Akerna Archives - Page 2 of 5 - Green Market Report

StaffApril 13, 2022
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5min1510

Cannabis tech company Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is predicting that U.S. cannabis shoppers will spend nearly $130 million on legal cannabis on April 20th, known as “420”, an unofficial but widely celebrated cannabis consumption holiday, which would become the largest sales day in legal cannabis history.

“We are approaching the biggest day for our industry, making it critical for dispensaries to plan promotions, staff, and space for these large upticks in traffic,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect at Akerna. “To help alleviate some of the traffic, cannabis retailers using Akerna’s MJ Retail POS solution can leverage the platform’s kiosk mode. In kiosk mode, the budtender gives the MJ Retail tablet to the customer, who can then shop the store’s offerings on the device, similar to how they would in an online order, allowing stores to serve more customers and ultimately complete more sales per hour.”

Compared to last year’s 420, which brought in nearly $112 million and became the industry’s largest sales day to date, this year’s 420 would be a 16% growth over last year’s sales. As more markets legalize cannabis and more Americans become comfortable with the legal cannabis industry, these year-over-year increases are expected to continue.

Mid-week 420

This year could be tricky because the holiday falls in the middle of the week on Wednesday. So, do people celebrate before or after? Or just take the day off?

Akerna says to expect traffic to begin growing on April 15th, the Friday ahead of 420. Since tax day was moved to April 18th, that could work.  Akerna thinks the overall Friday to Wednesday period is expected to see cannabis sales figures above the $400 million range.

To put that into perspective, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division recently reported the state’s largest year of liquor sales ever – which surpassed $400 million for the first time. This means that the U.S. cannabis retail industry is predicted to bring in more sales in just six days than Iowa did for liquor sales in a record-breaking year.

While there is no federal tax due to the lack of legalization, if you were to compare that $400 million in sales to Colorado’s taxes, one of the first legal adult-use markets and where Akerna is headquartered, the sales taxes resulting from consumer spending in those six days would be nearly $90 million.

 


StaffMarch 21, 2022
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3min1160

Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2021. In the fourth quarter, Akerna delivered total revenue of $6.6 million, up 61% year-over-year and an increase sequentially from the third quarter’s revenue of $5.1 million. The loss from operations was $20.1 million, an increase of $9.9 million over last year’s fourth quarter. The net loss was $19.5 million an increase of $7.2 million over last year and a big jump from the third quarter’s net loss of $1.3 million. 

For the full year, total revenue was $20.7 million, up 49% year-over-year. The loss from operations was $33.4 million, up $6.6 million year-over-year and the net loss was $33.6 million, up $6.7 million year-over-year.

“Akerna experienced significant growth in 2021, with our enterprise business leading the way forward into 2022,” said Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna. “Our platforms continued to serve our growing clients, and we continued to develop offerings that position Akerna as a differentiated provider of technology solutions to the cannabis industry. We acquired two leading enterprise solutions — 365 Cannabis and Viridian Sciences — that delivered robust increases in software revenue. We are pleased with the consistent uptake from our clients in a year of consolidation in the industry with limited new markets opening.”

The company had cash and restricted cash of $14.4 million as of December 31, 2021. The company also issued $20 million in convertible debt to replace existing convertible debt at more attractive terms. The company noted that the results are preliminary.

“Our clients are both getting larger and individually seeing both unit and sales transactions rise. As more of the industry runs on Akerna, we are well-positioned for expected new market expansion and US federal progress. In the meantime, we continue to grow our CARR, grow the number and amount of transactions running on Akerna, and we continue to enhance our open ecosystem of solutions that can run either independently or in conjunction with our clients’ choice of our leading accounting and tax products including SAP, Microsoft, and Netsuite.”


StaffDecember 22, 2021
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7min800

Cannabis tech firm Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) has some pretty interesting data when it comes to flower strains and demographics. If you are a shopping procrastinator, this might still help you. If you’ve already made your Christmas purchases, this list could help if you want to show up for New Year’s with a gift for the host. Better yet, if you are staying in because of the newest Corona variant and just want to drop off a gift to someone else who is also staying home – this list will help. Akerna data unveiled the following recommendations for each gender and adult-use age group, based on each demographic group’s preferences and trends in 2021 so far:

  • Men 21- 30:

    • If you are shopping for an under 30 male, look for Gorilla Glue or a Sour Diesel. Don’t want to gift flower? Males in this age group tend to like Concentrates and, more specifically, Live Resin. This age group prefers Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance products.

  • Men 30-40:

    • If you are shopping for a 30-40-year-old male, look for Gorilla Glue or a Pineapple Express, this goes for Flower or Cartridges / Pens. Males in this age group also tend to like Concentrates and, more specifically, budder and in the Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance.

  • Men 40-50:

    • If you are shopping for a 40-50-year-old male, look for Cherry Diesel or Jet Fuel flower. Don’t want to gift flower? Males in this age group like Cartridges / Pens the most of any other age group, specifically a Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance product.

  • Men 50-60:

    • If you are shopping for a 50-60-year-old male, look for Gorilla Glue or a Jack Herer flower. If you prefer to get Cartridges/Pens, males in this age group tend to like Hybrids and more Sativa leaning dominance products.

  • Men 60+:

    • If you are shopping for a 60+-year-old male, more than half their purchases are for flower, and the most popular strains are Golden Goat and Blue Dream. Don’t want to gift flower? Males in this age group purchase more edibles than any other age group by a lot, and they prefer tinctures and gummies that are on the hybrid to indica leaning dominance products.

  • Women 21- 30:

    • If you are shopping for an Under 30 female, look for Gorilla Glue or a Pineapple Express. Don’t want to gift flower or Cartridge/Pen? Females in this age group tend to like Concentrates and, more specifically, Live Resin. This age group prefers Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance products.

  • Women 30-40:

    • If you are shopping for a 30-40-year-old female, look for Sour Diesel or a Pineapple Express, this goes for Flower or Cartridges / Pens as most popular in sales. Females in this age group also tend to like Concentrates and, more specifically, live resin or budder.

  • Women 40-50:

    • If you are shopping for a 40-50-year-old female, look for Blue Dream or a Super Lemon Haze flower. Don’t want to gift flower? Women in this age group like Cartridges / Pens the most of any other age group, specifically a Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance product.

  • Women 50-60:

    • If you are shopping for a 50-60-year-old female, look for Gorilla Glue or a Sour Tangie flower. If you prefer to get Cartridges/Pens, females in this age group tend to like Hybrids and more Sativa leaning dominance products. This age group of women buy a lot more Edibles and prefer Tinctures and Gummies, that are Hybrid to Indica leaning dominance.

  • Women 60+:

    • If you are shopping for a 60+-year-old female, the most popular strains are Blue Dream and Cherry Diesel for flower and Cartridges/Pens. Females in this age group purchase more edibles than any other age group by a lot, and they prefer tinctures and capsules/pills that are on the hybrid to indica leaning dominance products.


StaffSeptember 13, 2021
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3min1110

Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is buying 365 Cannabis, a cannabis business management software system built on Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central in a $17 million deal at 2.1x LTM revenue. The deal will be paid with $4 million in cash and $13 million in stock with a potential earnout of $8 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“By adding 365 Cannabis into our Akerna ecosystem, we will continue to create new standards and best practices around compliance in every state, province, and country across the globe, standardize how the global supply chain is managed, and forge best practices in technology and hosting,” says Jessica Billingsley, Chief Executive Officer of Akerna. “The synergies between our two companies’ products and offerings will finally create all in one for the entire cannabis industry, on a global scale.”

365 Cannabis’ 85+ clients will gain access to Akerna’s Compliance Gateway, feature-rich reporting, MJ Retail POS, and the recently launched Akerna Connect. Cannabis 365 clients include Pharmacann, Nectar, Revolution, Sundial, Kiaro, and many others.

“As we combine our leading solutions built specifically for the ever-evolving cannabis industry, along with Akerna’s 80+ integrations through open APIs, we can now offer cannabis operators a full suite of products to optimize their businesses, improve overall functionality, and ultimately increase sales,” says Jeff Kiehn, Chief Executive Officer of 365 Cannabis. “With the combined team of over 200+ skilled employees including 30 + years of consulting experience, coupled with an unrivaled true ERP system and supporting technologies, our goal is to modernize and propel the cannabis industry throughout this rapid growth period and beyond.”

The two companies said in a statement that the acquisition will allow Akerna to deliver the broadest portfolio of ERP solutions for cannabis operators, covering access to a majority of the mainstream mid-market financial and tax planning market. It will offer cannabis operators a financial and tax planning system for each stage of their growth while realizing combined scaled synergies by maintaining regulatory compliance every step of the way through Akerna’s Compliance Gateway.


StaffSeptember 8, 2021
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2min1610

Akerna, the parent company to MJ Platform, announced a new offering, Akerna Connect, this month.   

Akerna Connect is a mobile marketing platform for cannabis retailers that provides marketers with a suite of tools that are both effective and easy to use. Akerna Connect empowers operators with responsive online menus, mobile ordering, and loyalty rewards and enables them to communicate directly with consumers’ mobile phones and devices for a variety of different applications such as marketing campaigns and order reminders. 

Unlike many eCommerce offerings, Akerna Connect is designed to be customizable and brand-able so that the consumer accessing the dispensary/brand’s menu will only see the company’s branding, not “Akerna Connect” – furthering that company’s brand recognition with their consumer base.     

While POS systems like MJ Retail provide dispensaries with a smooth in-store experience, Akerna Connect gives them the ability to engage with customers after leaving the facility.  

For both the consumers shopping at dispensaries and retailers offering Akerna Connect, the software will keep them updated on store promotions, place orders online, and engage with staff in real-time. 

Dispensaries running the software have already seen success from the platform.   

“The tools that Akerna Connect provides our dispensary are game-changing. Akerna Connect is a central component of our marketing strategy that drives our foot traffic daily. We trust that our text messages and promos reach our customers’ phones when and how we expect them to, and the eCommerce tools help us provide a continuous brand experience after the customer leaves our building,” said Natalia Rivera, President of Emerald Cannabis Wellness Center.

 


StaffSeptember 2, 2021
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8min980

The presence of technology has changed the entire world. In the cannabis industry, it is the backbone of most operations whether discussing extraction, seed to sale tracking, customer management software, loyalty program apps or platforms to conduct delivery operations. Technology is everywhere in the cannabis space. Major investment seems to continue to pour into technology for this industry, for example Jane Technologies just announced a $100 million dollars raise. This is big money and it comes with big minds. Green Market Report decided to highlight some of the best and brightest in cannabis technology. Here are a few power players who we feel you should know.

David McCullough, Chief Technology Officer of Akerna

Prior to being appointed CTO of Akerna, David McCullough served as Akerna’s Executive Vice President of Product & Engineering for the last five years, overseeing all software development, development operations, quality assurance, automations, systems, and security operations. He has over 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.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer of springbig

Navin Graduated Northern Illinois University with a masters in electrical engineering and a masters in technology and management.

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.

Tiffany Burtt, Founder & Chief Technology Officer of Bulb Tech 

Burtt is the Founder and CEO of Bulb Tech. With 15 years of throttling early-stage startups to the market on a bootstrap budget, Tiffany Burtt, delivers performance focused products and technology solutions to aide in launch strategies, boosting sales and capturing new opportunities. Recognized for creating rich and flawless CX design, her product innovation and solutions consistently propel revenue growth and drive strategic business initiatives to elevate the company vision. Since 2014, two of Tiffany’s projects have been acquired by Fortune 500 companies. 

In 2016, Tiffany took the plunge and applied 20 years of experience as a woman in tech and her lifelong affair with cannabis to build a powerful set of business tools solving critical challenges in the industry. With unwavering passion, she believes in the combined power of cannabis and tech to improve our lives and create a sustainable impact. Tiffany’s company, BulbTech, is woman owned and operated.

Tiffany’s work doesn’t stop with technology. She is a fierce advocate for women, minorities, veterans, and the LGBT community as it relates to medical cannabis and overall business. She educates, mentors, and consults with new businesses facing the challenges of an emerging industry. 

Burtt built a global team with varying skills and diverse backgrounds. Her reach spans India, Pakistan, London, Russia, Belarus, Sweden, Netherlands, Indonesia and the US.

From digital idea/product concept into executable definition, both technically and operationally, to the market, on-budget. Tiffany is sassy, scrappy, original, and driven.

 

Marc Lopez, Chief Technology Officer of Drop Delivery

Marc Lopez is the CTO and co-founder of Drop Delivery, the cannabis industry’s only all-in-one delivery technology solution for retailers. A twenty-something serial entrepreneur, Marc previously co-founded Greenlight Technologies, a leading order-ahead and digital loyalty software in the cannabis industry, which was acquired in 2018 by publicly-traded Leafbuyer Technologies.

Before jumping into the cannabis industry, Marc co-founded two vape industry software companies, the e-commerce platform Vape Block, and the peer-to-peer marketplace Vape Mail in 2015, where he built the technology that both platforms ran on. The motivation to develop a peer-to-peer marketplace came from his previous startup, Uniform in 2015, a peer-to-peer marketplace for the fashion industry.

While in college, and with his current Drop Delivery co-founders Vanessa and Jade Gabriel,  Marc co-founded aSociete in 2011, a shopping platform for millennials to shop for their favorite fashion brands from all across the web in a simple, entertaining, and engaging way.

Marc Sherman, Chief Information Officer of HERBL

Marc Sherman is a highly-skilled Information Technology Executive with over 20 years’ experience designing, delivering, and supporting innovative Enterprise Supply Chain System solutions that drive business growth and profitability for all stakeholders.

Prior to joining HERBL, he was Vice President, Information Technology for FedEx Supply Chain, a $1.6B subsidiary of FedEx focused on Third-Party Logistics in multiple verticals including Technology, Retail, Consumer Products and Healthcare across over 130 sites in North America.

Before joining FedEx, Marc served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 20 years where he held multiple Operations and Logistics management positions in the United States, Europe, and Southwest Asia. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Information Systems and is a former Adjunct Professor with Northwood University.

Sherman currently lives in Keller, Texas with his wife Caroline.

 


StaffAugust 16, 2021
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6min2090

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

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview Q&A:

Title:

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Company:

Akerna 

Years at current company:

3

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

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

Company Mission: 

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

Company’s most successful achievement: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes 

If so, how much? 

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

Any plans on raising capital in the future? 

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

Most important company 5 year goal: 

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

 


StaffAugust 6, 2021
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6min2020

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. 

 


Julie AitchesonAugust 5, 2021
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4min1980

In every sector of culture and society, a shift towards greater diversity is moving the needle on what, and who is considered “typical”. This is as true in the realm of cannabis consumption as anywhere else, with the stereotype of surfer dude stoners and glazed and confused couch potatoes making way for women as the fastest-growing segment of cannabis consumers. Manufacturers are paying close attention to what these women want and how best to reach them with thoughtful branding, high levels of customer service, product design, and the retail experience. Not only are women increasingly driving cannabis sales, but they are also shifting their consumer behavior in ways that are pushing the industry to get more creative and innovative in meeting their demands—a trend that cannabis technology company Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) highlights in its mid-year report.

According to Akerna’s report, “Since 2019, females have steadily increased their percentage of sales, a total of 3.2%. While that may seem like a low number, it’s actually a significant change considering the vast numbers of cannabis consumers – over 15 million have purchased in 2021 so far.”  Their market share, which in 2019 was 35% is now 38.2% and growing. Additionally, for the first time ever, concentrates have overtaken edibles in popularity among younger women, a change attributed to decreased stigma and increased consumer education. Previously, edibles held third place in female product preferences with concentrates in fourth, but that has changed since 2020 with 10.2% of women reporting a preference for concentrates over 8.9% who prefer edibles. Flower is still the favorite product among female consumers with 44% still ranking it their top choice, but the industry is watching this closely as new product innovations inspire new allegiances.

In Akerna’s report, 27.53% of female consumers fall into the under 30 category and 29.40% are between 30 and 40 years old, with both demographics preferring flower, cartridges, and concentrates in that order. Both age categories placed infused edibles and “Other” in fourth and fifth place. For these women, cartridges lead concentrates by 20% or more, with edibles roughly half as popular as concentrates. Edibles still beat out concentrates for the 13.6% of female purchasers in the 50-60 age range and the 10.33% falling into the 60+ category. The strongest showing for edibles was in the oldest demographic (60+ women) studied, with 18.39% preferring edibles and only 5.31% concentrates. 

The trend in younger consumers leaning more towards concentrates and elders remaining loyal to edibles holds up in the male demographic as well, though this isn’t attracting as much notice from the industry as the rise of women consumers. Although Akerna’s mid-year report has men still accounting for 61.8% of cannabis sales, women are closing that gap at a steady pace and challenging the industry to up its game in order to compete for their business.


StaffAugust 4, 2021
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6min1970

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. 

 


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