5 Female Executives Blazing A Trail Through The Cannabis Sector

5 Female Executives Blazing A Trail Through The Cannabis Sector

The cannabis industry is one of the most progressive industries and is setting a standard for others to follow. For this reason, we are not surprised by the diversity of the organizations and the number of females Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the industry.

One of the main issues with Wall Street (and most industries) is related to the lack of diversity from a leadership, advisory, or board standpoint. Companies like Goldman Sachs are making serious changes from a funding standpoint and plans to only fund businesses that have a diverse leadership team.

Although we are impressed with the strides that have been made in the cannabis industry from a diversity standpoint, there are still a lot of improvements that can be made. Today, we want to highlight five female leaders in the cannabis industry and believe that our readers need to be aware of the companies they are running.

Ester Vigil: A Key Player Who is Behind the Success of 1933 Industries

Las Vegas is one of the largest tourism markets in the world and this has been a major catalyst for the cannabis industry. Companies have benefited from having leverage to the Las Vegas market and 1933 Industries Inc. (TGIF.CN) (TGIFF) is a business that we have been favorable on.

Ester Vigil serves as the president of 1933 Industries and she aims to establish the company’s wellness products as premier cannabis and (cannabidiol) CBD brands. One of the reasons we are excited about her position with the company is related to her track record of success in the cosmetics industry. Ester has more than 17 years’ experience in the cosmetics industry, having worked for companies such as Peter Thomas Roth and Sephora. Before being appointed as the president of 1933 Industries, Ester served as a Vice President and was responsible for all sales initiatives, client management, education, and marketing across all sales channels.

When we first started covering 1933 Industries, it was only levered to Nevada and was focused on increasing the size of its footprint in the market. Now, the company is highly focused on penetrating the California cannabis market and we are bullish on the strategy that is in place to accomplish this. Ester is expected to play a key role in the expansion of the business and we are favorable on the experience that she brings to the team.

During the last year, 1933 Industries recorded substantial revenue growth and has executed on a strategy to cut costs and improve margins. Over the next year, we expect to see the company continue to record operational improvements as it implements measures to improve efficiency and we expect Ester to play a key role in this. We believe that Ester has helped put 1933 Industries in a position to grow and will continue to follow how she is able to drive the business forward.

Vivien Azer: A Trailblazer in the Cannabis Capital Markets

When it comes to analysts who cover the legal cannabis industry, Vivien Azer of Cowen and Company is considered to be one of the best. She is a Managing Director and a senior research analyst who covers the beverage, tobacco, and cannabis sectors. Vivien has been a trailblazer in the cannabis industry and was the first senior Wall Street analyst to initiate coverage on the emerging cannabis sector.

Vivien’s coverage of the tobacco and cannabis sectors earned her industry accolades including a spot-on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team on several occasions. When she announces a rating or price target change on a cannabis company, the market takes notice and often follows her advice.

In late February, Vivian downgraded the following Canadian cannabis companies to market perform from outperform: Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) (ACB.TO), Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL), and Tilray Inc. (TLRY). The rationale for the downgrades was based on her team becoming  increasingly cautious on the outlook of the Canadian cannabis industry. Vivian said industry headwinds (pricing, stores, inventory) have not subsided as fast as expected. She also does not believe that the cannabis 2.0 movement will be as significant as expected

Vivien’s team now estimates a total available market of C$3.5 billion (US$2.6 billion) for legal cannabis sales, which is down 32% from its prior forecast. The lower forecast is primarily related to the slower than expected rollout of cannabis 2.0 products. Going forward, we hope to see headwinds subside and will continue to follow Vivian and her team when it comes to the cannabis sector.

Wana Brands: The Largest Cannabis Edible Brand in the World

Last month, we attended the Wana Brands’ presentation at the Benzinga Capital Conference and this is an opportunity that we are excited about. At the helm of the company is CEO Nancy Whiteman and we are impressed with her ability to build a national edible brand. The company’s products are sold in seven states and Nancy is highly focused on entering new markets.

Founded in 2010, Wana Brands quickly established itself as an industry leader. Since inception, Nancy made innovation a priority at Wana Brands and this has played an important role in the success of the business. While at the conference, she announced that the company launched a fast acting edible and this was a major step forward for the business.

Wana is on the forefront of the industry in quality, consistency and potency, featuring a full line of premium infused products including: Wana Sour Gummies, Wana Vapes, WanaCapsXR, Wana Tarts, Wana Quick Onset Tincture and Wana Drops/Lozenges. The company has expanded from its Colorado headquarters into Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, and we expect to see it enter additional markets later this year.

Nancy is referred to as The Queen of Legal Weed by Inc. (May 2017) and The Martha Stewart of Edibles by Entrepreneur (Jan. 2019). These names are fitting for her and we are impressed with her ability to grow Wana to be the number one edible brand in sales revenues in the US, according to BDS Analytics 2018 Brand Share Report.

Nancy is focused on the global opportunity and wants to make Wana the top edible brand in the world. She leads the company’s strategic vision and has been instrumental in Wana’s growth into new and emerging markets. Nancy has played a key role in the cannabis industry has evolved and is someone that we will continue to closely follow.

Jessica Billingsley is Taking Akerna to the Next Level

Last month, we met with Jessica Billingsly, CEO of Akerna Corp. (KERN) and left the meeting feeling excited about the company’s future. Akerna is a leading cannabis compliance technology provider and developer of a seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

Under Jessica’s leadership, Akerna has made significant strides and has grown the business through a series of strategic organic and inorganic growth initiatives. In late 2019, Akerna announced a transformational acquisition and purchased Ample Organics, the leading seed-to-sale company in Canada. Ample Organics works with pretty much all of the largest producers in Canada and we expect the acquisition to prove to be a gamechanger for the business.

We believe that the combined company has substantial growth prospects and expect the management team to find substantial synergies between the businesses. Over the next year, we expect Akerna to report impressive growth and for the acquisition of Ample Organics to play an important role.

Another major milestone that was accomplished under Jessica’s leadership is related to the Nasdaq listing and we are favorable on this aspect of the story. During the last year, Jessica has executed on a series of important projects and we believe that the business is well positioned for growth. Going forward, we are excited to see how Jessica continues to execute and is a business leader that our readers need to be aware of.

Allison Gordon: Leaves 48 North in a Solid Position for Growth

Earlier this month, Allison Gordon reported to have stepped down as the CEO of 48 North Inc., a Canadian cannabis producer. Last week, we met with Allison at the Benzinga Capital Conference in Miami and left the meeting with no indication of her future plans to step down from the company.

Under Allison’s leadership, 48 North was able to significantly advance its story through continued execution, accretive acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. We believe that she left the business in a solid position from a growth standpoint and are impressed with the recently launched cannabis 2.0 products.

We do not believe that we have heard the last from Allison Gordon and are excited to see where she goes next!

Pursuant to an agreement between StoneBridge Partners LLC and 1933 Industries we have been hired for a period of 180 days beginning January 15, 2020 and ending July 15, 2020 to publicly disseminate information about (TGIF) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $5,000 per month for a period of 6 months. We own zero shares of (TGIF), which we purchased in the open market. We plan to sell the “ZERO” shares of (TGIF) that we hold during the time the Website and/or Facebook and Twitter Information recommends that investors or visitors to the website purchase without further notice to you. We may buy or sell additional shares of (TGIF) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information.

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Published at Wed, 11 Mar 2020 11:25:59 +0000

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