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MJ Freeway CEO: 'Every Measure For Diversity Is Good For Business'

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MJ Freeway CEO: 'Every Measure For Diversity Is Good For Business'

With a decade of experience, Jessica Billingsley is a cannabis industry veteran. In 2010, she co-founded cannabis compliance software company MJ Freeway.

During her fireside chat at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto, the CEO explained how the company came about. Billingsley said she was asked to choose the software for the first legally licensed operation in Colorado, but could not find anything adaptable to the cannabis industry. Thus began MJ Freeway.

MJ Freeway Today

The company offers two products: one is geared toward B2B efforts, while the other focuses on B2G. MJ Freeway’s B2G technology is used in two states, Washington and Pennsylvania.

MJ Freeway stands out from other compliance software on the market, Billingsley said. “We're really the only company that serves the entire supply [chain] compliantly in every jurisdiction.”

One way the company continues to expand its offerings is through its merger with MTech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: MTEC).

“We will have a couple of directors added to our board from MTech that bring great value to us," Billingsley said.

"So for us, from a strategic point of view, we have the financial resources in place to accelerate our growth, but also pursue a targeted acquisition strategy." 

Women And Diversity In The Industry 

A persistent issue in cannabis — and most sectors — is a lack of women and people of color in the space.

Billingsley pointed out a statistic that found that fewer women are in the tech space today than 25 years ago.

“What's interesting is that there's a lot of discussion and dialogue about women in STEM and getting women into tech. What we don't really talk about is the fact that 56 percent of the women who go into tech drop out ... I'm interested in talking about that problem and how we keep them engaged.”

The solution is to "just help each other," the MJ Freeway co-founder said. 

Billingsley launched the One Woman Challenge to offer such help. The movement asks participants to pledge to help with one supportive act. In her case, Billingsley said she offers several monthly pro bono mentoring sessions.

The effort does not only include women; men at MJ Freeway endeavor to do the same, she said. 

Although the focus of the initiative seems to be on women, Billingsley said it's bigger than that. 

“Every measure for diversity is good for business.”

Related Links:

Cannabis Tech Company MJ Freeway Closes On $10M Funding Round: 'We're The Backbone Upon Which The Cannabis Industry Is Built'

'We Should All Aspire To Be More Like Brett': Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Honors Late Medicine Man Founder"

Moderator Megan Henderson, executive producer of The GrowthOp, left, and MJ Freeway CEO Jessica Billingsley during a fireside chat Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Toronto. Photo by Juil Yoon. 

Posted-In: Cannabis Capital Conference Jessica Billingsley marijuana MJ FreewayCannabis News Events Markets Best of Benzinga

 

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