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Complimentary Virtual Conference

May 4, 2021
12:00 Noon - 4:30 PM ET

Complimentary Webinar

Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference

Register Now!

Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference

The Cannabis Labs Virtual Conference continues! For five 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 and hemp testing, smoke/vapor analysis, laboratory accreditation, microbial testing, standards, method development and more. Take a look at the presentations and speakers below for more information.

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 May 4th, 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? Sign up today!

Who Should Attend:

  • Cannabis laboratory personnel
  • Lab managers, Chemists, Microbiologists
  • Investors of Cannabis Labs and those looking to start a lab
  • Clients of laboratories including: growers, processors, dispensary managers and stakeholders in the cannabis lab testing market


12:00 PM - Welcome & Introductions
Aaron Biros, Editor, CannabisIndustryJournal.com - Host and Moderator

12:05 PM - qPCR vs Plating: Which is Right for Your Lab?
Heather Ebling, Manager of Applications and Support, Medicinal Genomics

  • Compare the differences between molecular and culture based microbial testing
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of both testing options
  • Better evaluate these two microbial testing options

12:55 PM -  What can qPCR do for your Laboratory? - TechTalk - Sponsored by Medicinal Genomics
Nick Lawson, Field Application Scientist, Medicinal Genomics

Not only is qPCR the most accurate, scalable, and reliable technology for microbial testing on cannabis--it is also the most flexible. With Medicinal Genomics qPCR Assays, your cannabis testing lab can offer gender testing, plant pathogen screening, and environmental screening using the same qPCR technology used for microbial testing. This means your lab can offer additional value to your clients without having to train staff on a new process and equipment.

1:10 PM - Cannabis Laboratory Accreditation Panel
Tracy Szerszen, President & Operations Manager, Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation (PJLA)
Dimitrios Katsieris, Sr. Global Manager, Testing Laboratories & Food Accreditation Programs, IAS
Jason Stine, Senior Director of Accreditation, ANAB
Anna Williams, Accreditation Supervisor, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
Kathy Nucifora, Chief Operating Officer, COLA

  • This panel, moderated by Cannabis Industry Journal editor Aaron Biros, will go in-depth into the new ISO/IEC 17025:2017 version, changes from the 2005 version and the new transition timeline mandated by ILAC.
  • Learn some of the common challenges labs face when seeking accreditation.
  • Learn about sampling protocols, security issues, statements of conformance, calibration and much more.

2:00 PM - Your results are only as accurate as your reference standard Tech Talk - Sponsored by MilliporeSigma
Michael Hurst, Global Product Manager- Reference Materials, MilliporeSigma

Whether you are developing a new analytical method, calibrating instrumentation, or running routine controls, high quality Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) are central to your cannabis QC testing. But what exactly is a CRM anyways? Do they differ from Reference Materials or Analytical Standards? And if so, how? This discussion, hosted by MilliporeSigma, will guide you through an introduction to the hierarchy of Reference Materials and their associated quality systems. We will also outline key components of a CRM’s most important feature: its Certificate of Analysis (CoA).  In addition, we will also highlight the development of new multi-analyte cannabinoid mixes by our Cerilliant® team. These new mixes will serve as case studies for the importance of robust accelerated and real-time stability studies. Join us to learn more, and feel free to come with questions.

2:15 PM - Tech Talk - Sponsored by Columbia Labs
Kelly O'Connor, Client Service Representative, Columbia Labs

2:25 PM - Don't Hold Your Breath: Smoke/Vapor Analysis & Quantifying Quality
Markus Roggen, Ph.D., Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures

  • There are chemical changes occurring when a cannabis product is burned/vaporized.
  • How is the testing of such aerosols/gasses performed?
  • What can such smoking tests tell us? How do they help in product development?

3:15 PM - Tech Talk - Sponsored by Hardy Diagnostics
Jessa Youngblood, Food & Beverage Marketing Coordinator/Cannabis Industry Specialist, Hardy Diagnostics

3:30 PM - Progress in Creating Standards and Standard Methods for the Cannabis Community
Scott Coates, Senior Director, AOAC Research Institute
Christopher Dent, Manager for Standards Development & Official Methods of Analysis, AOAC International

  • Learn how standards are developed and how the standards are used.
  • Learn about the Official Methods for cannabis.
  • Training opportunities.
  • Proficiency testing.

4:15 pm - An Introduction to COLA's ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Accreditation Service for Cannabis Laboratories - TechTalk sponsored by COLA
Kathy Nucifora, MPH, MT(ASCP), Chief Operating Officer, COLA

In this presentation, Ms. Nucifora will provide an overview of the accreditation process, tips for success, and the methods COLA assessors will reply upon to evaluate your cannabis laboratory for conformity to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard. COLA itself is ISO 9001:2015 certified and, as such, has many years’ experience with initial assessment, surveillance audits and re-certification. In addition to introducing you to COLA’s accreditation program, Ms. Nucifora will share her insights about how best to prepare for laboratory accreditation and the commitment needed to ensure technical competency and continuous quality management.

4:30 pm - Wrap up


Brad Kelley

Heather Ebling
Manager of Applications and Support
 Medicinal Genomics

Heather Ebling is the Manager of Applications and Support for Medicinal Genomics Corporation and resides in the Boston Massachusetts area.  Heather has been with Medicinal Genomics for 6 years.  Previous to her time with MGC, Heather was a Field Applications Scientist for PerkinElmer where she supported various automation platforms and specifically catered to Next Generation Sequencing Sample Prep customers.  Heather comes from an R&D background and spent several years at the bench before moving on to customer facing support roles.  Heather received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Markus Roggen

Markus Roggen, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO
Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures (CBDV)

Dr. Markus Roggen’s latest project, Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures, is a fundamental research laboratory and CRO for the cannabis and hemp industries. His research interests lie in the metabolite composition and behavior throughout the production cycle, extraction optimization, and development of innovative therapeutic formulations. Dr. Roggen received his M/Sci degree from Imperial College, London, UK in 2008. He then pursued his graduate degree in organic chemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ), where he received his PhD in 2012. Dr. Roggen was awarded an DAAD postdoctoral fellowship to pursue further training in physical organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla from 2013-2014. He then entered the cannabis industry, at first as laboratory director for Davinci Laboratories of California, an analytical laboratory from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, he moved into an executive position overseeing production, R&D and process optimization for OutCo, a vertically integrated cannabis company. Dr. Roggen is also a trusted advisor and mentor to multiple startups, startup accelerators and organizations. Positions include advisory positions at Bloom Automation, a cannabis robotics company, and former MediPharm Labs, a Canadian LP, and co-chair of the NCIA Scientific Advisory Committee.

Tracy Szerszen
Dimitrios Katsieris

Tracy Szerszen
President & Operations Manager

Tracy Szerszen is the President and Operations Manager of Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation (PJLA), a private third- party accreditation body for the past 11 years and formerly the Audit Logistics Manager for Perry Johnson Registrars a Quality and Environmental ISO Certification Body for 6 years. Her primary responsibilities include the direct oversight of the operation, accreditation and sales activities for PJLA.

Dimitrios Katsieris
Sr. Global Manager - Testing Laboratories & Food Accreditation Programs

Dimitrios Katsieris serves as the Senior Global Manager for Testing Laboratories and Food Accreditation Programs with IAS (International Accreditation Service) and also handling the US FDA Third Party Certification Program, FDA ASCA Program and Medical Laboratory Program. He has 15+ years of experience with Conformity Assessment Bodies, Training and Standardization. Dimitrios is also the MMC Vice President of IHAF (International Halal Accreditation Forum).  Dimitrios is involved in several ISO and ISO/CASCO related committees about food safety management systems and product certification. He is also a member of IAF Food WG and ILAC AIC and ILAC 15189 WG. He is the main IAS contact person for all US FDA regulated Accreditation Programs implemented by IAS.

Jason Stine

Jason Stine
Senior Director

Jason Stine works directly for ANAB as a Senior Director of accreditation in charge of accreditation activities relating to testing laboratories and supporting programs accredited by ANAB.


Anna Williams

Anna Williams
Accreditation Supervisor

Anna Williams is an Accreditation Supervisor with the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and has worked with the Association since September 2015. She supports the day-to-day operations of accreditation by assisting clients in obtaining and maintaining accreditation in the chemical and biological fields of testing. Anna serves as the primary staff.

Scott Coates

Scott Coates
Senior Director
AOAC Research Institute

Scott was appointed as the Senior Director of the AOAC Research Institute on July 1, 2018. He is responsible for daily management of and business development for the AOAC Research Institute.  Scott oversaw the planning and development of the Cannabis Analytical Science Program from 2018 to March 2021. Scott previously served as the AOAC Chief Science Officer from 2009 until June 2018. In this capacity, he served as the technical lead for many AOAC projects. Scott led the writing and development of Appendix F in the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL that describes validation requirements and the development of Standard Method Performance Requirements. Before joining AOAC, he worked for 10 years as the Operations Manager for an in-vitro diagnostic manufacturer making medical test kits such as Strep tests and specialized bacterial culture media. Scott holds a B.S. in Microbiology (1978) and a M.S. in Biotechnology Management (1994) from the University of Maryland.

Chris Dent

Christopher Dent
Manager for Standards and Official Methods Analysis
AOAC International

Chris is Manager for Standards Development and Official Methods of Analysis® at AOAC INTERNATIONAL.  He has been with the association for a total of 11 years and was appointed program lead of the AOAC Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP) in January 2021, a program he has been supporting since its inception in 2018.  As a standards development manager, Christopher has also managed standards development activities for various government and industry contracts, including the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Dietary Supplements (SPDS), the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays (SPADA) and the AOAC Stakeholder Panel for Strategic Food Analytical Methods (SPSFAM).  He worked at AOAC as a Contract Programs Administrator from 2007 to 2010 before relocating to the United Kingdom for a few years. In 2013, he returned to AOAC and assumed his current position. In the UK, he gained experience as an Analyst for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and as a Project Officer at the City of Edinburgh Council. Christopher graduated from McGill University in Montréal, Canada, in 2005 with a B.A. double major in History and Political Science. Christopher holds an APM Certificate in Project Management, is a PRINCE2 practitioner, a certified Prosci Change Manager, and works as an independent software developer in his own time.

Jessa Youngblood

Jessa Youngblood
F&B Marketing Coordinator, Cannabis Specialist
Hardy Diagnostics

Jessa Youngblood is the Food, Beverage and Cannabis Market Coordinator for Hardy Diagnostics. A specialist in the field of cannabis microbiology for regulatory compliance, she is seated with the AOAC CASP committee working on standard methods for microbiological testing in cannabis and hemp. She also sits on the NCIA Scientific Advisory Council as well as the ASTM Cannabis Council.

Kathy Nucifora

Kathy Nucifora, MPH, MT

Kathy Nucifora, MPH, MT(ASCP) received her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from Ball State University, and her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Wichita State University. Kathy has a wide range of experience managing clinical laboratories, both large and small.  She also previously taught Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis in the Medical Laboratory Technician program at the Community College of Baltimore County, and has lectured on many relevant laboratory topics to a variety of audiences.  Kathy came to COLA, a CMS approved laboratory accreditation organization, in 2009 as Accreditation Division Manager and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2019. 

Kelly O'Connor

Kelly O'Connor
Client Service Representative
Columbia Laboratories

Kelly O’Connor is Client Service Representative for Columbia Laboratories, formerly Pixis Labs. Columbia Laboratories has 40 years of testing expertise, serving several industries; Cannabis & Hemp, Food & Feed, Environmental, and Consumer Goods.

Columbia Labs was the first lab in Oregon certified to test cannabis in 2015, the first to obtain ISO accreditation and continues to lead the industry with method development and crossover services. Kelly works both federally and locally to encourage reasonable testing regulations for Hemp & Cannabis with associations such as the OHA, APHA, AWHP and more.

Aaron Biros

Aaron Biros
Cannabis Industry Journal

Aaron Biros is the Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis Industry Journal.com (CIJ), an online business-to-business trade journal focused on the legal cannabis industry. Biros started CIJ in 2015 when he officially joined Innovative Publishing full time. Through editorial coverage of the cannabis markets, Biros has developed a familiarity with regulatory compliance, quality and safety issues as they relate to the burgeoning cannabis industry. Biros covers science and technology updates, breaking news, regulations and emerging markets from his office based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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