Last week we had the pleasure of sitting down with MJ Freeway co-owner, Jessica Billingsley. Jessica Billingsley is co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, a woman-owned software company focused on providing a business software platform for marijuana businesses. Jessica also serves on the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association which lobbies on the federal level. She shared with us her thoughts regarding the marijuana business and the advancement of marijuana reform.
MJ Freeway provides point of sale, inventory tracking, manufacturing and cultivation management software for marijuana businesses. What circumstances led you to see the need for the business software platform you provide?
I was living in Colorado and was invited to invest in one of the first licensed dispensaries. As we were conducting our research, we asked what the dispensary was going to choose for their inventory tracking software and we realized there was nothing out there. It was clear we needed to create GramTracker® our seed to sale, point of sale software. Within the last five years we have produced Mix Tracker™ for infused product manufacturers, and GrowTracker® for cultivation management. MJ Freeway also offers a suite of professional services for cannabis businesses.
Your website includes a cannabis regulations guide that details regulatory information by state. How does this information help your clients and their customers?
We have a full time compliance officer on our staff who keeps up with state by state regulations. The business products we offer benefit our customers by tracking every gram, seed to sale. MJ Freeway’s software ensures accuracy and helps prevent any diversion from regulations. We make sure that our products meet or exceed every state regulation.
Who is your biggest competitor?
Re-purposed software like QuickBooks and Excel. While these products are cheaper, they offer little of the compliance tools required.
At Peachtree NORML we have been working hard to increase awareness of the medical and decriminalization bills introduced to Georgia state legislators this year. What community outreach activities do you think are the most effective in educating the public and creating action?
The most important thing is to show what your local and state non-profits are doing. Keep polling and make sure your poll questions don’t ask if marijuana should be legalized. Reframe the presentation of the issue as a tax and regulation issue as opposed to a morality issue. Non-profits have found that a more effective poll question should ask if marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol.
MJ Freeway was founded in 2010 and you have seen remarkable change in state by state marijuana regulation and overall acceptance in public opinion. Why do you think that is?
What I find is marijuana voters do not tend to be affiliated with one political party. They cross party lines. Colorado was incredibly successful with their program roll out across party lines.
MJ Freeway’s Daily Dose eblast and monthly newsletters provide invaluable news and updates covering everything from medical research to the business tools and technology available for marijuana businesses and startups. What other organizations do you work with to promote beneficial change for this growing industry?
Great organizations to become involved with include the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), Americans for Safe Access, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and the Drug Policy Alliance.
How can our readers and supporters most effectively address these challenges in Georgia?
By putting into place a regulatory framework that works for both the public and all political parties. There will be an expectation. Everyone who is interested in having medical and decriminalization laws passed needs to engage in conversation with their friends, co-workers, family, etc. The more responsible and law abiding Americans have these conversations, the more legitimate the conversation becomes.