Tag Archives: labs

Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference

The Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference is back! For eight years now, we have been hosting this complimentary collection of webinar presentations, designed to help attendees better understand some of the more technical aspects of starting and operating a laboratory. We will take a deep dive into cannabis testing, potency testing, regulations, sample preparation, management and much more.
Attendees registering for this complimentary series of webinars will get access to seven veterans of the cannabis lab testing industry, who are all available for Q&A after each presentation. In addition to getting the opportunity to chat with these subject matter experts on February 21, a recording of the presentations will be made available to all who register.
Practical and educational information from experts in the cannabis lab testing industry, all on the same day and all from the comfort of your lab, home or office. Want real inside knowledge on the cannabis testing industry? Stay tuned for more and make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to find out when registration opens!

2022 Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference: December Program

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
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2022 Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference: December Program

Sponsored by Avivatech & Millipore Sigma

Click here to watch the recording

Agenda

Potency Inflation: The Problem, the Causes and the Solutions

  • Sarah Otis, Quality, R&D Manager, Anresco Laboratories
  • Erik Paulson, Ph.D., Lab Manager, InfiniteCAL

THC potency inflation by third-party testing labs has been an escalating feature of the cannabis industry since its legalization. In California, market forces and lack of regulation have allowed potency inflation to intensify in both its flagrancy and its pervasiveness, particularly within the last year. Two third-party testing labs in California, InfiniteCAL and Anresco, discuss how the industry got to this point, the different methods that labs use to inflate potency, and steps that can be taken to combat it.

TechTalk: Avivatech

  • Shawn Kruger, Senior Vice President of Product & Strategy, Avivatech

The Laboratory Information Landscape in Cannabis Testing

  • James Brennan, Sales & Marketing Specialist, LabWare
  • Eugene Olkhov, Data Scientist, LabWare

This presentation will guide attendees through the data continuum in modern cannabis testing laboratories supported by various software solutions. The presenters will describe the business and regulatory benefits of laboratory informatics and system deployment options, challenges, and financial considerations.

  • The current flow of cannabis testing data
  • An overview of informatics solutions for cannabis testing labs
  • Laboratory informatics and regulatory compliance
  • The impact of digital transformation on cannabis testing data

TechTalk: MilliporeSigma

Cannabis Testing Regulations & Implications for Environmental Monitoring

  • Sarah Powell Price, Regulatory Expert for Food Safety & Cannabis for North America, MilliporeSigma
  • Anne Connors Weeks, Senior Field Marketing Manager, MilliporeSigma

Cannabis testing requirements are continuously evolving, as are analyte detection capabilities.  This presentation provides a high level overview of the latest US cannabis testing regulatory landscape and how environmental monitoring is an essential component of safety and compliance planning.

Click here to watch the recording

First Pharma vs Cannabis Clinical Trial Moves Forward

By Christina DiArcangelo
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Affinity Bio Partners on Working with Zelira Therapeutics to Complete Enrolment for Diabetic Nerve Pain Drug Trial

It’s an exciting time in the medical cannabis community as Zelira, a global leader in the research, development and commercialization of clinically validated cannabinoid medicines, and Affinity Bio Partners, a leading, global clinical research organization, have completed enrollment for a diabetic nerve pain drug trial. The Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved head-to-head trial read out is expected in Q1 of 2023. Two years in the making, the study’s clinical management, clinical trial site monitoring, subject recruitment, regulatory submissions and review and query of data have brought us to a pivotal point that could pave the way for how future clinical studies are conducted in the medical cannabis community. As someone who comes from traditional pharma and biotechnology industries, heading up a clinical study in the medical cannabis realm has been a significantly different, eye-opening and informative experience that reinforces the dire need for mainstream, medical cannabis education.

Difficulties of Enrolling Subjects in a Cannabinoid-Based Clinical Study 

There are a number of reasons that enrolling a cannabinoid study is very challenging. One of the biggest challenges to overcome is creating educational clinical study material that will be approved by the Institutional Review Board while educating potential subjects who are interested in enrolling. In other words, one must fully understand the regulatory landscape that they’re operating in, and we all know cannabis is a tricky one, while still educating potential subjects.

When screening subjects, it is important to be able to thoroughly share facts regarding cannabinoids, terpenes and other ingredients utilized in the study material. Also, sharing information on the endocannabinoid system is important, and a must for subjects to understand. In addition, it is integral to share and contrast between the traditional pharmaceutical products versus the cannabinoid study drug. Meaning, most subjects understand and are familiar with pills and other treatments approved in the traditional FDA regulated pharmaceutical space. Therefore, you must ensure that you create a bridge between a study’s educational materials and the lack of mainstream education about cannabinoid-based therapies.

The Impact This Will Have on Future Cannabinoid-Based Clinical Studies

There is a lot of hope that by working on a study of this magnitude, that we will pave the way for many more companies to bravely enter the clinical trial space as it pertains to medical cannabis. Everything that is being performed in this Zelira clinical study is in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. The team is utilizing an electronic patient reported outcomes and electronic data capture system to receive data directly from the clinical trial sites as they are seeing the patients. As more patients, groups, communities and organizations learn about this, we hope that other large players in the cannabis industry invest their money wisely and perform clinical studies on their formulated products. Companies are unable to make claims of product safety and efficacy legally without these clinical studies. As we approach 2023, it is time for us as an industry to begin forecasting future clinical studies that will help power the therapeutic benefits this plant has to offer in responsible, controlled settings.

Advancing Knowledge and Expertise in the Cannabis Testing Industry

By Greg Kozadjian, MBA ,BSc.
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The cannabis laboratory testing market has undergone a lot of changes in the past ten years. With those growing pains so common in such a new industry, come plenty of challenges driven by market dynamics, new regulations and scientific advancements.

Julie Kowalski, a cannabis testing consultant at JA Kowalski Science Support, has seen these changes firsthand. For twelve years, she worked at Restek as a senior chemist, helping to provide expertise and develop analytical solutions for their cannabis testing partners. She also worked as chief scientific officer for Trace Analytics, a cannabis testing lab in Spokane, Washington. Between being an advisor, consultant, trainer and accreditation assessor, she wears many different hats in the space. We sat down with Kowalski to learn more about the evolution of the marketplace, the importance of product safety and some of the common challenges that labs face.

Greg Kozadjian: Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be working as a consultant in the cannabis and hemp testing industry?

Julie Kowalski, Owner of JA Kowalski Science Support

Julie Kowalski: I began working on gas chromatographs when I was about 20 years old, added liquid chromatography to my repertoire in my early 20’s, and have been in the lab nearly every day since then.

My consulting business launched in early 2020 after I received numerous requests from my network for help and advice regarding cannabis testing. I am passionate about helping people, talking science, and promoting growth and innovation in the cannabis industry.

Speaking with individuals and businesses who potentially received conflicting advice or felt somewhat overwhelmed by the complex and rapidly evolving cannabis industry, I realized I could help. So, I decided to utilize my experience and knowledge to promote trust and expertise within the cannabis industry and champion science over profit.


Kozadjian: Why do you think it’s crucial to test cannabis and hemp-based products in today’s market?

Kowalski: The way I look at it is that cannabis and hemp-based products are like any other product in that the consumer has the right to have some assurance that these products are safe, and that the labeling information is accurate.

Then, there are the increasing number of people seeking to use cannabis for medicinal reasons. Again, the industry should be able to assure them that the products they are using are safe to help them with their health issue.

Kozadjian: How has the market evolved over the last five years to meet the current testing regulations, and which of those regulations focus more on the safety of cannabis and hemp-based products?

Kowalski: In the past five years, more states have been coming online domestically. So, we are dealing with a regulatory environment where different states may have different regulations, a situation that will continue to exist for the foreseeable future. There have been efforts on the regulatory side, if not to coordinate efforts directly, to at least connect and communicate, and hopefully, out of those communications comes increased coordination.

I am hopeful that scientists, myself included, can do our part and provide additional data and information about testing that works, testing that doesn’t work, and that the regulators will consider and incorporate much of that information into changes in current and future regulations.

It is important to note that many state agencies were put in the position of creating a regulatory system that they were perhaps not familiar with, or accustomed to doing, particularly from the testing standpoint. There are no federal programs to model against, so programs are being developed from scratch and need to address all aspects of the market. It is a complicated task. It made sense to borrow from similar existing markets, but there is now the opportunity to use what we have learned to improve regulations.

For example, adopting certain criteria and practices from environmental, food, and agricultural testing was a great place to start. Now, we better understand some of the unique challenges associated with cannabis testing, it is time to set our fit-for-purpose best practices.

I hope that we, as an industry, can increasingly provide more data to help guide the regulators so that their goals are achieved and based on a growing body of data. I am optimistic that there will be much more interaction and coordination between regulators and scientists. This would greatly help with some of the struggles some cannabis labs are feeling in the current market.

Kozadjian: What are some of the challenges that testing labs face?

Kowalski: The cannabis and hemp-based products market is competitive with multiple sources of pressure. A definite challenge has been the gold rush mentality. Folks want to enter the cannabis business, and establishing a testing lab is attractive and perhaps perceived as more comfortable because it is not directly growing or producing a product.

There is a burden to set up a lab and open as quickly as possible because while the lab is being set up no money is being made. It can be stressful, and sometimes shortcuts are taken while developing technical programs. These shortcuts can ultimately cause disruption, stress, and risk. I saw this ten years ago, I saw this five years ago, and I am still seeing it now. I am still waiting for people to come into the industry with more realistic expectations of what it takes to establish functional technical programs and laboratories.“There are fundamental knowledge gaps that this market as a whole needs to address.”

Inadequate technical programs resulting from poorly vetted and insufficiently validated methods do not function well in the real world, changing regulations, as well as changing matrices, can result in chaos in the lab. A lab will fight fires daily if it does not plan for and build well-vetted, robust methods. Unfortunately, I have seen many new testing labs rush through development, and then when they open their doors for business, they realize their methods do not function properly.

Daily, they may be faced with deciding whether they should pass a sample batch because technically, it did not meet the criteria, but the client is waiting. Or labs constantly needing to retest may lose confidence in their ability. This is a high-stress situation, and quite a few labs are probably operating in this mode in the market right now. Substandard testing is becoming riskier as we see scrutiny, mainly due to test lab shopping increasing. I do want to make it clear and be fair to point out that the economics of cannabis testing is challenging. Pricing in most markets is too low to allow high-quality testing.

Kozadjian: How do you think this testing era will evolve in the next five years?

Kowalski: I think we will start to see more involvement and recognition of standards organizations like the AOAC, USP, ASTM. They have existed and have been working for at least a few years, and now are publishing methods, guidance documents, and providing education. That will be very helpful, and I invite testing labs to join in and participate in these efforts. Your voice is critical. We need more knowledge in the market, whether it is knowledgeable people entering the market, or people currently in the market who are willing to invest the time to learn analytical chemistry, for example. There are fundamental knowledge gaps that this market as a whole needs to address.

Scenes From The 2022 Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
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PARSIPPANY, NJ, October 17-19, 2022 – The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo (CQC) took place in New Jersey last week. The agenda featured three tracks of educational talks, panel discussions, keynotes and breakout sessions.

Highlights from the 2022 CQC

At this year’s event, the conference featured three different keynote presentations, each on different days as well as Lunch & Learn sessions, led by Matthew Anderson, CEO of Vanguard Scientific. He sat down with two experts in cannabis law for interviews during the lunch hour on Tuesday, October 18.

Investigations & Enforcement: A Former Federal Prosecutor’s Perspective

  • Matthew Anderson spoke with Barak Cohen, Chair of the Cannabis Industry Group at Perkins Coie, to discuss federal investigations, Justice Department prosecutions and white-collar offenses.

Compliance is Key: Best Practices for Your New Jersey Cannabis Business

  • Anderson interviewed Casey Leaver, Director of Regulatory Compliance at Vicente Sederberg, to discuss compliance culture, quality controls, New Jersey regulations and more.
Commissioner Maria Del-Cid Kosso takes the stage on Monday

The conference began on October 17 with a keynote presentation led by Commissioner Maria Del Cid-Kosso of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Commissioner Del Cid-Kosso highlighted the progress the state has made so far with respect to cannabis legalization as well as their goals for the future of the state’s new market.

On the second day of the CQC, Toi Hutchinson, President & CEO of The Marijuana Policy Project, kicked things off with an inspiring keynote discussion where she discussed racial disparities in the industry, social equity, progress and reform efforts.

What People Are Saying About The 2022 CQC

Below are some testimonials we found from this year’s event:

Toi Hutchinson delivers her keynote presentation on Tuesday

“What set the Cannabis Quality Conference apart from many others was the intentionality and focus on high value substance from the presentations.”

“Once again, excellent panels today at the CQC here in Jersey! Have I mentioned how much I love to learn? This industry is forever evolving and being able to observe and watch it roll out from infancy in New Jersey has been tremendous.”

“What an informative and motivating event!”

“I feel fortunate to have been in attendance for such inspiring, informative and REAL discussions being had by industry experts from all across the country.”

“It was so great to listen, meet and speak with so many industry influencers!”

Coming Soon For 2023

After a successful event in New Jersey, the conference begins its planning for next year. The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo will be returning to New Jersey in 2023. Stay tuned for important announcements, like the dates and location, coming soon.

Scenes From The 2022 CQC

Below are some snapshots of what this year’s CQC had to offer.

About Cannabis Industry Journal

Cannabis Industry Journal is a digital media community for cannabis industry professionals. We inform, educate and connect cannabis growers, extractors, processors, infused products manufacturers, dispensaries, laboratories, suppliers, vendors and regulators with original, in-depth features and reports, curated industry news and user-contributed content, and live and virtual events that offer knowledge, perspectives, strategies and resources to facilitate an informed, legalized and safe cannabis marketplace.

About the Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo

The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo is an educational and networking event for the cannabis industry that has cannabis safety, quality and regulatory compliance as the foundation of the educational content of the program. With a unique focus on science, technology, safety and compliance, the “CQC” enables attendees to engage in conversations that are critical for advancing careers and organizations alike. Delegates visit with exhibitors to learn about cutting-edge solutions, explore three high-level educational tracks for learning valuable industry trends, and network with industry executives to find solutions to improve quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in the evolving cannabis industry.

ASTM Debuts New Standards for Cannabis

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
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Earlier this month, ASTM International announced that the D37 cannabis committee has approved four new standards for the cannabis industry. Just a few days ago, the same organization announced the development of a new standard that will be published soon.

According to a press release, the four new standards that are already approved will help those working in the cannabis space, as well as regulators and consumers. The four new approved standards are as follows:

  • D8375: This standard provides a method to establish cannabinoid content in cannabis and hemp samples. ASTM member Garnet McRae says, “the standard will help ensure products are labeled properly in jurisdictions where they are legally produced and sold.”
  • D8399: This standard “will aid laboratories in analyzing cannabis and hemp samples to establish pesticide concentration levels – or lack thereof – to ensure products meet regulatory requirements within appropriate jurisdictions,” reads the press release.
  • D8442: This standard aids stakeholders in the cannabis supply chain with quality control measurements. It provides a method for testing terpenes and cannabinoid levels using gas chromatography.
  • D8469: This one provides a new metals testing method for cannabis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

David Vaillencourt will be discussing standards and more at the Cannabis Quality Conference on October 17. The fifth standard that ASTM International announced this week is D8439. This one is designed “to support sound and reproducible research” by providing specifications for medicinal-use cannabis flower. ASTM member David Vaillencourt says it will help establish consistent testing for safety and quality. “With a fragmented cannabis industry marketplace, there is no common set of requirements around reporting cannabinoids and terpenes, which are the primary constituents that are linked to therapeutic benefits,” says Vaillencourt. “This lack of consistency harms public health and prevents evaluation of product safety and efficacy across jurisdictions. This standard provides a solution to this problem.”

Ask the Experts: Ensuring the Validity of Cannabis Lab Testing

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
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Cannabis testing laboratories are one of the major players in the industry for protecting public health. Ensuring that laboratory test results are reliable and valid requires a multipronged approach involving method validation, proficiency testing and performing frequent reviews of equipment and processes.

Cannabis testing laboratories often use a variety of different methods to conduct proficiency testing. Laboratories can either participate in programs run by ISO/IEC 17043-accedited proficiency testing providers or through intralaboratory comparison. Comparing different instruments, methods, technologies against pre-defined criteria is a must when validating methods for a specific type of test and ensuring the competence of the laboratory.

Beyond proficiency testing, there are a number of other stopgaps at a laboratory’s disposal for ensuring valid results, like using accredited certified reference materials, performing checks on measuring equipment frequently, reviewing reported results and retesting retained items. All of that and more is outlined in the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard, section 7.7.

labsphoto
What good is a test result if you cannot attest to its validity?

There’s a lot that goes into making sure laboratories provide valid results, much of which is detailed in the accreditation process. For more information, we sit down with Keith Klemm, senior accreditation manager for ANSI National Accreditation Board to learn about laboratory accreditation, method validation and other certifications and credentialing available in the cannabis industry.

Q: Why is method validation important for cannabis test methods? 

Keith Klemm: Because cannabis production, testing, and sales is regulated by each individual state, there are very few standard methods for testing cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Non-standard methods or methods developed by the laboratory must be validated to ensure the methods are fit for their intended purpose. What good is a test result if you cannot attest to its validity? There would be no confidence that the results are accurate. Additionally, while organizations such as ISO, AOAC and ASTM are developing standard methods for use in the laboratory, the wide range of products and matrices being tested require modifications to standard methods. Standard methods used outside their intended scope must also be validated, again to ensure the method remains fit for the intended purpose.

Q: We’re pretty familiar with laboratory accreditation. What other accreditations are available in the cannabis industry?

Klemm: Accreditation programs are available for product certification and personnel credentialing, in addition to laboratory accreditation. ANAB’s product certification program was launched in 2020 and is based on the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065. The program combines the requirements of this standard with specific scheme requirements to attest to the competency of certification bodies who then certify products within the scheme. Two schemes are in development specific to the cannabis industry: Cannabis Safety and Quality (CSQ) and PurityIQ. For personnel credentialing, a new Cannabis Certificate Accreditation Program (C-CAP) was developed and is based on ASTM D8403, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs within the Cannabis and Hemp Industries. It also includes any additional state Responsible Vendor Training requirements.

Q: What are the steps to becoming an accredited cannabis testing laboratory, product certification body, or C-CAP organization?

Klemm: The process begins with a request for quote. The organization prepares for the initial assessment by implementing the requirements of the applicable standards, regulatory requirements, and scheme requirements. ANAB believes in a partnership approach to accreditation with a focus on customer needs while ensuring accreditation requirements are met. Once the organization is ready, an initial document review is performed. The accreditation assessment is then performed on-site by technically skilled and knowledgeable assessors. If any nonconformities are encountered, the organization provides a response with cause and corrective actions. Once all nonconformities are resolved and technical review is completed, a scope of accreditation and certificate are provided to the organization. The technical review may vary depending on the accreditation that is being sought, but the general process of accreditation is the same. After accreditation is achieved, the organization moves into a cycle of surveillance and reassessment as defined by the accreditation program and any scheme requirements.

About Keith Klemm

Keith Klemm is a graduate of Manchester University with a B.S. in Biology.  Keith is an experience laboratory director and operations manager with 30 years’ experience in the laboratory environment and has worked as a senior accreditation manager for ANSI National Accreditation Board for the past five years.

Keith’s areas of expertise include:

  • Microbiological assays for food, medical device, and environmental test matrixes.
  • Environmental chemistry of water and wastewater.
  • Biocompatibility testing of medical devices.
  • ISO/IEC 17025:2017
  • AOAC International – guidelines for food laboratories program requirements
  • 21 CFR Part 58, GLP program requirements
  • EPA NLLAP program requirements
  • AAFCO program requirements
  • FDA ASCA Pilot program for Biocompatibility
  • Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency program requirements
  • ISO 20387 Biobanking

Bad Actors in CBD: How to Distinguish Quality Products From the Rest

By Joseph Dowling
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The success of reputable cannabis and CBD brands has inspired an influx of inexperienced and disreputable competitors in the market. These so-called “bad actors” in CBD advertise products that are not manufactured under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), which help to ensure that all products are consistently produced and controlled according to specified quality standards. cGMP helps guard against risks of adulteration, cross-contamination and mislabeling to guarantee product quality, safety and efficacy.

Joseph Dowling, Author & CEO of CV Sciences

CBD products without cGMP regulations are often inaccurately labeled and deceiving to consumers. In fact, in a test of over 100 CBD products available online and at retail locations, Johns Hopkins Medicine found significant evidence of inaccurate, misleading labeling of CBD content. The prevalence of such brands not only reduces consumer confidence in CBD but also limits the growth of the sector as a whole. Fortunately, CBD consumers and retailers can easily discriminate between a well-tested, reputable brand and inferior bad actors with a few straightforward, minimum requirements to look out for when selecting a product.

Why are “bad actors” a problem for consumers and the industry?

Bad actors in CBD sell products that are not produced under cGMP conditions and are typically not tested by third-party laboratories to ensure identity, purity, quality, strength and composition. This means they are not verified for contaminants, impurities, label claims and product specifications. This frequently results in misleading advertising with inaccurate levels of cannabinoids or traces of compounds not found on the label, like THC. To combat this, the FDA issues warning letters to actors that market products allegedly containing CBD—many of which are found not to contain the claimed levels of CBD and are not approved for the treatment of any medical condition. Still, bad actors manage to slip through the cracks and deceive consumers.

The structure of cannabidiol (CBD), one of 400 active compounds found in cannabis.

Bad actors that put anything in a bottle and make unsubstantiated medical claims hurt the reputable operators that strive to create safe and high-quality products. It is easy for consumers to be drawn to CBD products with big medical claims and lower prices, only to be disappointed when the product does not produce the advertised results. Inaccurately labeled products may contain unexpected levels of cannabinoids, including ingredients that consumers may not intend to ingest, like Delta-9 or Delta-8 THC. Along with unexpected levels of THC, many CBD products available now are not as pure as advertised, with one in four products going untested for contaminants like microbial content, pesticides, or heavy metals.

Further, inaccurate labeling of products and their compounds also prevents consumers from establishing a baseline impact of CBD on their bodies, leaving them vulnerable to inconsistent future experiences. Such a poor experience can turn consumers off to the category as a whole, drawing their trust away from not only the bad actors but also the reliable, reputable brands on the market. The saturation of the market with these disreputable brands delegitimizes a category that has only just begun to break down the stigmas, creating stagnation rather than growth as consumers remain wary of low-quality products.

How can consumers identify bad actors in CBD?

There are several simple ways to identify a bad actor among CBD products and make certain that both consumers and retailers purchase quality, reliable and safe brands in legitimate sales channels. To start, consumers should avoid all CBD products that are marketed with unsubstantiated medical claims. This is a significant area of abuse, as brands that relate any form of CBD product to a disease state, like cancer, should not be trusted. The science to support such medical claims has not been completed, yet, product marketing is years ahead of the evidence to support such claims. Unsupported medical claims could also mislead consumers that may need more serious medical intervention.

Just some of the many CBD products on the market today.

Additionally, consumers must review the packaging, which should include nutrition information in the form of a supplement fact label. The label should include the serving size, number of servings per container, a list of all dietary ingredients in the product and the amount per serving of each ingredient. All labels should include a net quantity of contents, lot number or batch ID, the name and address of the manufacturer, and an expiration or manufacturing date. These signs of a reputable brand are easy to look for and can save consumers from the trouble of selecting the wrong CBD product.

What to look for when selecting a CBD product

With this in mind, products from reputable, tested brands can be identified by a few key factors. Reputable CBD companies are already compliant with the FDA regulations on nutritional supplements, including a nutritional or supplement fact panel on the packaging—just like vitamins. The information in this panel should include all the active cannabinoids in the product, both per serving and package. Clear potency labeling allows consumers to confidently select products that suit their needs and understand the baseline impact of CBD concentration on their bodies, thus helping them to tailor their experience with thoughtful product selection.

Reputable brands also include a convenient QR code on the packaging, linking the product to a certificate of analysis that details the testing results to demonstrate compliance with product standards and label claims. In terms of specific ingredients, consumers should be skeptical of high concentration levels of “flavor of the month” minor cannabinoids, which are often associated with unsubstantiated medical claims. Current scientific research has set its focus on major cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-9 THC, leaving additional research necessary for understanding minor cannabinoids. Minor cannabinoids are typically included in full spectrum products at concentrations found naturally in the cannabis plant, which is a safer approach to consuming CBD until more research is completed.

Consumers should not let the existence of unreliable, untrustworthy brands curtail their confidence in the CBD sector—there are many high-quality, safe and trusted brands on the market. With a knowledgeable and discerning eye, consumers and retailers can easily select top-quality CBD products that millions of consumers have found to improve many aspects of their health and well-being. Looking ahead, clear federal regulations for CBD products that require mandatory product registration, compliance with product labeling, packaging and cGMP will be crucial in weeding out bad actors and will allow compliant companies to gain consumer trust and responsibly grow the CBD category.

The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo Brings Education, Networking to New Jersey

By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff
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PARSIPPANY, NJ, October 17-19, 2022 – The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo (CQC) heads to New Jersey October 17-19 this year. The agenda features three tracks of educational talks, panel discussions, keynotes and breakout sessions.

At this year’s event, the conference will debut two new features of the program: Lunch & Learn sessions and Happy Hour Roundtables. Matthew Anderson, CEO of Vanguard Scientific, will sit down with two experts in cannabis law for interviews during the lunch hour:

Investigations & Enforcement: A Former Federal Prosecutor’s Perspective

  • Matthew Anderson will interview Barak Cohen, Chair of the Cannabis Industry Group at Perkins Coie, to discuss federal investigations, Justice Department prosecutions and white-collar offenses. This Lunch & Learn will take place 12:00 to 12:25 PM on Tuesday, October 18.

Compliance is Key: Best Practices for Your New Jersey Cannabis Business

  • Matthew Anderson will interview Casey Leaver, Director of Regulatory Compliance at Vicente Sederberg, to discuss compliance culture, quality controls, New Jersey regulations and more. This Lunch & Learn will take place 12:35 to 1:00 PM on Tuesday, October 18.

Following the conference agenda on Monday, October 17 and Tuesday October 18, attendees are invited to join the cocktail reception for Happy Hour Roundtables. From 4:45 to 5:45 PM, subject matter experts will be available to chat, answer questions & offer guidance on the following topics:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Jason Thomas, Precision Quality & Compliance
  • Banking, Finance & Real Estate: Steve Schain, Esq., Smart-Counsel LLC
  • Licensing: Russ Hudson & Sumer Thomas, Canna Advisors
  • Certifications & Controls: Tyler Williams, CSQ
  • Compliance Solutions: Doug Plunkett & Zach Cicconi, ProCanna
  • Standards in Cannabis: David Vaillencourt, The GMP Collective
  • Social Equity & Justice: Ernest Toney, BIPOCANN

The conference will begin with a panel discussion on The Future of East Coast Cannabis: Social Equity, Justice & Legalization. Following that will be a panel on The Standardization State of the Union: Science-Based Resources for Driving Cannabis Safety with an overview of the New Jersey cannabis marketplace to end the first day.

The second day will kick off with a Keynote titled Centering Equity in Cannabis Policy, Quality & Business with Toi Hutchinson, President & CEO at Marijuana Policy Project. Other agenda highlights include:

  • The State of the State: An Update on New Jersey Legalization by Steven M. Schain, Esquire, Attorney at Smart-Counsel, LLC
  • Tri-State Cannabis: Pro Tips for Winning Applications by Sumer Thomas, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Russ Hudson, Project Manager at Canna Advisors
  • Navigating Cannabis Testing Regulations for Multi-State Operations by Michael Kahn, President & Founder of MCR Labs
  • Keynote by Edmund DeVeaux, President of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association
  • A Guide to Infusion Technology | Design Experiences that Inspire and Innovate with Cannabis Ingredients by Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer at Vertosa
  • Valuable Analysis Ahead of Asset Acquisition by Matthew Anderson, CEO of Vanguard Scientific

Registration options are available for in-person, virtual and hybrid attendance.

Event Hours

  • Monday, October 17: 12 pm – 6:30 pm (ET)
  • Tuesday, October 18: 8 am – 5:45 pm (ET)
  • Wednesday, October 19: 8 am – 12 pm (ET)

Cannabis industry professionals also interested in the food industry can attend the Food Safety Consortium, which begins on Wednesday, October 19 – Friday, October 21.

About Cannabis Industry Journal

Cannabis Industry Journal is a digital media community for cannabis industry professionals. We inform, educate and connect cannabis growers, extractors, processors, infused products manufacturers, dispensaries, laboratories, suppliers, vendors and regulators with original, in-depth features and reports, curated industry news and user-contributed content, and live and virtual events that offer knowledge, perspectives, strategies and resources to facilitate an informed, legalized and safe cannabis marketplace.

About the Cannabis Quality Conference & ExpoCannabis Quality Conference & Expo logo

The Cannabis Quality Conference & Expo is an educational and networking event for the cannabis industry that has cannabis safety, quality and regulatory compliance as the foundation of the educational content of the program. With a unique focus on science, technology, safety and compliance, the “CQC” enables attendees to engage in conversations that are critical for advancing careers and organizations alike. Delegates visit with exhibitors to learn about cutting-edge solutions, explore three high-level educational tracks for learning valuable industry trends, and network with industry executives to find solutions to improve quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in the evolving cannabis industry.