SVB doesn't appear to be a major account holder for cannabis companies.
SVB doesn't appear to be a major account holder for cannabis companies.
Glimmers of hope still exist, particularly as new markets come online.
POSEIDON ASSET MANAGEMENT
EMILY PAXHIA – CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, POSEIDON ASSET MANAGEMENT
What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
By far and away my proudest accomplishment is building a company with my brother from the ground up and recognizing what this means for the industry. We believed enough in an amorphous sector in 2013 to put everything we had into starting our firm. I believe those of us who have invested our time, capital and reputation in growing this sector have contributed to what will be a lasting and remarkable industry. From 2013 to where we stand today, cannabis now has an economic impact of note, growing from $91B in 2021 to likely over $100B in 2022. It is the work of companies like ours that has brought capital to the sector, attracted talent, changed laws, created social justice initiatives. I get to the office early in the morning, I open the blinds, turn on the heat and start the coffee machine. I use those moments to reflect on the tangible tokens of what we’ve built and to remind myself of why we keep pushing. I think about our incredible team of visionaries in Patrick, Mike, Andres and Colin and how they all share the energy and devotion to seeing the cannabis industry to its next phase of maturity and beyond and I am proud and inspired to be a part of something so momentous. I’m not sure I would find the same passion or drive in almost any other space. My favorite hashtag aptly sums it up #cannabisbroughtmehere and there is nowhere I would rather be.
Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunity for female-identifying people than other industries?
Yes and no. From a positive perspective, I think there are more progressive and inclusive people in this industry than in many others and those qualities lead to a pursuit of higher endeavors, diversity in leadership and employment included. I have met tremendous male allies in this industry, who seek to include women in leadership and who champion our work. I also appreciate when they demonstrate awareness about their dominance in the business world. I have a few extremely experienced colleagues and if they ever speak over me in a meeting, I truly appreciate that they will acknowledge they did this and give me the space to share a perspective. We should cherish the opportunity to witness someone in a moment of change and growth to becoming more aware and inclusive. Additionally, there are several women in the space who I feel try to bring other women to the table. Drawing from my psychology background, implicit bias exists and if males are at the top and in control, there is the strong and innate potential for hiring / engaging with those who look, feel, sound, act the same. The only way we can interrupt that is to continue to raise awareness around diversity in hiring practices through action. Women have to keep showing up and adding value, we have to keep invoking the names of other stellar women when in mixed company to keep advocating for one another. Further, I think we have to reward good intentions around inclusion and honor that work.
Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
Every new interaction is a moment when a person has to prove her or his value/contribution to the situation. As I have said, Implicit bias exists. To unpack this further, it is not a ‘bad’ thing, it is simply a condition where people tend to have biases based on how they were raised or prior life experiences. Unfortunately, I still think there is an implicit bias about the value a woman can bring to the table vs. a male counterpart, so yes, we have work to overcome to prove ourselves out in those initial moments. And by the way, I have to watch my own biases and to focus on being inclusive and engaging when I meet new people too, we all have a lot of influences that can create blindspots. My way of navigating all of this is to come to meetings and interactions extremely prepared and organized, that way, I can do my best to show that my contribution is not one to be missed. Hopefully, by showing up, we can widen the aperture and remove some of these biases.
What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
This actually has nothing to do with being a woman per se. Every day in business brings a new challenge, so managing the range of issues one can encounter as an investor is the biggest and ongoing challenge. We have a diverse portfolio of companies across the industry and the world. Each company goes through phases and requires varying levels of attention. The only way I can continue to overcome these challenges is through teamwork and through prioritizing the challenges at hand. Of note, behind the scenes of navigating all of this is surrounding myself with other founders and leaders who I admire. We are the sum total of the quality of people we spend time with and I try to be around people who are net positive and who are as driven (or more so) than I am. This is especially true with my fellow female leaders in cannabis, there is a tight core of us and we work hard to be sounding boards and to lift each other up. We also work to bring others into the core.
What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
We invest in women founders, we invest in teams that strive for diversity and inclusion and we continue to encourage this after the investment is placed. I am really proud of the work I see in our portfolio companies to seek out key female hires and to have female representation on their boards of directors. I am also inspired by the women who lead or participate in these companies, as each one of them is helping to create more space for more inclusion across the industry.
What are your personal goals for 2022?
To continue to do the good and important work that we are doing by building this industry. I love the cannabis industry enormously. As Julia Child said, ‘it is the breath to my life’ and I have made more friends and have gained more mentors than I could have hoped for along the way. Someday I won’t have to talk about how hard and discouraging this all is, given the political theatrics around this issue. In the meantime, I will focus on finding great companies and teams, I will continue to support our portfolio companies and will be glad for the fact that more people have access to safe, fun, enjoyable cannabis through legal channels than ever before in the history of society and that is because of the work we are all doing together.
As we put 2021 in the rearview mirror, Green Market Report is looking ahead to a bright new year. We asked leaders in the industry for their predictions for the cannabis industry in 2022.
Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing director of Poseidon Investment Management said, “2022 is going to be the start of the longest bull market this industry will have seen to date. This industry has gone through multiple phases, as an emerging industry. The business case for cannabis is now being proven to be strong growth + EBITDA and there is a lot of upsides to unlock with new markets opening on the east coast.” She also believes 2022 is going to be the year that cannabis tech finally gets the attention it deserves. She thinks the market will see more capital invested into tech platforms. Paxhia added, “Further, we are excited to see more innovation in technology around the cultivation, processing, distribution, and retailing of cannabis, not to mention the technology around human capital, as this industry will continue to be a growing and large employer in the US. The cannabis market is finally getting the TAM (Total Addressable Market) recognition it deserves from outside investors.”
“Institutional capital returns to the US plant-touching space as soon as Biden or the Treasury make positive comments, yet before a banking bill passes. This capital and a renewed analysis of fundamentals will exasperate growth for profitable operators in 2022.,” said Poseidon Managing Director Michael Boniello. Boniello wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns though. He cautioned that Canadian LPs will be desperate to penetrate the U.S. but without a clear pathway to federal legalization, their export business will not support their massive operations. He also believes that Europe will see little to no progression in an Adult Use THC market in 2022. When it comes to politics, he thinks Republicans will flip the script on President Biden and Senator Schumer as GOP members campaign in the midterms for SAFE Banking and cannabis for Veterans. “They will not be for full legalization and won’t have to be to gain cannabis-friendly voters,” said Boniello. “No federal cannabis reform occurs due to misgovernance and mismanagement by the Democratic party. Federal legalization is impossible, and Schumer will have lost the progressive wing on a standalone banking bill without significant and immediately impactful social justice reform included.”
Paxhia concluded with, “I am excited to watch GenZ as a driver of cannabis in 2022. They are a ‘cannabis native’ generation, entering the workforce with cannabis substantially legal across the US. I think they will drive growth in newer product categories such as beverage and sensibly dosed edibles. Further, I believe they will continue to grow the once maligned vape category.”
Poseidon Investment Management, LLC (“PIM”) is a registered investment advisor.
This presentation contains forward-looking statements based on PIM’s experience and expectations about the markets in which it invests and the methods by which PIM expects to invest in those markets. Those statements are sometimes indicated by words such as “expects,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “intends,” “attempts,” “will” and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to many risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. PIM does not undertake any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement for any reason.
Poseidon Investment Management announced the launch of the AdvisorShares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF (Ticker: PSDN). The PSDN ETF began trading on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, is sponsored by AdvisorShares. It will be sub-advised and managed by the Poseidon team, including co-founders and Managing Directors Emily Paxhia and Morgan Paxhia and Managing Director Tyler Greif. Poseidon is one of the earliest cannabis investing teams that has $196 million in assets under management as of August 2021.
“Poseidon was one of the first investment firms dedicated to cannabis investments, navigating this complex and evolving industry to help companies grow and thrive from startups to public companies,” said Emily Paxhia, co-founder and Managing Director of Poseidon, and Portfolio Manager of PSDN. “Our track record speaks to our deep knowledge of the space and our commitment to understanding the needs of the companies we invest in. PSDN broadens the reach of our unique investment philosophy and provides simple, secure, accessible investing into one of the world’s most exciting asset classes.”
ETF’s Have Underperformed
Poseidon will have their work cut out for them. Cannabis ETF’s have mostly underperformed this year as the underlying stocks have been wallowing in a seeming never ending bear market. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (Ticker: MSOS) reached a year high of $55 but was lately selling shares at $30, while AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (Ticker: YOLO) hit a year’s high of $31 and was recently selling its shares at $16. The Cannabis ETF (THCX) also topped out this year at $30 and was lately selling at $12 a share.
Poseidon said that the fund will try to identify companies strategically positioned to benefit from the cannabis industry and its supporting infrastructure in the U.S. and emerging global cannabis markets. PSDN’s portfolio is diversified across subsectors of the cannabis industry and dynamically managed to tactically overweight or underweight specific countries, subsectors, or individual companies. PSDN said it may seek to take advantage of specific market opportunities by intelligently using leverage to maximize potential returns. If the values of the underlying stocks start to recover, the PSDN’s timing could be quite good.
“We are excited to partner with an established and experienced team like Poseidon to bring their institutional portfolio management approach into the mainstream investment infrastructure,” said Noah Hamman, chief executive officer of AdvisorShares. “Active ETFs in the cannabis space continue to gain traction with investors seeking to access managers with proven success records in the fast-growing, dynamic industry.”
Cannabis tech company Flowhub has raised an oversubscribed $23 million Series A financing round led by e.ventures, Evolv Ventures — the venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz — and Poseidon, with contributions from investors 9Yards Capital, former NBA commissioner David Stern and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, the co-founder and former CEO of Venmo, among others.
Evolv Ventures’ goal is to invest in new tech companies innovating within the food industry. The firm was created to help Kraft Heinz stay on top of the food industry’s changing trends. However, it isn’t limited to food investing and also looks at new consumer models and consumer insights.
The Flowhub platform is used by dispensaries making it easier for them to run their operations. Some of the features include the Stash app, a mobile inventory management solution, the Cashier app for enhanced front-of-house point-of-sale capabilities with iPad/tablet compatibility, and Order Ahead with integration partner Dutchie for a streamlined in-store pickup process. Flowhub said it also added new technology integrations with LeafBuyer and Leafly as part of its commitment to creating a robust partner ecosystem that enables customers to build their own custom cannabis tool stack.
“What we are experiencing right now is an end to cannabis prohibition and Flowhub is on the front lines of this movement,” said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO, Flowhub. “Every legal transaction completed with the Flowhub retail platform is a positive step forward, and we are committed to helping our customers build thriving cannabis businesses. With this investment, we will continue to automate the cannabis supply chain, retail and reporting processes and bring to market technology solutions that are not only shaping the cannabis retail business, but also driving forward the future of legalization and de-stigmatization.”
“We are excited to join Flowhub at such a crucial time in the company’s overall growth journey,” said Jett Fein, partner, e.ventures. “As the demand for legal cannabis products rises across the U.S., Flowhub is focused on using technology to advance the future of the cannabis industry and has built a cloud platform with a suite of applications that enables dispensaries to provide superior and tailored consumer retail experiences in this highly regulated industry.” According to Tech Crunch, the firm e.ventures is a 20-year-old, early-stage venture outfit that has raised $400 million in fresh capital across two new funds: a $225 million U.S.-focused fund that’s based in San Francisco, and a $175 million fund that’s focused on Europe and based in Berlin.
Flowhub has experienced tremendous growth over the last year, increasing revenue by 200 percent and doubling its customer base across 11 markets, which includes household brands like Cookies, Dr. Greenthumb’s, Green Dragon, Nectar and Starbuds. The company also added strategic roles to its executive team — including SaaS enterprise tech leader Dave Smith as CRO — grew its female leadership across key strategic business roles such as marketing, product management and finance and has already increased headcount by 50 percent in 2019. Flowhub also recently announced its new headquarters at the former Slack HQ near downtown Denver’s Union Station and three satellite offices to support continued expansion efforts.
“Cannabis is not an industry that you just jump right into,” said Emily Paxhia, managing director, Poseidon. “The compliance and regulation aspects make this a unique industry and Flowhub is one of the leading cannabis tech companies that is taking a meticulous and strategic approach. We saw the potential for Flowhub’s technology and mission early on and we’re thrilled to continue to support them in delivering the cannabis retail experience of the future.”
The $23 million of financing closed on this round brings the company’s total funding to $27 million. This marks the first cannabis tech investment from round leaders Evolv Ventures and e.ventures and is indicative of the increased appetite to bet big on a maturing market segment with an industry leader like Flowhub. With this injection of capital, the company will continue to invest in product innovation, hire top technical talent and expand its partner ecosystem with future technology integrations and collaborations through an open API approach.
Morgan Paxhia is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon, one of the longest running funds in the cannabis industry.
With over ten years experience in investing and finance, Morgan has developed a deep understanding of individual company analysis, portfolio construction, and risk mitigation. Since 2012, he has dedicated his investment focus primarily to the cannabis industry. Given the limited amount of information in this emerging vertical, the lack of institutional research, and relative industry immaturity, Morgan embraces an active approach of working closely with companies. He utilizes a “boots on the ground” methodology to better understand individual companies and the industry. Through his extensive travel across the US and Canada, reviewing hundreds of business plans and overseeing several existing cannabis investments, Morgan has developed Poseidon’s investment methodology tailored specific to the business of cannabis. Poseidon’s proprietary process is driven by the time spent in the industry and the considerable data collected over the last several years. He has created frameworks for analysis depending on sub-sector, company stage, and participation across the capital spectrum through our database of contacts, valuations, metrics, and other relevant factors.
Morgan started his investment career at UBS Financial Services working in a Wealth Management/ Investment Banking hybrid training program. The training brought a wide range of first hand experience working through several facets of the organization, including advisory teams managing assets for high net worth individuals and municipal bonds trading. Following UBS, Morgan transitioned to a Providence-based Registered Investment Advisor as an Investment Consultant. During that time, he worked under the partners of the firm doing fundamental portfolio management.
Morgan graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics in 2005.
GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A –
Full birth name: Morgan C. Paxhia
Title: Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Company: Poseidon Investment Management
Years at current company: 6
Education profile: University of Rhode Island, BS in Applied Mathematics
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: My professional accomplishment before Poseidon would go back to my entrance into the professional world of finance. I landed a job at UBS in one of their hybrid training programs. This program fast tracked my exposure to the world of finance as we worked through various parts of a large financial institution. My experience was especially memorable as I was on the municipal bond trading desk during the Fall of 2008, the very chaotic period of The Financial Crisis.
Company Mission: Poseidon dedicated its investment focus to the emerging cannabis industry with the launch of our first fund in January 2014. Investing in cannabis requires full time focus, and very active engagement. We are generally growth stage venture investors seeking legitimate companies that provide meaningful value in a highly fragmented, dynamic market.
Company’s most successful achievement: Our investors are our greatest achievement. We are industry leading investors because of their trust and support.
As a result, we have had the opportunity to build the longest running investment track record in cannabis, work with many great companies, and generate very strong returns.
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes
If so, how much?: Our firm currently has over $140 million in assets under management between our investment strategies.
Any plans on raising capital in the future? Poseidon focuses on making great investments on behalf of our fantastic investors. We will continue to raise and deploy capital in the cannabis industry as long as we continue to have great investment opportunities.
Most important company 5 year goal: Poseidon will be over ten years old and cemented its place in history as a significant contributor to the global cannabis industry.
What kind of effect does adult use cannabis have on the medical market? The answer may surprise you. At the Green Market Summit, where some of the cannabis industry’s most prominent thought leaders were gathered, a discussion panel was held on the unforeseen consequences of legalizing adult use cannabis on the medical market. The following report “The Economics of Adult Use Marijuana on Medical Marijuana” was issued as a result of the panel members.
Moderated by Marijuana Policy Group co-founder Adam Orens, the discussion included Emily Paxhia, Founding Partner & Managing Director at Poseidon Asset Management; Jeannette Ward Horton, Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications at MJ Freeway; and Jessica Billingsley, CEO and Co-Founder of MJ Freeway.
Distinguishing this panel from all the other was the fact that it was the only all-female panel at the event. Although the panelists mused that someday such a panel would neither be significant or out of the ordinary, the audience reacted to the observation of the all-female panel with approval and applause.
Starting off the conversation, the panelists discussed the pre-adult use medical market and many of the early predictions of what would happen when adult use cannabis sales became legal. Although some predicted that the medical market would remain static, others, like MJ Freeway, predicted that the market would take a dip; which is precisely what happened. According to Paxhia, it was easy to see why.
“Living in San Francisco, some of those [cannabis] clinics, I felt like I was going to get sick from going in there,” recalled Paxhia. “I think there’s a number of reasons why people for a long time side-stepped getting medical cards. Once it became adult use, there were some very ready purchasers.”
As the adult use market began to mature in Colorado, Washington, and other states; the consensus became that adult use of cannabis would always kill the medical market. However, looking at the data, Horton and her partners discovered that after 12 months of legalization, the medical market actually grew by 45% while the adult use market only increased by 38%.
“People think the medical market is dead. Recreational shows up, people aren’t investing in those products, they’re not developing IP around those products, and they should be,” said Horton. “There’s a real medical market, and there are real medical patients, and that’s an opportunity I think people aren’t spending time on.”
Closing out the event, the panelists speculated on the future of the medical cannabis market and whether or not both the medical and adult use market would eventually fade away into just one unified cannabis market. Although it is a possibility, Billingsley was skeptical, stating that there would always be a need for medical cannabis.
“There will always be medical conditions that need a medical product that has some true efficacy for that condition,” said Billingsley. “It is a recreational substance, but it also has a truly efficacious benefit on the medical side.”
Stay tuned to find out more about happened at the Green Market Summit, as the Green Market Report gives you an in-depth look at the event throughout the week. Click here to read the previous recaps on cannabis banking, international cannabis, and an exclusive interview between legendary financial analyst Jim Cramer and The Green Organic Dutchman CEO Brian Athaide.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., September 5, 2018/AxisWire/ Athletes for CARE (A4C), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a community where athletes can find support and raise awareness about the many challenges they face, announced today that Emily Paxhia has joined its Board of Directors.
Created for athletes by athletes, A4C strives to assist athletes both on and off the field by offering educational programs and services built specifically to help them overcome many of the issues they may be struggling with. Additionally, A4C helps fund and commission research initiatives designed to benefit athletes directly.
“We are thrilled to welcome Emily to our board and we look forward to her contributions,” said Anna Valent, Executive Director at Athletes for CARE. “Emily is a born leader with a keen understanding of management and oversight. Her proven track record of excellence will prove invaluable as Athletes for CARE continues to advocate, educate, and support both current and former professional athletes.”
Ms. Paxhia is a co-founder and a managing director at Poseidon Asset Management, an investment management company that invests exclusively in the legal cannabis industry. As a managing director, she works closely with her partners to create consequential deal structures and ensure that proper governance is carried out at the company level. Ms. Paxhia has also served on the Board of Directors at the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the most preeminent cannabis advocacy organizations.
“From chronic pain to depression, today’s athletes face a host of debilitating issues once they leave the field of competition and Athletes for CARE has been instrumental in helping them overcome these challenges,” said Ms. Paxhia. “I am deeply honored to join this highly distinguished board and assist in its noble goal of creating a community where all athletes, regardless of their sport, can find support and assistance as they search for new passions and purpose in life after a career in sports.”
About Athletes for CARE
Athletes for CARE (A4C) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a community where athletes can find support, opportunity, and purpose in life after a career in sports. A4C was founded by a group of pro athletes who are uniting as one voice to advocate for research, education, and compassion when addressing critical health issues facing athletes and the public at large. For more information, please visit athletesforcare.org.
KCSA Strategic Communications
The Green Market Report wanted to know what cannabis industry experts thought was the hottest sector in the industry. We asked these leaders at the recently held Cannabis Learn event in Philadelphia. Comments from Lori Glauser of Evio Labs, Ed Keating of Cannabiz Media, Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management, Jared Mirsky of Wick & Mortar and Matthew Nordgren of Arcadian Fund.
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