Cannabis science is evolving and moving towards standardization on many levels. SelectScience speaks to Josh Crossney, CEO and Founder of CSC Events, LLC, which hosts the Cannabis Science Conference, to learn more about the events he will be hosting at Pittcon 2019.
Please tell us about yourself and your work?
I am the CEO and Founder of CSC Events, LLC, which hosts the Cannabis Science Conference. This event is the world’s largest and most technical cannabis science event. Our east and west coast conferences also offer full-day, hands-on Canna Boot Camps where participants work closely with experts in cultivation, pre-processing, extractions, sample preparation, analytical testing and much, much more.
I am also very proud to host the ANALYTICAL CANNABIS SYMPOSIUM (Thursday March 21st) and Analytical Cannabis Conferee Networking Session (10.30am-12.00pm, Wednesday March 20th, Room 201C) at Pittcon 2019, where we invite speakers with various analytical, cultivation and medical expertise to present on a wide variety of cannabis science topics. We are proud to have been invited to host this symposium at Pittcon every year since 2017. The attendance at previous ANALYTICAL CANNABIS events has been fantastic, and we encourage all readers to join us, regardless of their existing knowledge or experience in cannabis industries.
My talk, “Building Bridges: Cannabis Science Education and Medical Reform,” will provide a unique look at both how far we have come and some of the challenges ahead. I will share industry trends as well as let attendees know how they can become more involved in the cannabis industry. I always recommend that people apply their unique skillset to the cannabis industry, rather than try to simply “fit in”.
Why is it important that we bridge the gap between analytical sciences and the medicinal cannabis industry?
It is important to bridge these gaps for many reasons. Most of the analytical scientists that I knew had very little real-world experience with cannabis samples. Most had no access to the cannabis samples. Likewise, growers, medical practitioners and patients did not understand laboratory testing. So, we set forth to open up a dialog and share information. Cannabis science is evolving, and we are also moving towards standardization on many levels- from sampling and sample preparation, to analytical testing methods, legal limits of various contaminants, reporting, product labeling, etc. Also, as more and more states implemented new medical and/or recreational cannabis programs, there was an increasing need to share information, especially in the absence of federal guidelines/regulations.
The Cannabis Science Conference became the forum to share cannabis science information and to address challenges together. We also became the epicenter of cannabis science exploration, working together to push the boundaries of new cannabis science research, therapies and clinical trials. Each year I try to create a microcosm of the CSC here at Pittcon, and to open up discussions on key cannabis related topics. I will share some of these topics and new directions in my Pittcon talk, including an International cannabis updates.
What are the stand out activities which have been used to bridge this gap?
The aforementioned Canna Boot Camp provides a truly unique experience for attendees. Many participants are experts in one particular area, such as laboratory testing. But it is not until they learn how testing interfaces with extractions, cultivation and even manufacturing processes that they begin to see how everything fits together.
We are also always innovating. We are constantly creating new panel discussions, as well as exciting mixers and exhibition events that help bring together experts and novices in a fun and energetic way. During my talk at Pittcon, I will share key insights from past plenary speakers Montel Williams and Fran Drescher.
At the ANALYTICAL CANNABIS SYMPOSIUM, I try to mix up the speakers so that the program is educational but not overly commercial. This year will be especially interesting, as many new topics such as academic cannabis programs, hemp initiatives and heavy metals analysis are woven into the 2019 program.
"IMAGINE A NEW CAREER PATH in the exciting, quickly growing, $22 billion cannabis industry, where your analytical knowledge is sorely needed. Now turn that imagination into reality and come to my talk entitled, “Building Bridges: Cannabis Science Education and Medical Reform,” to learn about new opportunities in cannabis QC testing and research."
What are the current driving forces in cannabis change?
There are many driving forces for change, but the strongest is knowledge. We are moving beyond decades of stigma and misinformation, and it feels incredibly liberating. Science is all about discovery and learning, and cannabis science is no different. With shared knowledge comes empowerment, truth and a new era of medicinal plant and human interaction. However, as we create change, we must work together to prevent the roots of corporate greed from taking hold and destroying our new industry.
What impact will the changing scope of cannabis legalization worldwide have on the industry and communication in general?
Great question. Optimists look forward to a new era of more holistic and effective medicine, one in which we may have a chance to move away from the “one size (or pill) fits all” pharmaceutical strategies that seem to ignore both the complexities and the diversities of the humankind. Hemp will have a massive impact on many industries, not only industries like food, fuel and fiber (textiles), but also environmental remediation, building materials, biocomposites, and much, much more.
The movement away from synthetics/plastics/polymers toward more natural cannabis-based approaches will open up new areas of personalized (precision) medicine and will also likely help reduce the prevalence of cancers and many other diseases. All of these potential benefits require advances in cannabis science. As we push these boundaries, who knows what else we will discover? We are limited only by our imagination.
The Analytical Cannabis Symposium takes place on Thursday March 21st at Pittcon 2019. The Cannabis Testing Forum networking session takes place 10:30am - 12:00pm Wednesday, March 20, Room 201C.