Grow Opportunity


Quantifying quality: Getting cannabis quality down to a science

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February 24, 2021

Grow Opportunity, in collaboration with the Cannabis Council of Canada, presents a four-part, free access, virtual roundtable series focused on safeguarding the integrity of cannabis products.

The first of this series focused on cannabis authenticity. Defining authentic quality attributes associated with a company’s brand is key to success. Protecting the brand and integrity of these products throughout the value chain – from seed to shelf – is vital to a cannabis producer’s business strategy. In this roundtable, cannabis industry thought leaders and experts will discuss the importance, opportunities and challenges when it comes to ensuring consistent cannabis quality, traceability and authenticity, with the ultimate objective of providing unique quality cannabis products, underpinned by science, to an increasingly discriminating consumer market.



Steven Newmaster, director, NHP Research Alliance

Steven Newmaster has been a botany and genomics professor at the University of Guelph for 20 years and is currently the Director of the NHP Research Alliance, a collaborative body based at the University of Guelph. He conducts research on plant genomics, metabolomics, medicinal plants and molecular diagnostic identification systems with more than 150 publications and $30 million in R&D funding. His research has resulted in development of the Canadian Cannabis Registry, which is assembling genetic and chemical fingerprints that characterize Cannabis cultivars, define chemical traits and enable marker assisted breeding programs for consistent product brands. His current research explores genomic and metabolomic diversity in psychotropic plants and mushrooms with a focus on species that produce psilocybin and novel compounds of medicinal value. During 2020 he has work with regulatory agencies to develop mobile point of care diagnostics tools for identification of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Ken Weisbrod, vice-president, business development, Shoppers Drug Mart/Cannabis Strategy

Ken Weisbrod is the lead executive for the cannabis business and strategy development at Loblaw/Shoppers Drug Mart. He is visionary and results-oriented retail executive with expertise in the cannabis industry, and broad-based experience in retail and health-care operations, technical innovation, analytical methods, quality and process management, and supply chain expertise for controlled substances.

Paul Valder, co-founder and chief technical officer, Purity IQ

Paul Valder coaches senior management and organizations that are committed to driving access to markets, through combining validated quality assurance programs with”best-in-class” scientific technologies and supported with recognized third-party operational processes and business management systems. His focus is on medical cannabis, probiotics, plant-based proteins, spices, coffee, olive oils, fish and seafood, honey, vanillas and all high through-put traded food commodities.

Scott Savoy, CEO & master grower, Crystal Cure

Scott Savoy leads the cultivation and operations at Crystal Cure. Crystal Cure is a licensed producer of hand-crafted, small-batch cannabis farmed in certified organic living soil in Shediac Cape, NB.

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