Grow Opportunity, in collaboration with the Cannabis Council of Canada, presents a four-part, free access, virtual roundtable series focused on safeguarding the integrity of cannabis products.
The first of this series focused on cannabis authenticity. Defining authentic quality attributes associated with a company’s brand is key to success. Protecting the brand and integrity of these products throughout the value chain – from seed to shelf – is vital to a cannabis producer’s business strategy. In this roundtable, cannabis industry thought leaders and experts will discuss the importance, opportunities and challenges when it comes to ensuring consistent cannabis quality, traceability and authenticity, with the ultimate objective of providing unique quality cannabis products, underpinned by science, to an increasingly discriminating consumer market.
Steven Newmaster, director, NHP Research Alliance
Steven Newmaster has been a botany and genomics professor at the University of Guelph for 20 years and is currently the Director of the NHP Research Alliance, a collaborative body based at the University of Guelph. He conducts research on plant genomics, metabolomics, medicinal plants and molecular diagnostic identification systems with more than 150 publications and $30 million in R&D funding. His research has resulted in development of the Canadian Cannabis Registry, which is assembling genetic and chemical fingerprints that characterize Cannabis cultivars, define chemical traits and enable marker assisted breeding programs for consistent product brands. His current research explores genomic and metabolomic diversity in psychotropic plants and mushrooms with a focus on species that produce psilocybin and novel compounds of medicinal value. During 2020 he has work with regulatory agencies to develop mobile point of care diagnostics tools for identification of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Ken Weisbrod, former vice-president, business development, Shoppers Drug Mart/Cannabis Strategy
Ken Weisbrod is the former lead executive for the cannabis business and strategy development at Loblaw/Shoppers Drug Mart. He is visionary and results-oriented retail executive with expertise in the cannabis industry, and broad-based experience in retail and health-care operations, technical innovation, analytical methods, quality and process management, and supply chain expertise for controlled substances.
Paul Valder, co-founder and chief technical officer, Purity IQ
Paul Valder coaches senior management and organizations that are committed to driving access to markets, through combining validated quality assurance programs with”best-in-class” scientific technologies and supported with recognized third-party operational processes and business management systems. His focus is on medical cannabis, probiotics, plant-based proteins, spices, coffee, olive oils, fish and seafood, honey, vanillas and all high through-put traded food commodities.
Scott Savoy, CEO & master grower, Crystal Cure
Scott Savoy is an experienced leader specializing in high-value horticulture. With over 15 years working commercially with apples, grapes and cannabis, he has overseen countless large-scale projects and teams. Most recently with Robinsons Cannabis, he became known in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley as a soil and horticultural expert from his time at award-winning and renowned winery Benjamin Bridge. As Head of Viticulture he managed all estate vineyards and teams, in addition to handling all of the contracts with other grape farms. His knowledge of the cannabis plant combined with his extensive experience in premium consumer packaged goods ensure Crystal Cure’s team and precious flowers are in great hands. He originally hails from Miramichi, New Brunswick.