Cannabis Science Conference 2024: Advancing the Latest in Cannabis Research and Innovations

Published on: 
Cannabis Science and Technology, May/June 2024, Volume 7, Issue 3
Pages: 40-43

Cannabis Science Conference Spring was held in Kansas City, Missouri from May 7-9, 2024. Here, we provide highlights from this exciting event.

For the first time in its history, the Cannabis Science Conference headed to the Midwest, an area comparatively new to the regulated cannabis industry. Led by the four program chairs and an educational steering committee, the three-day event facilitated thought-provoking discussions and collaborations on cannabis analytical methods, cultivation technology, research, patient care, compliance, and much more. One topic of discussion that permeated the event was the recent developments with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the potential of rescheduling cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug. Read on for our coverage from this year’s Cannabis Science Conference, including links to insights from Program Chairs, onsite interviews, and presentation highlights for you to dive even deeper into the experience!

Pre-Conference Workshops

Leading up to the conference, two pre-conference workshops offered attendees the opportunity for interactive learning. In one workshop, four ASTM International subcommittee meetings covered a variety of topics. Darwin Millard, vice-subcommittee Chair with ASTM, helped direct two of the meetings with Jimmy Farrell, Standards Development Manager at ASTM International: ASTM Subcommittee D37.04 Initiative on Equipment & Facility Cleaning and Joint ASTM Subcommittee Initiative on Vape Device Safety & Testing. Jini Glaros, Chief Scientific Officer at Modern Canna Laboratories, led the ASTM Task Group on developing a Standard Guide for Cannabis/Hemp Laboratory Out-of-Specifications (OOS) and Retesting (WK85874), and Scheril Murray Powell, Esq., Cannabis, Agricultural, and Dietary Supplement Attorney, led the ASTM Subcommittee D37.93 on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Meeting.

Additionally, Susan Audino, Kate Evans, Julie Kowalski, and David Vaillencourt, hosted the workshop, “Cannabis Science, Testing and Troubleshooting with Experts: Turning Mountains into Molehills,” an afternoon of discussion between laboratory scientists, technicians, laboratory managers, scientific directors, non-science laboratory owners, GMP professionals, and anyone interested in cannabis science and testing. In this onsite interview, Julie Kowalski, Technical Program Director of the Cannabis Science Conference and the Program Chair for the Analytical Track, shares her insights from this workshop.

Cannabis Science Conference 2024: Day One

Kicking off the two-day conference was keynote speaker, Jamila Owens-Todd, Naturopathic Doctor, Formulations Consultant and Director of Clinical Education, and an Adjunct Professor of Cannabis Pharmacology at St. Louis University’s Cannabis Science and Operations Course. In her presentation, “The Evolution of Cannabis As Medicine—Keys to Cannabis Manufacturing,” Owens-Todd discussed the various ways to approach plant medicine and manufacturing, examining how innovations in cannabis production and technology can still adhere to the original integrity and healing of the plant.

Next, Kim Stuck from the Canna Consortium, moderated the General Session discussion panel, “Federal Rescheduling: Opinions and Impacts,” which featured David Vaillencourt of S3 Collective, Ken Sobel, Esq., and Susan Audino of S.A. Audino & Associates, LLC, who shared their various perspectives on the potential reclassification of cannabis to a Schedule III drug.

Following these presentations were sessions in the four tracks for this conference: Analytical, Medical, Cultivation, and, new this year, the Compliance track. Each session included time for attendees to ask questions of and engage with the presenters.

Notable presentations from the Analytical Track included “Polysorbate 80: An Emulsifying Agent in Cannabis Microbiology,” by Anthony Repay, Laboratory Director of Method Testing Labs, and “Innovative Method Development to Meet the Needs for the Cannabis Industry,” presented by Patrick Bird, Senior Manager of Scientific Affairs at bioMérieux. Other topics in this track also included molecular biology, onsite laboratory validation, and moisture analysis for cannabis flower. Some of these tracks were joint presentations in the Compliance Track, based on the subject explored.


The first presentation in the Cultivation Track was given by Antonio Timoteo Jr., PhD, research assistant at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, who presented, “Maximizing Terpene Yields with Precise Harvest Timing in Cannabis sativa L.” Two other notable presentations included Bernie Lorenz, Chief Science Officer of ProKure Solutions, who discussed “How COVID could revolutionize the way we grow cannabis,” and James Wylde, President and CEO of Greenlight Analytical, who presented “Maximizing Quality & Revenue with Daily Analytics.” Other topics in the track included horticulture lighting and phytochemical content, critical materials recovery, and performance metrics.

The Medical Track covered a variety of topics including cannabidiol (CBD) and receptor promiscuity, the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid applications, microbiology risks and mitigation for consumers, psilocybin, patient perspectives of cannabis, and geriatric risk with cannabis. Several of the presenters were from the Cannabis Nurses Network, and a special recognition was given at the beginning of the conference to honor their work (and the work of all nurses) during National Nurses Week (May 6–12, 2024). One of the nurses, Marcie Cooper, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC, GHNA, presented “Reducing Polypharmacy for the Aging Population,” to close out the first day of the track. “I have been a hospice and palliative care nurse for about 20 years now,” Cooper explained in an interview with Cannabis Science and Technology.“And a lot of times we do see really horrible side effects that patients have from the polypharmacy. Working as a hospice nurse in Colorado for the past 15 years has been really eye opening, being able to see how cannabis can help relieve a lot of those interactions that happen with multiple drugs.”

While some of the Compliance Track sessions were joined with the Analytical Track, the standalone presentations featured these instructive discussions: “Nailing Compliance: Building and Maintaining an AI-powered ISO 17025-Compliant Cannabis Testing Lab,” “Enhancing Cannabis Product Quality through Quality Management Systems,” plus an hour-long panel presentation, “Impurities, Policy, and Progress: Charting the Future of Cannabinoid Product Safety,” which was moderated by Program Chair Kim Stuck and featured panelists David Vallencourt, GMP Collective; Robert Welch, University of Mississippi; and Chris Hudalla, ProVerde Laboratories, Inc.

The breaks in between sessions—plus the opening night reception—provided ample opportunity for networking and poster presentations in the Exhibit Hall. Here, Danielle Lenoir explains her research in the poster presentation, “Proficiency Test Program Expands to Oil Matrix to Provide Additional Performance Assessment for Hemp and Cannabis Testing Laboratories.

Cannabis Science Conference 2024: Day Two

The second day of the Cannabis Science Conference featured a much-anticipated presentation of research from Allison Justice, PhD, and Riley Kirk, PhD, who discussed, “The Science of Smokeability: Insights on Cultivation and Post-Harvest Techniques to Enhance the Quality of the Smoking Experience.” Dr. Allison Justice is the Founder and CEO of Hemp Mine, and Dr. Riley Kirk is the Co-Founder of Network of Applied Pharmacognosy. As Dr. Kirk summarized, “This research is about learning more about the smoking experience because our industry has not done any of this really baseline fundamental research in understanding from plant to smoke entering the body. What is happening on a biochemical level? What is happening with these different molecules? Are there different levels of transformation happening? And can consumers actually pick up on these little nuances? Or can they not?”

After the keynote presentation, the Cannabis HR Council hosted the General Session presentation, “The Role of DEI and Social Impact in Cannabis Science and Innovation,” with Scheril Murray Powell, Esq., and John Calloway Jr., Founder of Calloway Venture & Associates. This presentation explored the many facets of diversity in the cannabis workplaces and leadership, including the social impact diversity has on cannabis science, research, and innovation. As Calloway Jr. summarized, “diversity is going to fuel your innovation, inclusion is going to drive your productivity, and social impact will improve and enhance your reputation and the sustainability of your organization.”

The second day of the conference continued the informative session discussions and presentations from the day prior. The Analytical Track covered a wide variety of subjects including Hansen Solubility Parameter and mixture entropy; cannabinoid and terpene content in homemade butane hash oil and rosin extracts; mitigating baseline toxicity of inhaled cannabis; total yeast, mold, and viable bacteria results in cannabis flower grown outdoors in New York; and the analysis of metal nanoparticles in legal and illegal cannabis vapes.

The Cultivation Track explored new developments in postharvest touchpoints and pre-roll quality, bioaerosols in indoor cannabis manufacturing, climate control systems, the influence of mycorrhizal amendment on hemp, and optimizing lighting strategies to increase yield and chemical uniformity.

Building on to the topics discussed during Day One, the Medical Track covered scientific insights into sales and customer practices, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-informed care, nurses leading change in the industry, integrating medical cannabis into nursing practice, and holistic approaches in cannabis therapeutics.

Finally, the Compliance Track featured two standalone presentations before joining with the Analytical Track to round out the end of the day: “Product Safety Standards for CBD Products,” by Cristelle Santos, a toxicologist with the Broughton Group, and “Colorimetric Quality Control for CBD, Cannabis, and Hemp-based Consumer Products,” by Charles Steele, founder and president of CBF-Forensics, lecturer of Physical Science, and Forensic Science Coordinator at Purdue University Northwest.

Thank you to our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, attendees, and everyone behind the scenes who made this event successful! See you in 2025 for the next Cannabis Science Conference!

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About the Author

Erin McEvoy is the Assistant Editor for Cannabis Science and Technology magazine. Direct correspondence to

How to Cite this Article

McEvoy, E. Cannabis Science Conference 2024: Advancing the Latest in Cannabis Research and Innovations, Cannabis Science and Technology20247(3), 40-43.