The First Cannabis-Related Software Stock to List on the NASDAQ
As the Cannabis world continues to grow, the Nasdaq's first weed "tech listing" took place. MJ Freeway and MTech recently merged, resulting in the cannabis tech company Akerna (KERN). The company opened at $12.88 dollars per share on June 18th, 2019 and shot up to about 70 per share by June 20th. Clearly the investor appetite for anything Cannabis related is significant. Akerna is traded on the NASDAQ and as a result, is the first cannabis company to go public on a major US stock exchange.
Akerna does not deal directly with cannabis itself, but rather offers its services to companies that do. Its primary service is a software that marijuana retailers can use to track the process from the planting of marijuana seeds, all the way to its eventual sale. The software provides statistics to these companies about consumer preferences, and more specifically trends on: when, how, and for what purpose customers want to use it.
According to Akerna’s CEO, Jessica Billingsley, the company connects “every data point in the supply chain” and plans to create an even larger platform that “will connect all of these data points globally.” By doing this, Akerna provides insight to retailers on production costs and pricing strategies.
Cannabis retailers often struggle following a structured business model because the drug is not legal everywhere in the United States. And most banks will not work with a Cannabis firm, which is why many have turned to Bitcoin and digital currencies for their wealth storage. Furthermore, cannabis is up against different confining or non-confining regulations that prevent businesses from distributing their product. With so many obstacles, Cannabis companies will be looking for help. Akerna helps these struggling companies create a business model by analyzing data and providing insights on how to operate within the constantly changing compliance standards.
Written by Matthew Durborow, Edited by Willie Turchetta & Alexander Fleiss