The 2022 Cannabis Science Conference West will take place May 18–20 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. According to organizers, analytical science, medical cannabis, cultivation science, hemp/CBD science and psychedelic science are the main topics of the show. Events include keynote speakers, presentations, roundtable discussions and exhibits.
IBO spoke with Josh Crossney, Director of Cannabis Events, the show’s organizer, about the current state of cannabis science and testing labs, as well as about the show’s newest focus areas.
How have the Cannabis Science conferences contributed to the evolution of the laboratory testing of cannabis?
Cannabis Science Conference has provided a forum for information sharing and networking. A wide variety of topics ranging from cannabis contamination testing to information management systems have been presented via oral presentations, posters and roundtables. This allows people from different industries to come together and improve cannabis testing.
We have had early pioneers and trailblazers share their findings. The Technion Institute in Israel has shared their data and strategies.
Most importantly, we help bridge the gaps between analytical scientists, medical professionals and cannabis industry experts. Back in 2016 it was difficult for analytical scientists to legally obtain cannabis samples to analyze. It is great to see different areas of expertise work together to advance cannabis since then.
Are there any particular new topics of particular interest at this year’s conference compared to prior conferences?
Absolutely. We strive to keep our topics and tracks engaging and educational, and this year we have added a psychedelic science track. Psychedelics have many of the same stigma as cannabis but have recently been explored as potential therapeutic agents for depression, PTSD and end of life options. In fact, several early key opinion leaders of the cannabis industry are now involved in psychedelics research.
In addition to psychedelic science, we are seeing an increase in topics such as automation, analysis tools to manage KPIs, delta-9 THC, hemp analysis, cannabinoids as treatment for opiates, as well as cannabinoid-agonist research. Our full agenda can be viewed online at www.cannabisscienceconference.com under Agenda and Speakers.
How many participants does the conferences usually attract? And who is a typical attendee?
In the past we have typically had about 2,000 attendees. On May 18–20, we will have our first West Coast event in California at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.
What are the biggest testing challenges facing cannabis testing labs at this time?
Testing labs have many challenges, including increasing competition, customer retention, expanding test menus, changing regulations and, more recently, identifying qualified laboratory technicians to operate chromatographs and mass spectrometers. ISO/IEC 17025 is very important to standardizing lab testing.
In general, are labs finding that the new testing regulations being enacted in states are clearly defined and meet the needs of labs for testing guidance?
Well, you must keep in mind that states are in different stages of development. Over the past few years many organizations have helped develop new standardized methods. The CANNRA cooperative has been established and has more than 40 state and jurisdiction participants.
Most labs work closely with consultants, regulators and analytical testing companies, and we find that these labs try to exceed new testing regulations. They are monitoring more and more cannabinoids, and they are detecting more pesticides and heavy metals at lower levels.
Please join us May 18-20 in Long Beach to learn more about analytical, medical, hemp/CBD, cultivation and psychedelic science!