Marijuana Business Magazine January 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2019 52 Data & Technology BACKSTORY Billingsley is a cannabis pioneer. She made her first investment in a licensed medical marijuana company in 2009 and co-founded cannabis technology company MJ Freeway in 2010. Her Denver company was one of the cannabis industry’s first seed-to-sale tracking software providers. WHY TOWATCH As MJ Freeway’s new CEO, Billingsley is positioned to lead the company into no- table new ventures in 2019. The company is merging with MTech Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition firm. The new holding company, Akerna, is set to list on the Nasdaq once the deal is finalized. That’s expected to happen early this year. When the merger was announced in October, the new company was expected to have more than $60 million of balance-sheet cash “to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities.” MJ Freeway itself raised $10 million last August. In the new year, Billingsley said, MJ Freeway will focus both on internal growth—including jobs in research and development as well as sales and support—and overseas markets. “We strongly believe cannabis is entering into a period of global consoli- dation, and we’re absolutely focused on the international arena and international expansion,” Billingsley said. – Bart Schaneman BEST BUSINESS ADVICE “Not only do businesses … need to ensure they’re compliant in every market, but it will become increasingly important for them to record their business intelligence data so they can track their ROI. These are things that many businesses are not tracking today.” Jessica Billingsley CEO, MJ Freeway | Denver