The 4th Annual Emerald Conference: Two Days for Science

The 4th annual Emerald Conference hosted by Emerald Scientific was held February 15–16, 2018, in San Diego, California. The conference featured two days of technical talks from various leaders in the cannabis industry, an exhibit hall, and a poster session.

The first day of the conference was kicked off with opening remarks from Ken Snoke, the president of Emerald Scientific. Snoke set the tone for the conference with the statement that they created this conference for the science, explaining that data and science go hand in hand. Snoke also mentioned the great feeling of discovery that comes with science. He called on the attendees to bring their observations, data, and experience to the meeting, which hopefully will lead to further discoveries in cannabis science.

Throughout the two days of the conference there were many exciting talks and networking opportunities. The first day featured two sessions with several talks within each. Session one, chaired by Christian Sweeney and Markus Roggen, focused on production. The talks in that session ranged from cannabis cultivation, micropropagation, and using preparative supercritical fluid chromatography to isolate cannabidolic acid from cannabis extracts to formulating customized cannabis concentrates, product development and commercialization, and pharmaceutical formulation technologies that are applicable to cannabis. Session two was chaired by Roger Muse and had an analytical focus. The topics included microbiological contamination, microbial testing, and the determination of cannabinoid and terpene profiles in cannabis oil using mid-infrared spectroscopy. After the final talk of the day, a short video series was presented and then the poster session was opened. The poster session was bustling with people and included approximately 25 posters on various topics. There was also a mixer in the exhibit hall hosted by Emerald Consulting.

The second day of the conference began with an impassioned keynote lecture from Reggie Gaurdino of Steep Hill. Session three, chaired by Susan Audino and John Abrams, focused on regulatory certification, accreditation, and standardization and novel clinical development paradigms. The first portion of session three featured a panel discussion on ISO/IEC 10725:2017 with several industry leaders, a discussion on recent updates to AOAC and ASTM cannabis standards, methods, and ISO/IEC 1025 accreditation, and a talk on cannabis manufacturing standards and their relationship to clinical health outcomes. After a brief recess, session three continued with the focus on clinical development paradigms. The topics ranged from robust analytics, nontargeted chemical characterization, authentication, and dosing of complex cannabis medicines, to a review of preliminary data trends in a cannabis clinical study.

The final session of the conference (session four) was chaired by Julie Kowalski and Rodger Voelker and brought the focus back to an analytical track. The topics covered ranged from potency analysis, using gas chromatography–vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy to analyze terpenes and residual solvents in cannabis products, and a chemotype-based labeling system to a contemporary model for analyzing pesticides and alternative approaches to liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. The conference concluded with closing remarks from Ken Snoke. Next year’s Emerald Conference will be held February 28–March 1, 2019, at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Califorina.