Business

Spotlight: BioTrackTHC a tech leader in legal marijuana industry

BioTrackTHC co-founder and chairman emeritus Steven Siegel, left, and CEO Patrick Vo confer in Fort Lauderdale. The company develops and sells marijuana inventory tracking software for government agencies and authorized businesses.
BioTrackTHC co-founder and chairman emeritus Steven Siegel, left, and CEO Patrick Vo confer in Fort Lauderdale. The company develops and sells marijuana inventory tracking software for government agencies and authorized businesses. mhalper@miamiherald.com

Company: BioTrackTHC.

Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale.

Business: Develops and sells seed-to-sale marijuana inventory tracking software for government regulatory agencies and authorized marijuana businesses.

Years in business: Six years in the marijuana space.

Management team: Steven Siegel, founder and chairman emeritus; T.J. Ferraro, founder and chief software architect; Patrick Vo, chief executive officer; Dr. Moe Afaneh, chief operating officer; Efrain Vega, chief financial officer.

Website: www.biotrackthc.com.

Revenue growth: Revenues increased 450 percent in 2014.

Number of employees: 56 and rapidly increasing. Offices in Fort Lauderdale; Denver; and Olympia, Washington.

Milestones: Secured four of the last five official state government marijuana tracking contracts issued in the U.S. over the last two years (Washington, New Mexico, Illinois and New York); expanded the number of commercial locations for its seed-to-sale tracking software to more than 1,400 authorized facilities across 23 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Canada, Jamaica and South America.

Keys to success: The company founders and employees have tremendous passion for this new industry and building it in a professional and ethical manner. BioTrackTHC invested several years of research and development for its seed-to-sale tracking technology, gaining insight into the challenges that are unique to tracking marijuana and creating solutions that overcome those challenges. For example, BioTrackTHC's software was the first to accommodate partial-plant-harvesting while not breaking the integrity of seed-to-sale tracking.

The BioTrackTHC team also has experience in tracking technology. It originally developed software to combat Florida's “pill mill” problem, which is the illegal diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals — such as oxycodone and vicodin — to prescription drug abusers. The company pivoted that technology to marijuana tracking.

Impact: BioTrackTHC said it embraces its leadership role in helping to make the new industry safe, compliant and accountable. In order to create a sustainable industry, consumers and regulators must have confidence in the both infrastructure and the product, and BioTrackTHC has become a critical player in creating a sound foundation for this new business sector.

Next steps: BioTrackTHC continues to pursue all state seed-to-sale tracking contracts as these competitive bids are issued by regulatory agencies. The company is also focused on maintaining its technology lead for seed-to-sale tracking software for authorized businesses. “BioTrackTHC is excited about upcoming products that will take end-to-end marijuana supply chain management to a new level and really add value to the marijuana industry as a whole,” said Vo, who previously worked at the Big 4 international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Strategy for next steps: Said Vo: “We will continue to hire the best talent, execute our business plan to the government and commercial sectors and maintain a strong, specialized knowledge base about this rapidly changing industry. Having exceptional expertise about the marijuana sector is extremely important to success because there are variations in how the industry is implemented from state-to-state. It’s also essential to understand how differences between state and federal laws and regulations can impact customers and BioTrackTHC’s business.”

Nancy Dahlberg; ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

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