Cannabis Innovation Summit 2020: A Global Industry Event

by | Mar 3, 2020

Written by Kristina Etter

Kristina is a digital content creator and designer. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content that resonates with our professional audience. Kristina’s passion for the cannabis industry stems from her belief that it has the potential to revolutionize the world in many ways, and has a personal testimony of cannabis success.

On May 13 and 14th this year, cannabis thought-leaders from all around the globe will converge in Barcelona, Spain, to discuss critical topics and essential research regarding the ever-evolving cannabis industry. The Cannabis Innovation Summit brings together strategic business leaders, scientists, industry evangelists from across Europe’s pharmaceutical, medical, and CBD sector, which is collectively expected to be valued at €123 billion by 2028.

This week, we spoke with three of the speakers scheduled for the event to learn more about why companies should attend the CAIS event and what to expect.

Dr. Susan Audino

As a chemist/chemometrician and consultant to chemical and biological laboratories, Dr. Audino has built her career independently, and she subcontracts under A2LA, an accreditation body that audits laboratories. Additionally, Dr. Audino is the Scientific Advisor for AOAC International, Cannabis Analytical Science Program. During our interview, she addressed how the various working groups of the AOAC are working diligently to develop the requirements that will bridge the gap between stakeholder needs and of the cannabis industry and analytical testing laboratories, by doing what they’ve done for the last 135 years – utilizing sound science methodology.

“My goal is and will continues to be to shift that paradigm that customers drive laboratory business. It is the science that’s going to drive your customer base,” Dr. Audino elaborated. Without standards, laboratory tests and their methods can vary from one facility to the next, which means test results can vary widely as well. “[Cannabis consumers] should be afforded the same confidence in cannabis products and their labels, as they have for labels affixed to ice cream or a bottle of Coke,” she added.

Dr. Audino stated, “We want to give you test methods, but science takes science’s time to do it. We’re not going to compromise our integrity just to it to market faster.” She also warned about the “Fear Factor” in cannabis analytics, arguing that testing for “ridiculously low pesticide residue levels in some (not all) cases” is more harmful to the industry than it is beneficial to the consumer. Instead, Audino believes that regulations need to be formed around what the dangerous levels are, not around how low the instruments can measure.

Admitting she’s only committing to twelve engagements, the CAIS is an excellent opportunity to learn from Dr. Audino’s insights.

Robert Morgan, ASTM

With more than 35 years working at ASTM International, Morgan has a wealth of experience assisting industry stakeholders with the development of standard guides, practices, test methods, and specifications. As the Director of Technical Committee Operations, he is also directly involved with ASTM’s Committee D37 on Cannabis.

Despite existing since 1898, ASTM International just formed Committee D37 in 2017, considerably recent in comparison to the organization’s long history. “The way legitimacy is achieved in the ASTM world is through consensus standards,” Morgan explained. Then, he continued, “so, stakeholders voted to create an ASTM technical committee to develop standards that will help legitimize the cannabis industry.”

“In other words, it’s an opportunity, particularly for this industry, to try to get out in front of things and help shape the standards,” Morgan concluded.

Excited about his role, Morgan elated, “I won the lottery when this cannabis committee was created, and assigned to me.” To date, D37 includes more than 800 members from 26 countries all over the world, all working to develop global standards for the cannabis industry.

Attend the CAIS to hear Bob Morgan’s update on the activity at ASTM and D37, such as the thirteen standards approved thus far, which include water activity in cannabis flower, cleaning and disinfection in cultivation facilities, packaging and labeling of consumer products, and others.

Ryan Pincura, GTEC Holdings/Zen Labs

Describing his history in the cannabis industry, Pincura explained, “In the early days, I ran an analytical lab, not specifically for cannabis, but we were inundated with calls from individuals wanting using to test their products.” Since then, Pincura has completed the plan, design and implementation of several Analytical Cannabis labs and is currently operations manager for extraction and analysis for one of those labs today. He has been working in Cannabis for nearly a decade.

“As well as operations manager, Pincura holds the title of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs Manager and Head of Security with an authorized Health Canada Security Clearance.”

Writing and submitting more thirty successful applications to Health Canada, Pincura has unique insights into the regulatory and licensing processes, as well as the industry in general. Speaking about the challenges of transitioning from the gray or black market into the legal sector, he stated, “I watched many individuals who wanted to become licensed producers, and I watched a lot of them, unfortunately, fail in their objective.”

“While they have a thorough understanding of growing the plant on a very small scale… they didn’t understand it on a large scale,” he explained.

CAIS Professional Networking and Information Sharing

Attend CAIS in Barcelona, Spain on May 13th and 14th for unparalleled networking opportunities and to learn from these industry professionals, as well as many others including:

  • Patricia C. Frye, MD, Takoma Park Integrative Care
  • Claire Milligan, R-Biopharm Rhone
  • Yoram Eshel, Cannabilog
  • Guillermo Moreno Sanz, ABAGUNE Research
  • Sara Velimirovic, MCann

Event topics are set to include:

  • Drive & Shape the Future of Cannabis Policy in Europe
  • Medicine as Marijuana: Can We See Past the Smoke?
  • Opioids vs. Cannabis: What is the Role of Cannabis in the Evolving Opioid Epidemic
  • Testing Innovation and Cutting-Edge Technology

Visit CAIS’s website to register today!