solo sciences and 14th Round Team Up to Protect Consumers from Counterfeit Products
Agreement Brings Unique Verification Technology to Over 40% of CA Vaporizer Market

DENVER, Dec. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- solo sciences, an Akerna company (Nasdaq: KERN), the world’s first cryptographically-secured product authentication system, has entered into an agreement with leading cannabis design and technology firm, 14th Round to add its solo*CODE authentication tag to its vaporizer brands. The deal further advances solo’s efforts to address regulatory compliance throughout the entire supply chain, enhancing product safety for consumers.

Thanks to this collaboration, solo sciences trust mark authentication will be a default feature for 14th Round’s high-profile cannabis vaporizer brands. 14th Round creates and supplies custom hardware and packaging for an estimated 40 plus percent of California’s vaporizer market, the largest in the world. 14th Round is also the number one vaporizer and packaging supplier in North America.

“Through this collaboration, we intend to set a standard the whole industry can embrace,” said 14th Round CEO, Trent Overholt. “It became clear to both of us that anti-counterfeiting wasn’t a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity for consumer safety, much like how seatbelts and airbags became default features in properly designed and engineered cars.”

The legal cannabis industry has grown substantially in recent years, yet dangerous counterfeit products remain a threat to the safety of both recreational and medicinal users. solo sciences’ technology solves this by restricting counterfeiters’ ability to create fake packaging. Unlike other authentication technologies, the solo*CODE™ — a unique identifying mark — can be applied to any pre-existing product without the need for packaging redesign. Consumers scan the solo*CODE with a proprietary app that decrypts it to verify product authenticity and provide consumers with detailed product information. The app also provides discount opportunities and the ability to discover new products available in stores.

“To support this nascent legal industry's continued growth, companies must collaborate with one another and government regulators to implement solutions that put customer safety first,” said solo sciences Founder and CEO, Ashesh (Alex) Shah. “We are proud to be working with the leading platform 14th Round, who, like us at solo sciences, find product quality, consistency, and safety to be paramount.”

On November 26, Akerna, a leading cannabis compliance technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) software technology (MJ Platform®), announced it has taken a majority stake in solo sciences. The investment in solo and the deal with 14th Round strengthen Akerna’s efforts to create the pre-eminent global technology to address the entire supply chain and its regulatory bodies through accountability and transparency.

To learn more about how solo sciences groundbreaking technology enables consumer safety from counterfeit cannabis products, visit: solosciences.com.

About Akerna

Akerna is a global regulatory compliance technology company in the cannabis space. Akerna’s service offerings include MJ Platform®, Leaf Data Systems®, and solo sciences tech platform. Since its establishment in 2010, the company has tracked more than $16 billion in cannabis sales. As part of its business strategy, Akerna intends to grow through targeted, strategic acquisitions that are complementary to its current business and organically by accelerating its product development efforts. Akerna is based in Denver. For more information, please visit www.akerna.com.

About solo sciences

solo sciences, an Akerna company, provides next-generation anti-counterfeiting technology fused with a direct communication system between brands and consumers via solo*, its proprietary technology offerings, comprised of solo*TAG™ for supply-chain validation, a consumer-facing solo*CODE™ cryptographically secure trust mark, patented solo* mobile-first app, solo*ID®, and AI-driven backend system. The solo sciences mission is to build confidence and establish trust among consumers while enabling retailers and distributors to close the loop with creators and producers. For more information, visit solosciences.com.

About 14th Round

14th Round Inc. is the design and technology company that’s building the best brands in cannabis. With a full suite of services including custom vaporizer technology design and manufacturing, branding, and retail packaging solutions that are certified child-resistant, their client roster of brands leads the industry in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit www.14thrnd.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made in this release and in any accompanying statements by management are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside Akerna’s control, that could cause actual results or outcomes (including, without limitation, the results of Akerna’s contracts, strategic initiatives, and business plans as described herein) to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include (i) Akerna’s ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of being a public company, (ii) competition, (iii) Akerna’s ability to grow and manage growth profitably, (iv) Akerna’s ability to maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees, (v) costs related to being a public company, (vi) changes in applicable laws or regulations, (vii) Akerna’s ability to identify and integrate acquisitions and achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in connection with acquired businesses, (viii) and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in Akerna’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including those under “Risk Factors” therein.  Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially, and potentially adversely, from any projections and forward-looking statements and the assumptions on which those vary from forward-looking statements are based. There can be no assurance that the data contained herein is reflective of future performance to any degree. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a predictor of future performance as projected financial and other information, are based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to various significant risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Akerna’s control. All information herein speaks only as of the date hereof, in the case of information about Akerna, or the date of such information, in the case of information from persons other than Akerna. Akerna undertakes no duty to update or revise the information contained herein. Forecasts and estimates regarding Akerna’s industry and end markets are based on sources believed to be reliable; however, there can be no assurance these forecasts and estimates will prove accurate in whole or in part.

Contacts:

Media Contact: Investor Contact:
D. Nikki Wheeler Jason Assad
303-514-2012 678-570-6791
Nikki.Wheeler@Akerna.Com Jassad@Akerna.Com

 

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Source: Akerna Corp.

Released December 9, 2019

Jessica Billingsley

Akerna

Jessica Billingsley serves as Akerna’s Chief Executive Officer. In June 2019 she became the first CEO of a cannabis ancillary company to be listed on Nasdaq. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as the CEO until MJ Freeway was acquired by MTech to form Akerna. In 2015, she was named as one of Fortune’s Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs, in 2018, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, and in 2019, she was named to Entrepreneur’s inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women.

Prior to MJ Freeway, Jessica earned her degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and later became CEO and founder of Zoco, a technology services firm with clients across the United States. With 20 years of technology and systems experience in rapidly scaling businesses, Jessica is a highly regarded executive in both the tech and cannabis space.

Ray Thompson

Chief Operating Officer

Ray Thompson is the Chief Operations Officer at MJ Freeway. He has 15+ years of corporate management experience including operations, sales, and talent management. From 2008 to 2016, Ray served as the Senior Vice President of VisionLink, a multiagency humanitarian software platform. From 2016-2018, Ray was Head of Customer and Sales Operations at Gloo, a people development platform. With 20+ experience in software systems, Ray specializes in the meeting the unique needs of high growth technology companies and helping them scale.

Ruth Ann Kraemer

Chief Financial Officer

Ruth Ann leads MJF’s financial operations. From 2012 to 2018, she served as CFO of Tempo Financial Holdings, Tempo Financial US Corp, and Unidos Financial Services, subsidiaries of Catalina Acquisitions. From 2010 to 2012, she worked for Linc Energy Operations as Divisional CFO. Prior to that, Ruth Ann was CFO for Allegro Multimedia, and has held various financial roles throughout her career. She was certified as a CPA in 1985.

Mark D. Iwanowski

Global Visions-SV, Inc.

Mark D. Iwanowski is the Founder, CEO and President of Global Visions-SV, Inc. He was previously a Managing Director with Trident Capital, Cleantech and served as Senior Vice Presential Global IT and CIO for Oracle Corporation. Mark also held executive positions with Raytheon and was principal at three successful startups—Applied Remote Technology, Quantum Magnetics, and Neohapsis. He earned his MBA from National University and California Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Emery Huang

Batu Capital

Emery Huang is senior partner at Batu Capital, which is a multi-family office managed by Emery and Evan Huang. Batu looks for opportunities in cryptocurrency, cannabis, and big data that constitute either game-changing technologies or are late-stage/pre-IPO enterprises that have built wide economic moats. Prior to Batu, Emery was senior partner at Titan Capital.

Matt Kane

Green Shades Software

Matt Kane is the Co-Founder, Board Member, and former Co-CEO from 2005-2019 of Greenshades Software. He is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of Welltality, where he served as CEO from 2014-2018. Matt’s background is in building, growing and scaling software companies. He has been a member of the MJ Freeway Board of Directors since 2015 and earned his MBA from Warrington College of Business at University of Florida and B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Jacksonville University.

Roger McNamee

Elevation Partners

Roger McNamee co-founded Elevation, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology. In 1999, he co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. He notably was a key early investor in Facebook, and he released his insights on the social media site in a new book called “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” published by Penguin Random House.

Tahira Rehmatullah

MTech

Tahira Rehmatullah is President of T3 Ventures, Partner of Big Tent Ventures, and member of the board of directors for Akerna Corp. Tahira has previously held positions at Hypur Ventures, MTech Acquisition Corp., Marley Natural, Privateer Holdings, City First Enterprises, Perry Capital, and Ernst & Young. She is an investor and advisor to numerous cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs, including the advisory board of The Initiative and the Last Prisoner Project, and is dedicated to developing female and minority leadership in the industry. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management and BS. in Finance from The Ohio State University. She resides in New York City.

Alex Shah

solo*sciences

Ashesh “Alex” Shah is the founder and CEO of solo*sciences, a leading anti-counterfeiting and supply chain validation company. Mr. Shah founded The London Fund in 2002 and continues to serve on its investment committee. In June 2018, Mr. Shah was appointed Special Advisor to the CEO of Eaze Technologies, Inc., a position which he continues to serve. Mr. Shah is also currently on the board of directors of RevolutionWear, Inc. and EdCast. Mr. Shah’s has 28 years of experience building, integrating, and leading technology-focused companies from concept to an initial public offering and has led successful exits across a range of sectors including: loyalty; category management; data analytics; high-performance computing; payment processing; human resources technology; consumer packaged goods; artificial intelligence and fashion. Mr. Shah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Williams College.

Scott Sozio

Akerna

Scott Sozio serves as Head of Corporate Development for Akerna. He was the CEO of MTech Acquisition Corp., a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company that merged with MJ Freeway to create Akerna. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, a cannabis-focused venture fund and a Partner at Van Dyke Holdings, a family office investment firm. Scott is Director of Hypur Inc., a banking compliance technology business, and Director of Simplifya Holdings, LLC, a cannabis compliance technology business. He received his B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University.