of stores bought against the number built or awarded. The Leaderboard below shows public MSOs that bought at least 10 stores.

Based on our analysis, Trulieve has bought the most stores (54), and that accounts for 32% of its footprint. AYR Wellness purchased 42, accounting for 62% of its stores. Curaleaf, a company with a very large footprint, has only acquired 15 stores. $1.2B was spent by these firms to acquire these licenses.

 

  • In the table above, Schwazze bought 77% of its licenses with AYR Wellness at 62%. Cresco comes in third at 56% though this will change once the Columbia Care acquisition is complete.
  • Verano spent the most at $202 million with Cresco at $178 million and Trulieve at $176 million.
  • Verano paid the most per store at $9.64 million while Schwazze paid the least at $1.79 million.

Geography

More stores were acquired in limited license states rather than unlimited license states. Limited license environments are more predictable thanks to the oligopolistic protections afforded by the regulations.  Early entrants are well positioned when the inevitable adult use market opens, and they have advantages including customers, marketing, branding, real estate and established relationships with regulators.

The M&A Hotspots Table shows the states that public MSO’s invested in.

Conclusion

We do not see this trend ending anytime soon. The latest blockbuster deal of Cresco and Columbia Care will run into license cap issues in some states, and this will require divestiture. In future posts, we plan to look at the license cap issue and delve into which states have had their licenses MSO’d – like Connecticut. We welcome your questions as well, so reach out directly to ekeating @cannabiz.media.

Methodology

Analysis like this is as much art as science, so here is some of the logic we applied:

  • Only active licenses are counted. Pending and applied are not included, nor are future licenses that a company has the right to operate. This approach makes some of the Pennsylvania licenses look very expensive as operators bought these licenses knowing they could run multiple stores.
  • In large deals where a variety of assets were acquired, we backed out the value of cultivation/manufacturing assets based on comparable transactions when available.
  • We strive to be comprehensive but we may not have caught every deal, and in some cases, the MSO may have deemed a small acquisition as immaterial.
  • In addition to the Cannabiz Intelligence platform, the team derived deal data from SEC and SEDAR filings as well as company press releases, investor decks, and investor relations staff.

Authors

Ed Keating is a co-founder of Cannabiz Media and oversees the company’s data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has managed product, marketing, and sales while overseeing complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental, and human resource markets.

Shea Sanford is Product Manager for Cannabiz Media’s Cannabiz Intelligence product.  He’s responsible for sleuthing out corporate transactions and keeping track of MSOs, SSOs, REITs, SPACs and any other acronyms we can find.

Cannabiz Media customers can stay up-to-date on these and other new licenses through our newsletters, alerts, and reports modules. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive these weekly reports delivered to your inbox. Or you can schedule a demo for more information on how to access the Cannabiz Media License Database yourself to dive further into this data.

 


StaffApril 5, 2022
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Cannabis data firm Hoodie Analytics (Hoodie) announced the close of its inaugural round of fundraising at an undisclosed amount, along with key positions on its strategic advisory board. The inaugural round was led by Greenlight Ventures, Satori Investment Partners, and individual investors Bart Swanson, Steve Weisman, Brian Schindlere, Lorne Gertner, and Jim Belushi. Hoodie said the raise positions it to expand its product and sales efforts. Hoodie’s inaugural round also marks the first investment out of Arcview’s new Seed Fund which operates with sponsorship from Entourage Effect Capital. As part of the financing, Gregg Steinberg, Jim Belushi, and Lorne Gertner will join the Hoodie Strategic Advisory Board.

Hoodie tracks over 3.5 million daily unique offers in over 8,000+ dispensaries in the US and Canada. Hoodie also provides next-day insights so businesses can access market trends and data within hours.

“We founded Hoodie to close the last mile of actionable product insights. We are aiming to create a nexus of industry data: a product graph to connect all industry players together and speed up critical insights. Not only for cannabis brands but for consumers as well,” said Wes Shepherd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Hoodie. “Our core competency is processing massive volumes and a variety of data. Where we differ is that we can build applications equally well. We can deliver insights to people in a variety of roles whether it’s a brand’s salesperson or a dispensary inventory manager or even a webmaster looking to create a product locator for consumers to find their products.”

Cannabis tech has been finding itself awash in investor money. A similar data firm Headset.io raised $3 million in new capital in November of 2021 and looks to have raised over $11 million to date. BDSA Analytics is also thought to have raised roughly $12 million to date. All of these companies are privately owned.

“Hoodie solves a major problem for the cannabis industry at large. Every day we are out of stock in a dispensary means customers and patients can’t get the medicine from 1906 they depend on,” said Peter Barsoom, Co-founder and CEO of 1906. “We finally have a platform our sales team can use to ensure dispensaries are always in stock.” Hoodie’s aim is to track every product, in every dispensary, in every state and province, every single day, and combine this data with ease-of-use as its guiding principle, ensuring that even the busiest salesperson is able to maximize their brand’s sales and efficiency and every consumer can locate their favorite products reliably.

“We are thrilled to make Hoodie Analytics the inaugural investment of the Arcview Seed Fund along with the support of Entourage Effect Capital,” said Jeffrey Finkle, Chief Executive Officer of The Arcview Group. “Hoodie cracked the code with tracking at nearly every dispensary. It’s the broadest suite of competitive intelligence tools that help dispensaries and brand sales teams make smarter decisions and drive revenue.”


Julie AitchesonMarch 2, 2022
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Cannabis companies continue to struggle with inconsistent guidelines and the arbitrary enforcement of Terms of Service imposed by social media sites like Facebook Meta and Instagram, but social media marketing is not a platform that any business can afford to overlook. Twitch, an American company operated by Twitch Interactive and a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN) is a live video streaming service that focuses primarily on video games that might just present a viable marketing alternative to more restrictive social media environments. 

William Zorn is a content creator for Twitch and sales and marketing executive for Toronto-based grnhouse agency, which is under the ADCANN umbrella. His blog post about cannabis marketing potential on Twitch recently appeared on ADCANN’s website. Zorn says he was inspired to write the piece because he has spoken to hundreds of retailers who have had their accounts removed from Instagram unjustly. “The post was my way of challenging cannabis marketers to look outside of those core social media sites into things that are a little bit newer and more exciting.” Exciting indeed. In his blog post, Zorn cites a recent Brightfield Group poll that showed that 54% of gamers use cannabis while playing video games, with an 86% increase in cannabis use before/while playing video games from Q1 to Q3 of 2020.

According to Zorn, Twitch has found ways to surmount several obstacles posed by marketing cannabis on social media. “Many cannabis marketers have a hard time finding effective ways of age-gating content and Twitch has a really great way of doing it. On top of asking viewers to verify their ages and using ESRB ratings, Twitch allows creators to mark their materials for mature audiences.” This is something, Zorn explains, that as a creator who makes cannabis a focal point of what he does on the platform, has been instrumental to his success. “Do I think that cannabis companies should go to a Minecraft streamer and sponsor that stream? No, absolutely not, because that category consists of people looking for content for kids. What I do is play hardcore military shooters, which have an older age demographic playing and watching them. In the titling of my streams, I mark them as 19+. Before any of my content starts playing, there’s a warning that the content is for a mature audience and users have to press a button to continue through.”

Zorn attributes the hesitancy of cannabis companies to market on Twitch to a lack of platform knowledge. Many companies interested in utilizing it expect a thousand active followers within a month, but that’s just not how it works. Marketers think, “Well, who wants to watch someone else play video games?” The answer to that is: millions and millions of people, adding up to 1460 billion minutes watched across the globe.

Cannabis brands have options when it comes to using Twitch to get the word out about their products, including the ability to drop into direct chats on streams for free and hosting subscription giveaways. Zorn says brand engagement really depends on the creator’s level of comfort. “A creator hosting a sponsored stream wouldn’t be comfortable with another brand coming in and looking to shill, but for others, it works great. Thumbs Up Cannabis created a Twitch account and jumped into a couple of my streams in a very brand-agnostic way and did a little chat. They did it very respectfully and l left it open to me as a creator to provide them with the opportunity to discuss their product. I thought it was a great opportunity for the both of us.” 

Companies can also engage by sponsoring streams by small-scale creators who they think are doing interesting things either through financial support or helping to market the stream. It’s very much like the social media influencer model, but unlike on Instagram, says Zorn, this doesn’t put the creator at risk of having their account deleted. Content creators on other sites are very hesitant to work with brands because it puts them under the microscope of the platform’s algorithms. Twitch is hospitable towards cannabis content, so creators are more willing to engaging with brands there. Additionally, on Instagram stories, for example, it’s hard to get real-time metrics on engagement. On Twitch, you can see how many people are active on the stream and the site provides stream summaries to measure the success of the stream afterward.

Twitch’s Terms of Service are key to making it more cannabis-friendly than other platforms. One of the biggest complaints from many content creators and marketers about Instagram and Facebook is that since they are American companies and cannabis is not federally legal in America, cannabis content is not allowed on those platforms. Twitch’s policy is that smoking weed during a live stream is allowed as long as it occurs in a country or region where cannabis is legal. Snoop Dogg did a live stream on Twitch in 2018 where he smoked cannabis. Since he was in California at the time, this was acceptable by Twitch’s guidelines. 

While Zorn’s enthusiasm for Twitch’s potential as a cannabis marketing platform borders on the evangelical, it is hard to argue with the glaring differences between Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Instagram’s treatment of cannabis content and Twitch’s approach. “I would say to any cannabis marketer, open up the way you think about cannabis marketing and really start understanding who it is that’s consuming your product,” Zorn states. “See if there’s that overlap. If your product does really well in the gaming community or you think it might, hop on to Twitch and take a look around. These creators have really active, passionate communities that you don’t see on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.”

 


Debra BorchardtFebruary 7, 2022
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Online cannabis company Leafly Holdings Inc. and Merida Merger Corp. I (NASDAQ: MCMJ), a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) sponsored by Merida Capital Holdings, closed their previously announced business combination on Friday. In connection with the closing, Merida has adopted the Leafly name, and Leafly’s common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on February 7, 2022, under the ticker symbol “LFLY.”

The deal looked like it might be facing trouble when in January when Merida’s special meeting to vote on the proposed business combination, was postponed to give Merida stockholders sufficient time to evaluate the terms of the note financing and certain additional information. Merida had announced in August that it had chosen Leafly as its qualifying transaction for the SPAC. The combined company’s transaction values at an implied, fully diluted enterprise value of approximately $385 million and equity value of approximately $532 million, subject to any redemptions by Merida stockholders. The company is projecting revenue of approximately $43 million in 2021 and $65 million in 2022, representing a roughly 52% annual growth with gross margins of roughly 88% as Leafly further penetrates current markets and capitalizes on its strong position in the newly legalized East Coast.

“Backed by substantial funding, tremendous advancements in cannabis legalization, and e-commerce tailwinds, we are relentlessly focused on investing in our technology, talent, and content to execute our growth strategy and create value for all stakeholders,” said Yoko Miyashita, Chief Executive Officer of Leafly. “Becoming a public company is an important milestone for the entire Leafly team and we thank Merida for their continued support and look forward to working with them and future shareholders to achieve new heights.”

Leafly reported a significant acceleration in year-over-year revenue growth and gross margin, as well as a 40% increase in total ending retail accounts, in the third quarter of 2021. Leafly has introduced new value-driving tools for brands subscribers and enhanced its iPhone and iPad app to enable users to place pickup orders for cannabis products in legal state markets. The Company has also announced a post-combination Board of Directors with wide-ranging expertise and bolstered its executive leadership team with highly experienced hires for Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Sales, and SVP of Engineering.

Peter Lee, former President of Merida Merger Corp. I who will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors of the combined company, said, “Leafly has long been a critical resource in the cannabis ecosystem. With its three-sided marketplace and unparalleled content library, Leafly makes cannabis understandable and accessible for consumers, retailers, and brands alike – driving an incredible flywheel effect and tremendous brand loyalty across the country. Now, with an experienced management team and substantial funding, Leafly is poised to take the next step in its journey, and we are excited to continue to play a role.”


Julie AitchesonJanuary 18, 2022
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Using data gathered through research to more effectively develop products that meet consumer needs is not new, but a promising innovation, at least for the cannabis industry, is using Artificial Intelligence to streamline and enhance not only the research but development processes. Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands (one of the cannabis companies currently utilizing AI for R&D purposes in collaboration with The Effects Lab by budboard) is enthusiastic about AI’s potential. “Instead of creating a product and then waiting to hear from consumers whether it hits the mark, we are starting by looking at data across thousands of user reports to identify terpenes and cannabinoids that deliver a specific effect, then integrating those into our case-specific products.” Wana Brands will be teaming up with Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) in the future due to a deal agreed upon in October. 

Using computer programs, advanced algorithms and technologies like drones and sensors to imitate human intelligence, AI is able to efficiently scan for patterns and perform data analysis tasks that are unwieldy and time-consuming for the human brain. By combing through massive amounts of information and identifying patterns and tendencies in controlled environments, AI can optimize not only research and development but detect plant diseases, find the best way to optimize growing environments and identifying which strains work best for which medical conditions or desired effects.

The Effects Lab by budboard highlights four main ways that companies can utilize AI in product manufacturing, which include providing consistency for product effects, expediting project timelines, predictive analysis of existing formulations, and optimizing cannabis products for specific consumer use cases. It does this by using raw consumer feedback from various products and mining it for trends and takeaways to provide manufacturers with the information they need to develop products that will find their mark among consumers. 

CEAD, a Phoenix-based company (no website), is focused on AI applications in cultivation. Its cofounder, Royce Birnbaum, states that the use of CEAD’s AI “will enable an upsurge in quality while reducing manpower needed to maintain each plant, as well as give a comprehensive overview of all operations and outcomes related to cannabis cultivation.” Citizen Green Technologies’ application Prescriptii is an AI-driven application that includes a Blockchain-based gratification system that addresses the difficulty banks often face in processing cannabis-related transactions. 

New approaches in cannabis-specific forms of Artificial Intelligence are emerging at a breathtaking pace to address the known and emergent needs of the cannabis industry. If their efficacy is proven by higher yields, product popularity and noteworthy sales figures (among other measures), AI may go from being a new and noteworthy feature of 2022’s cannabis outlook to a permanent fixture in the industry.


StaffJanuary 13, 2022
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Up and coming cannabis delivery platform company Lantern announced its financial and operational results for fiscal year 2021, ending 12/31/21. Lantern reported a 350% year-over-year growth following the expansion of its on-demand marketplace delivery platform into Colorado and Michigan, two of the fastest-growing cannabis delivery markets in the U.S. In July 2021, Lantern became the first adult-use delivery platform to launch in Massachusetts and serve the Greater Boston area.

“Lantern’s record year of growth is a bellwether for the enormous potential of the cannabis delivery market -especially considering how consumer adoption of delivery services increased by 25% throughout the country,” said Meredith Mahoney, Co-Founder and CEO of Lantern. “Our team is eager to leverage our current momentum and foster deeper relationships with additional local partners to bring accessible and personalized cannabis retail experiences to an ever wider audience in the upcoming year.”

Lantern said it has secured partnerships with numerous local dispensaries and couriers, including Sanctuary, Cultivate, Freshly Baked, NETA, Garden Remedies, Insa, and Theory Wellness. In Michigan, where Lantern was first-to-market in both Detroit and Grand Rapids, the company has partnered with leading dispensaries such as High Profile, and Joyology over the past year.

In October 2021, Lantern officially transitioned to a separate corporate entity and received $40 million in capital from its former sister company, Drizly Group -the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States-after Uber finalized its acquisition of Drizly. In February 2021, Uber announced an agreement to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Drizly was co-founded by Justin Robinson in 2012 and is currently the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States. Under his leadership, Drizly’s network grew to over 5,000 retailer partners that reach 235 over markets across North America. In 2015, Justin was named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 List under the Food and Wine category. Lantern, which was incubated out of Drizly, launched in May 2020 and uses Drizly’s leading marketplace technologies and operational expertise to support best-in-class consumer and retailer experiences.


StaffNovember 3, 2021
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Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) is buying Vessel Brand Inc. in a deal valued at $30 million. Vessel is known for its unique lineup of high-end dry-herb accessories and vape pen batteries and bespoke product programs for brands. Flora said these high-margin products, along with its development pipeline, are expected to drive incremental revenue and market share growth in new and existing categories.

“The Flora team has been working diligently to execute on our various business initiatives and the signing of this agreement represents another significant step forward for the Company in 2021,” commented Luis Merchan, President and CEO of Flora Growth. “We are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to add Vessel to the Flora portfolio. Not only does Vessel have an exceptional product line with strong revenue growth, but its leadership team is second to none. Integration plans with the Vessel team are already well advanced and we expect step-change improvements to the marketing and sales strategies for our core consumer brands like Stardog and Mind Naturals, as well as new brand development in support of our global growth initiatives.”

Vessel will receive $8 million in cash and the rest in Flora stock. Flora has also noted that Vessel has established relationships with U.S. multi-state operators and Canadian LP’s who seek access to Vessel’s premium technology offering through their white labeling business. Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Vessel will serve as a key component of Flora’s North American cannabis strategy across its entire product portfolio.

“As Vessel, and as brand builders in nearly every sector, our promise has been to create unparalleled experiences – we are looking forward to continuing to deliver on that promise with Flora,” said James Choe, Founder and CEO of Vessel. “Flora is positioned to be a global leader in plant-based health and wellness by redefining the traditional narrative of a cannabis company. With unrivaled economies in the supply chain, a diverse brand portfolio roadmap, and most importantly a team built to meet the challenges of the industry, we see significant opportunities ahead.”

Exports Looking Up

Recently, Flora said that it received the Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (“GACP”) certification by the Control Union Medical Cannabis Standard (“CUMCS”). Paired with the recent Colombian law change, Flora may now export its high-quality dry flower to international GMP active pharmaceutical ingredient  producers or to markets where flower can be imported.

“In advance of this milestone, our team has signed several LOI’s for the sale and distribution of dry flower and derivative products to several international jurisdictions, including the EU, Australia, and Latin America. We are now in the position to unlock the significant potential from Cosechemos as we continue building our global distribution network,” said Jason Warnock, Chief Revenue Officer of Flora Growth. “Our team believes this certification demonstrates our ability to offer high-quality output, while also serving as an important precursor to GMP certification so that we can produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products and cannabinoid-based active pharmaceutical ingredients.”


StaffOctober 15, 2021
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Privately-owned cannabis tech firm Dutchie  has raised $350m in Series D financing which is now placing a $3.75 billion valuation on the Oregon-based company. The company said it plans to use the money to keep expanding operations and invest in R&D investments to launch major products to support cannabis dispensaries. That includes hiring more top talent for the firm.

Dutchie is a behind-the-scenes company that charges dispensaries a monthly fee to create and run their websites and manage orders. With the pandemic, many dispensaries were pushed to create online ordering for pickup in-store. Plus, many customers don’t like waiting in lines and the convenience of online ordering and express pickup desks in dispensaries has added to the product’s popularity. The company said in a statement,

We have had a pivotal 2021 and will continue to expand our product suite and innovate solutions for cannabis retailers. As we strive to create safe and easy access to cannabis, we hope to open more hearts and minds to the good it can do.

Founded in 2017, Dutchie now has over 500 employees across 40 different U.S. states and in Canada. In the last fundraising round CEO Ross Lipson said,

“Dutchie’s mission is to provide safe and easy access to cannabis while helping power the positive societal change that cannabis is bringing to the world. We believe we have a responsibility to help contribute to the next evolution of the industry, help all sides of the market grow, and create opportunities and outcomes that benefit all of our partners and consumers.”

Dutchie’s Series D comes seven months after its last funding round — a $200 million Series C — one of the largest private funding rounds in the cannabis industry. The round was led by D1 Capital Partners, with participation from previous investors including Tiger Global, Dragoneer, DFJ Growth, Thrive Capital, Gron Ventures, and Casa Verde Capital, and new investors, including Willoughby Capital, Glynn Capital, and Park West Asset Management.

 

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StaffOctober 8, 2021
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Green Market Report asked some of the top technology leaders in the cannabis industry for their thoughts on how tech is changing the cannabis world. Here’s what we learned:

Simplifya Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Marion Mariathasan

   “Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance. 

Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.” 

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45 percent. 

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. 

 


Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Creative Director Andreas “Dre” Neumann

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its shareowners. 

Dre is a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous successful creative and technology companies and is a disruptive thinker, who before joining Jushi, served as the creative director and head of content for Idean, a leading global design agency that creates powerful digital experiences and uses design as a strategic tool to transform companies. He founded a partnership with British multinational communications and advertising agency network with 114 offices in 76 countries and over 6,500 staff, Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he implemented creative strategies such as launching a branded content unit called Gum in an effort to reach more young people, who are increasingly tuning out traditional advertising. 

In addition to being a known and respected leader in the creative and technology arenas, Dre is known for his photography and work with artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and many others. He has also been cited as one of the world’s top rock photographers and will be featured in an upcoming documentary on Amazon scheduled to premiere in early 2021.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer at springbig

“The cannabis industry is adopting native and cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate. Computing power has increased exponentially (at an affordable cost), so we all have supercomputers on hand, which helps development teams tackle AI/ML problems, predictive analysis, user segmentation, early fraud detection and more. Technology also has added tremendous value in the form of agri-tech, cloud evolution, and data science for improving this industry as a whole.

At springbig, we are leveraging technology to push the limits and capture trends that help our merchants achieve goals above and beyond 100%. The spingbig platform provides the ability for our partners to be in constant contact with end users. We have other offerings that provide numerous opportunities for improvement of user experience, instore, e-commerce and omni.”

Navin is the CTO of springbig, a leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications solutions for cannabis retailers and cannabis brands. Founded in 2017, springbig offers a single source of truth CRM that becomes the database of record for in-store and online customers that captures key purchasing and behavioral data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS and eCommerce systems. Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

 

 

 

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli, Co-Founder and Chief Payments Officer at KindTap

“As a fintech company in the cannabis space, we can wholeheartedly say that technology is shaping the future of the industry with the consumer at the forefront of the conversation. From convenience to compliance and now even our credit payment option with loyalty points, advances in technology are bringing the consumer the best experience possible while still keeping all the backend bells & whistles legally sound.”

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli is a payments executive with extensive experience in prepaid, debit, credit, and emerging payments and broad and deep knowledge of issuing and acquiring sides of the market. In 2019, Cathy joined KindTap, a fintech company with a team that was focused on the same cannabis payments problem she spotted a few years back. Together in September 2021, they formally launched KindTap and are the first company to bring a credit payment option to the cannabis industry. 

KindTap launched first to the Massachusetts market and will hit multiple US markets, including Florida, Maine, and New York by the end of 2021, bringing consumers immediate, revolving credit lines for upfront cannabis purchases and allowing merchants to seamlessly accept digital credit payments.  About 3 years ago while working for a client in Denver, Cathy became aware of how broken payments were in cannabis. Broken isn’t even the right word – payments simply didn’t exist in the cannabis market. Cathy’s pioneering spirit kicked-in and she refocused her consulting to the cannabis segment. 

 

 

 

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-founder & CEO of Jane Technologies

“Our goal at Jane has always been to provide value for the entire ecosystem; we want customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and we want sellers to succeed. As the largest e-commerce platform in North American cannabis, the digitization of the industry has allowed us to keep the industry in line with the mainstream, allowing shopping for cannabis to be as accessible as shopping online for everything else in the world, all while ensuring an even playing field for brands and dispensaries.”

Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. Socrates began using cannabis as a way to re-acclimate to civilian life upon return from active duty, but found himself questioning the origins of cannabis since it was illegal at the time. Fast forward to today and Socrates is now the founder and CEO of Jane Technologies- the e-commerce solution for legal cannabis retailers and brands. He holds a B.S. in Leadership & Management Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point Academy and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and previously served as a commander of an Apache helicopter company. 

 


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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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