2021 speakers listed below.
2022 speakers coming soon...

Jodi McDonald


Jodi has been involved with a number of leading biotechnology companies in
Alberta, including founding Keystone Labs in 2005. She started her career at the
Alberta Research Council as a technologist in the Quality Control lab. It was
there at the bench that the dream of starting her own lab began. Over the next 10
years, she worked with innovative teams at Chenomx and QSV Biologics in
supervisory and management roles. In 2004, the dream of a contract test lab
began to come together. She is now a part of cutting-edge innovation that is
developing real-time testing technology. It’s what gets her up in the morning and
at the end of the day she knows that we have made a real difference in the
quality of people’s lives. Jodi holds a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science from the
University of Alberta.
Keystone Labs is a GMP pharmaceutical lab that has worked with cannabis since
2015. The new 3,000 sqft lab expansion has been named an Agilent Enabled
facility and is jointly working on cannabis testing innovations.

Health Canada

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More info and Speaker info coming soon.

Andrew Freedman

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Andrew Freedman is the first real Cannabis Sommelier; his focus on pairing cannabis, beer, cocktail, wine and gastronomy are completely unique and original. Andrew worked in the cannabis trade for over a decade. Noticing that there was a lack of scientific language for describing cannabis he became very interested in blind tasting wine.
His expertise in growing and extracting cannabis led to a passion for viticulture and oenology. He soon found himself living on a vineyard working as a cellar hand at an estate winery. While honing his palate he became a WSET 3 and one of few Canadian Wine Scholars.

Andrews passion for cannabis and wine led him to begin teaching what he had learned and created; The Cannabis Sommelier; YouTube channel.

Andrew currently teaches seminars about cannabis and wine pairing, cannabis cocktails and cannabis dining. Andrew is one of the first people in the world certified by the American Culinary Federation in Cannabis Cuisine & Edibles. Andrew also hosts and presents cannabis
dining events across North America.

Andrew has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, Hightimes, The Globe & Mail and many more.

Susan Youngquist

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Susan Youngquist
Global Technical Consultant & Validation Manager
Ecolab Life Sciences

Susan is an expert in CIP and COP processes, site assessments, GMP insights, cleaning validation, and CIP
process optimization. As a Global Technical consultant, Susan is experienced in cleaning validation program development and management for the Personal Care, Dietary Supplement, and Cannabis
industries. Susan has extensive experience (35 yrs) in Manufacturing, Project Management, Research &
Development, and Engineering in the Consumer Products Industry. This experience equips Susan to effectively understand the customers cleaning concerns and apply technology and chemistry to maximize value for the customer. Identifying the solution is only part of the journey in regulated
industries, as change control and validation are often barriers to customers continuous improvement implementation. Susan leverages her knowledge of the regulatory requirements for cleaning validation
and guides customers through the change process to expedite the cleaning validation, and ultimately value realization.

Dr. Natalia Sannikova

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Research & Development Manager, Ascension Sciences 

Dr. Natalia Sannikova is a skilled chemist with experience in organic synthesis, enzymology, and nanoparticle formulation. She is a passionate scientist, who believes the team effort and multidisciplinary research is what is needed for a successful project. Natalia holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Simon Fraser University. 

Connect with Dr. Sannikova on LinkedIn.

Tom Ulanowski


Tom Ulanowski is Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Nextleaf Labs, where he also holds the positions of Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and Responsible Person. At Nextleaf, Tom is intimately involved in day-to-day production/manufacturing activities, as well as research and product development, regulatory liaison, and licensing/permitting. Tom is a Professional Chemist (ACPBC), Chartered Chemist (ACPO), and Articling Agrologist (BCIA), and holds an HBSc Degree in Analytical Chemistry & Environmental Monitoring from the University of Toronto, as well as a MSc Degree in Biogeochemistry and Hydrogeology from the University of Western Ontario.

Previous to joining Nextleaf, Tom was the Quality Assurance Manager, Quality Assurance Person (QAP), and Qualified Person in Charge (QPIC) at Canna Farms Ltd., BC’s first legal licensed producer of award-winning cannabis products, based in Hope, BC. Since joining the legal cannabis industry in 2014, Tom has quality-assured hundreds of batches of cannabis, while leading to efforts to obtain multiple production and sales licences, win national industry awards, and increase output ten-fold via expansions, improvements to current practices, and the development of new processes and products. In 2018, Tom led the effort to manufacture, license, and market “Canna Kief”, the first legal concentrated form of cannabis commercially sold in Canada.

Tom is an advocate of a science-based approach to cannabis cultivation, processing, and regulation, and encourages the use of critical thinking and healthy skepticism. He has been integral in developing Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU’s) Plant Production & Facility Management course, and has taught hundreds of students around the world about cannabis production and the interpretation of national and international regulations. Prior to his work with the cannabis plant, Tom was managing an environmental research laboratory at the Biotron Institute for Experimental Climate Change Research at the University of Western Ontario and conducting multidisciplinary scientific research in northern Canada.

Sylvia Chong


Sylvia Chong is a Food Scientist who partners with producers and processors in the food and cannabis industries to help them balance opportunity and risk.
Sylvia knows that risk can only be effectively managed when the manager truly
understands risk and applies risk management principles in their decision-making processes.
Not only has she developed, implemented and validated several hundred preventive
control plans and equally as many new products, but she has also helped many
clients recognize when a new product idea is a bad idea, and prevented them from
wasting valuable resources.
Sylvia is a Canadian Certified HACCP Professional, serves as an Independent
(Technical) Consultant for NSF International and has taught numerous workshops on
food safety, HACCP, regulatory requirements, quality management, sanitation, recall and traceability, value-added product development and lean manufacturing. She is best known for her ability to make sense of the technical nonsense and for her
proclivity for order, efficiency, validity and accuracy. Sylvia holds a Masters Degree in Food Science from the University of Guelph and is the QAP for Leaf Cross Biomedical Inc. in Nelson, BC.

Barry Davidson


Barry Davidson is the CEO of Davidson Advisory Group Inc. and is a leader in the global cannabis industry. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to CannaNavigators & Hyde Advisory and is an internationally recognized security and CPTED consultant with more than 30 years experience in strategic & crisis management. Barry has worked with private enterprise, not-for-profit organizations and government and is called upon regularly to advise on sensitive/volatile issues.


Davidson Global Advisory Group Inc. is a full service security and strategic consulting practice. Over the past 3 years Davidson Global has provided security and regulatory services to dozens of commercial and retail cannabis operations as well as governments across Canada and abroad. Our work has included business strategy, operational security and regulatory compliance issues as well as directly supporting more than 150 Canadian cannabis retail license applications and design.



Barry Davidson

Davidson Global Advisory Group

Strategic Business Advisory - Security & Risk Consulting - Global Connector

My Dang


Mỹ (pronounced as May) Dang currently works at iVIK Holdings Ltd., an international cannabis pharmaceutical startup. She is also a Content Developer and Facilitator at Algonquin College and sits on their Program Advisory Committee. She began her career working in the biochemistry laboratory at Sunnybrook and Women’s Health Sciences Centre. Then, she moved to Montréal and has over 17 years’ experience in regulatory and quality assurance for various pharmaceutical companies covering human, animal health and cannabis products. Currently, she is the interim President and Board member of the Canadian Parents for French Ontario. Prior to this, she was an active member of CAPRA (Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs), taking on several leading roles including presenting webinars, Editor and Publication Officer of the NOC and eNOC publications and assisting with the CAPRA dinner meeting committee.
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/my-dang-222835104

Troy Henderson


Troy Henderson is an industry consultant with more than 5 years of experience in infection prevention and control, focusing in the cannabis industry. He specializes in streamlining and designing biosecurity programs for cannabis producers.

Sherry Lawson

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Sherry was part of the initial Keystone team and helped build the framework for the quality systems that make Keystone what it is today. She began her career as a QC Technologist at QSV Biologics, a GMP
manufacturer of biologics, where she performed water and environmental monitoring as well as other microbiological and analytical assays. After six years in the lab, Sherry shifted gears to learn about the clinical trials side of the pharmaceutical life cycle at Translational Research in Oncology (TRIO). Sherry has now been back at Keystone since 2018 as a Quality Control Associate where she gets to combine her love of science with her love of writing. Sherry holds a BSc (specialization in Molecular Genetics) from University of Alberta.

David Heldreth


David Heldreth is a patented inventor as well as the founder and CEO of both: Panacea Plant Sciences, a biotechnology company developing a portfolio of cultivation and related IP and patents around the cannabis plant, psychedelic life forms and formulations; and Ziese Farms, a hemp food company which has led the way with FDA allowances for hemp microgreens. He is also a former Chief Science Officer of a natural products company focused on terpene formulation. He testified at the historic FDA hearing on cannabis, CBD, CBG, CBC and terpenes in our food supply on May 31, 2019. He is a leading scientist, inventor and educator in the cannabis and psychedelic communities.



Michael Ciardullo


Michael Ciardullo, BSc (Hons)    

Regulatory Affairs & Quality Manager - Cannabis Licensing Lead  

Michael is an experienced regulatory and quality assurance professional with a demonstrated history  of working in cannabis, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. 

His background in regulatory affairs and quality assurance has made him an invaluable member of  the dCC team. Michael’s work experience in the pharmaceutical and natural health industries has  enabled him to share his in-depth knowledge with all of his clients. His passion both personally and  

professionally for promoting and developing the cannabis industry, stems from his interest in the  plant’s biology and biochemistry. With the recent federal legalization of cannabis in Canada, Michael  stays informed on all facets of the industry to better understand his client’s needs. Not only does Michael  stay up to date on the legal framework, he works closely with all clients to find creative solutions to achieve  their goals and objectives. 

In his current role as Regulatory Affairs & Quality Manager - Cannabis Licensing Lead for dCC, Michael is responsible for  managing all licensing projects at the federal and provincial levels across Canada. He is also experienced with industrial  hemp licensing. 

To ensure client success, Michael educates his clients based on their individual needs and informs them of potential  challenges and how to minimize them. He works alongside clients to strategize everything from floor plan development,  SOPs, municipal processes, construction material selection, to GAP analysis preparation. Michael recently developed a new  online GMP training program specific to cannabis for dCC. 

Michael works closely with dicentra’s Life Sciences team to advise on the various classes of cannabis products in Canada  and potential import and export opportunities based on product classification. 

Michael holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, a RAQC Certification focused in  Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs, and a Quality Operations and Bioinformatics Certification from Seneca College of  Applied Arts and Technology. He has been published in the Cannabis Prospect Magazine and frequently attends industry  events and conferences. 

Links to his most recent publications can be


found here: 

Cannabis and COVID: Business Considerations to be Made in Regards to Your Business, Staff and Facility September 2020 – Cannabis Prospect Magazine

Edibles: Things to Consider from a Food Safety Prospective  May 2020 – Cannabis Prospect Magazine 

Cannabis Licensing Challenges - Critical Components to Consider When Submitting a Federal Licence Application February 2020 – Cannabis Prospect Magazine 

GPP or GMP? Things to Consider When Establishing Your Cannabis Business 

October 2019 – Cannabis Prospect Magazine  

Wesley Sam


Wesley Sam, NATIONS Founder, Executive Chair


Wes Sam is the Founder and Executive Chair of NATIONS, a First Nations-controlled cannabis production company, based in Burns Lake, BC. For the past eight years, he has been working to create a model that will best benefit the health and prosperity of Indigenous People.


Wes is currently the Co-Chair of The First Nations Leadership Council Working Group on Cannabis working to support the advancement of First Nations rights and interests with respect to cannabis as directed through resolutions by First Nations leadership at assemblies of the BC Assembly of First Nations, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and the First Nations Summit. The First Nations Leadership Council and First Nations communities in BC are involved in liaising with the First Nations Health Authority on public health and safety matters; advocating for economic supports; advocating for accessible regulatory and licensing informational resources; hosting and participating in regional and national cannabis forums; developing laws, bylaws, and regulations with respect to cannabis; and negotiating or supporting agreements with BC pursuant to Section 119 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. These governance activities are the basis for First Nations' economic development.


As a former Band Councillor, Chief of the Ts’il Kaz Koh Burns Lake Band, Municipal Councillor, and acting Mayor of the Village of Burns Lake, Wes brings deep knowledge and expertise in First Nations leadership and governance. Wes is also a successful business owner, entrepreneur, and visionary. Wes is a connector and supporter of Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs and always willing to assist where possible. 

Marlene Line


Marlene Line is the Director of Business Development Lab and Analytics at Perfect Plants Analytics . Perfect Plants Analytics is collaborating with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to provide cannabis testing services to the Canadian market. Previous to working in the cannabis industry, Marlene worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for 14+ years with a focus on Respirology and Oncology. Marlene received her Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Waterloo prior to  earning her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Aberdeen, Scotland.

John Simon,


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I have a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta, am a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality, Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) through the American Society for Quality;  Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) through the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society; and RQAP-GLP certification through the Society of Quality Assurance. I have held a series of management positions in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs and also work as a consultant. I have had a variety of experience being directly involved in FDA and Health Canada Audits in the areas of Medical Device Manufacturing, Drug Manufacturing and Testing, Drug and Device Establishments and Clinical Trial sites. Over the years I have gained experience with biologics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, dietary supplements/natural health products, cosmetic ingredients and Cannabis. I have experience with a number of submissions to Health Canada and the FDA. I work as a consultant to help companies with applications to produce Cannabis as well as setting up the process control and documentation requirements for controlled substance manufacturing.

Andrea Olaizola

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Formulations Associate Scientist, Ascension Sciences 

Andrea Olaizola is driven by science, technology, design and the combination of the three. Specifically, she wants to contribute to the creation of innovative solutions to improve healthcare through the development of novel therapeutics. She is currently working on creating nanoparticle formulations for drug delivery. Andrea holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia with a combined major in chemistry and biology. 

Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn.

Dr. Brigitte Simons


Dr. Brigitte Simons is a quality and regulatory compliance professional in support of science study-backed cannabis product development, laboratory services, and data management tools for the development of safe cannabis.  Bridging expertise within chemistry, pharma drug development, and environmental testing – Brigitte has demonstrated a professional track record for cannabis industry knowledge towards building quality supply chain sustainability.  Taken from lessons of laboratory quality control instrument mass spec services, analytical service contracting excellence for the Canadian federal agencies, and global sales experience in high value trade of laboratory services – cannabis is characteristic complex   The toxicological implications and medical merits are studied at a molecular level by regulatory policy consulting labs and contract service findings. Dr. Simons participated in early cannabis and hemp contracts within the agency settings Canadian Food Inspection, Health Canada, Agriculture Canada, and Pest Management Regulatory Agency.  Following-on with field mass spec work with Molecular Science Corp, Brigitte established a craft cannabis quality assurance remote teams while companies navigate cultivator and processor partnerships with BC Craft Supply Co.and other early micro-licence holder applicants. Presently, Dr. Brigitte Simons is the VP of Compliance Operations at Safari Flower Co, a craft-at-scale licence cultivator. A life-long drive to the right to choose personalized medicine.  Brigitte received her Ph.D. in Chemical Biology at the University of Ottawa and a Kellogg-Schulich M.B.A. in operational business strategy. 

David Brown

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David Brown is the founder of StratCann, a cannabis industry publication with a special focus on micros and nurseries. Prior to founding StratCann, David was a Senior Policy Advisor to Health Canada's cannabis branch from 2018-2020, working—among other things—with the regulation team on the crafting of new licence categories like micros and nurseries. Prior to his time with Health Canada, David was a co-founder of and Communications Director for Lift Cannabis and Editor in Chief of Lift News.

Karina Lahnakoski


Karina is a Partner in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory Practice with a focus on the regulatory and
compliance operations in the cannabis sector. Karina’s focus is in assisting mid-size and large cannabis businesses maintain and grow their businesses while maintaining operational compliance. Deloitte offers end-to-end business solutions for this regulated environment such as third-party risk management, ERM and operational remediation programs.
Karina has over 20 years practical experience in regulated industries (cannabis/ biopharma/ pharmaceutical/ medical device) with focus in Operations, QC and QA under GMP for Health
Canada, FDA, and EU and ISO13485. Karina’s career has overseen product development for over 150 new products under various regulations.
Prior to joining Deloitte held the roll of Vice President Quality and Regulatory at Cannabis Compliance Inc. (CCI) and prior to that Karina came from a bio/pharmaceutical and medical
device background where she held operational compliance, QA/QC and leadership positions with Dalton Pharmaceutical Services, Contract Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Amorfix Life Sciences. Karina holds a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from York University and B.Sc in Biochemistry from University of Guelph. She is also a certified Project Management
Professional (PMP).

Nina Ackah

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Nina Ackah is the Quality Assurance Person for Viridis Cannabis, Edmonton. She has been handling the company’s QA activities since December 2018. Prior to that, Nina was a Research Scientist with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Food Research Institute, Ghana for 5 years after being promoted from a position of Assistant Research Scientist – a position she
held for 4 years. Her research activities focused on food science, food safety and quality assurance. During that period, Nina supported several food companies to develop, implement and improve HACCP-based Food Safety Management Systems which considerably improved the food safety output of those companies. She also served as an ISO 17025 auditor for the
Microbiology labs of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority for almost 4 years. Nina has extensive experience in food microbiology and the methodologies used to enumerate or detect microbes.


She has several publications, including peer reviewed ones to her credit. Nina has an MSc. Degree in Food Quality Management from Wageningen University, The
Netherlands. She is enthused about the cannabis industry because of its versatile and positively challenging nature as well as the constant new things to be learnt on-the-go.

Gordon R. Dobrindt


Gordon R. Dobrindt, B. Sc., ASQ CQA


Gordon has spent 15 years various Quality Assurance roles ranging from the importation and distribution of OTC products to the production of Rx Drug products to his current role in Quality management at STERIS AST Whitby,  a contract sterilization facility (Gamma Irradiation). Gordon completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph, in additional he has completed the PSG QA Certification program and the Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology program at Seneca College.

Jeff Ord

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Jeff Ord is Cannabis At Work’s entrepreneurially spirited VP of Accounts & Relationships. Jeff has leveraged his unique ability to forge meaningful connections and built the cannabis community from coast-to-coast. With a decade of experience helping small organizations grow, Jeff is passionate about creating space & place for people to become the best versions of themselves. Jeff has been hosting The Roll Call - a series of in-person and online events designed to connect cannabis colleagues through conversations about gratitude.

Atiyyah Ferouz

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Atiyyah Ferouz is the founder of AgCann Consultancy, a cannabis consulting agency specializing in process improvements using industry best practices and plant science principles. A plant geneticist by training, over the past 5 years Atiyyah has gained experience in operations, quality assurance, and regulatory affairs, in both the food and cannabis industries. She leverages this experience to help cannabis clients optimize and expand their operations, ensuring a focus on quality assurance and adherence to regulations is maintained. 

Atiyyah is also an instructor and course content creator for the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences. She creates and teaches courses for their cannabis programs on several topics including edibles processing and product development, edibles safety, HACCP, and PCPs.

Anuraga Mandava

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Anuraga Mandava is the Chief Consultant at Qualium Consulting, providing compliance support to the craft operators in the cannabis industry. Bringing with her a decade of national and international experience in the Cannabis, Food, Pharmaceutical and Natural Health Product industries, and an active Health Canada’s security clearance as a QAP, Anuraga shares her passion towards quality with cannabis producers and processors to help them produce products that genuinely help consumers. She has been instrumental in several site and product licenses. She has an MSc in Food Process Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.