Get to Know: KushCo

By Alex Halperin
Dec 1, 2020

In our new “Get to Know” feature, California companies tell us about their business and the people running it. First up is diversified ancillary player KushCo.

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Name: KushCo Holdings (OTCQX: KSHB), formerly Kush Bottles

Location: Cypress, CA

Founded: 2010

CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman: Nick Kovacevich, 34

  • Kovacevich became CEO of KushCo in 2014 when the company was primarily a packaging provider, doing less than $2M in annual sales and employing less than a dozen team members.  Under his leadership, the company has expanded dramatically, growing revenues between 100-285% for five straight years, while diversifying its offering across four unique categories.  Today, KushCo is one of the largest ancillary cannabis companies in the U.S., with nearly $150M in sales last year, over 120 employees, and operations in numerous states and three countries.
  • Kovacevich graduated summa cum laude from Southwest Baptist University, where he was also the captain of the men’s NCAA II basketball team.  After college, Kovacevich began his entrepreneurial career by building and selling Pack My Dorm. 
  • LinkedIn, Twitter,

Annual Revenue: $113.8 million (FY 2020 ended August. 31, 2020)

Key decisions, pivots and course corrections:

  • Implemented a comprehensive strategic plan in February 2020 to right-size the organization and align it better with the leading multi-state-operators (MSOs), licensed producers (LPs), and leading brands
  • After nearly 9 months of execution, KushCo reported achieving positive adjusted EBITDA and cash flow from operations in its fiscal Q4 2020—the first time in more than three years.

Key revenue streams: 

  • Vaporizer hardware & technology (~60% of revenue): 
    • Vape cartridges, pod systems, batteries, etc. 
    • Key partner of CCELL, a dominant vape technology device maker (1 of 4 U.S. distribution partners)
  • Packaging, papers & supplies (~30% of revenue):
    • Founding segment
    • Leading market position in child-resistant compatible packaging
    • Leading position in fully customizable labeling and packaging to address state by state regulation requirements
  • Energy & natural products (~10% of revenue):
    • Ultra-pure solvents, such as isobutane, n-butane, propane, ethanol, etc. 
    • These are essential in the extraction process, which produces products that supply the vaping and concentrate sector of the market
    • Launched new stainless steel tanks, which have been shown through independent studies to be significantly cleaner than traditional carbon steel tanks

Primary competitors:

  • No single competitor in the market today that offers a “one-stop-shop” approach like KushCo does. Competitors specialize in one or two verticals.

Key employees

  • Stephen Christoffersen, CFA, Chief Financial Officer
    • Stephen Christoffersen became KushCo’s Chief Financial Officer in April 2020, after serving as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, where he has played an active role in KushCo’s capital raising efforts, partnerships, and strategic investments, including securing the Company’s line of credit with Monroe Capital, its partnership with C.A. Fortune, and its investment in and partnership with Xtraction Services, where he currently serves as a Board member. He brings nearly 15 years of CPG, capital markets, and corporate development experience to the role of Chief Financial Officer.
    • LinkedIn, Twitter,
  • Rhiana Barr, Chief People Officer
    • Rhiana Barr is the Chief People Officer at KushCo Holdings. As CPO, Barr leads the HR team and manages all aspects of HR. Barr brings nearly two decades of HR experience to KushCo, having worked in a variety of roles across a diverse set of leading, global organizations.
    • LinkedIn
  • Rodrigo de Oliveira, Chief Operating Officer
    • As Chief Operating Officer, Rodrigo is responsible for KushCo’s worldwide operations, overseeing informational technology (IT), supply chain, logistics and facilities. He has over 20 years of experience in global supply chain and operations. 
    • LinkedIn
  • Amir Sadr, General Counsel
    • Amir Sadr is the General Counsel of KushCo Holdings.  Amir is a seasoned attorney and corporate executive, having advised numerous publicly traded companies, public and private investment groups, accredited investors, REITS, landlords and tenants and property management companies. As the head of KushCo’s legal department, Amir manages the legal, compliance, corporate governance and business affairs of the organization.
    • LinkedIn
  • Ryan Selewicz, Executive Vice President Technology
    • Ryan Selewicz is EVP of Technology at KushCo and is responsible for driving overall technology vision and strategy. He leads a team responsible for delivering technical infrastructure and scalable business applications. Prior to joining KushCo, Ryan held multiple roles within Adobe focused in IT and digital strategy. 
    • LinkedIn, Twitter
  • Brian Stewart, SVP of Product
  • Najim Mostamand, CFA, Director of Investor Relations
    • Najim is the Director of Investor Relations at KushCo Holdings (OTCQX: KSHB), and is responsible for developing and managing the company’s investor relations strategy and ensuring the company is appropriately and strategically positioned with analysts, investors, and other related stakeholders. 
    • LinkedIn