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CEO of pioneering U.S. cannabis tech company: We connect 'every datapoint in the supply chain'

Marina Peña
Production assistant

Marijuana software company Akerna KERN (KERN) is off to a very positive start with investors after listing on the Nasdaq this week.

The company’s stock is trading at more than $50/share after debuting at $11.41 on Tuesday. And unlike heavyweights like vape supplier Greenlane Holdings and Canadian weed producer Tilray, Akerna became the first of its kind to go public on the exchange after parent MJ Freeway merged with a special purpose acquisition company named MTech Acquisition.

“We are the first cannabis technology company to list on a major US exchange,” hief Executive Jessica Billingsley told YFi AM (video above). “So it's certainly a landmark moment. And our investors are pretty pleased and are excited about seeing us begin to execute our strategy this year.

Billingsley described the company as “a global cannabis provider that connects every data point in the supply chain. And with this transaction, we intend to do some consolidation within the space and create an even larger platform to connect all of those data points globally.”

KERN has been on a roll since its debut. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

MJ Freeway is best known for its seed-to-sale technology that tracks the eventual sale of cannabis to investors and its enterprise resource planning software for cultivators, pot stores and manufacturers.

In providing these services, Akerna helps other companies meet federal and state standards for the sale of cannabis.

“The compliance standards can vary dramatically from market to market. And so it can be very challenging for these businesses to have a replica of a business model across state lines or across country lines,” Billingsley said. “And that's actually one of the problems that we help solve in terms of tracking all of the data points and each of the pieces of the business so that you can ensure by the same testing profile or by the same metrics that you're getting the same product in.”

Marina is a production assistant at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @marina9527.

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