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Saturday, February 16, 2019

5th Annual Emerald Conference: Redefining the Convention Circuit

5th Annual Emerald Conference: Redefining the Convention Circuit

W

es Burk: A New Vision of Collaboration in the Cannabis Industry

By: Joanna Bond

The 5th Annual Emerald Conference is officially less than two weeks away. Hosted at the exquisite Loews Coronado Bay Resort this year in sunny San Diego, awaits 3 days filled with gourmet food, a relaxing atmosphere and cutting-edge science in the cannabis industry. Cashinbis was lucky enough to sit down with Wes Burk, a founding partner of Emerald Scientific. Burk was instrumental in bringing the “The Emerald Test,” the only inter-laboratory comparison proficiency test in the cannabis industry, to fruition. Today, he sat down with us to discuss this year’s Emerald Conference and what makes it the elite conference for cannabis scientists, professionals and entrepreneurs.

First, tell me about Emerald Scientific, the parent company behind the Emerald Conference.

Emerald Scientific was founded in 2013 with the primary objective of distributing scientific equipment and supplies dedicated to the cannabis space. We saw back then that analytical labs were really struggling to access products and supplies due to the stigma around cannabis. So, we stepped in to fill that need.

Tell me about the Emerald Conference and when it started.

Another big challenge noticed in these labs was a competitive mindset with no collaboration occurring. It led to companies operating on their own independent islands with their own analytical methods and approaches. The lack of communication led to frustration within the industry. We sensed this frustration and launched the first Emerald Conference in 2014 in San Francisco highlighting the need within the cannabis industry for collaboration and science that helps keep the industry moving forward.

Our first year we had about 90 attendees and six vendors. Even though our first event was small, visitors told us it felt like a changing of the times. From the beginning, the Emerald Conference has strived to deliver a space of sharing new ideas and breakthroughs for both the highly technical analytical chemists and farmers within the industry.

Wes Burk, Founding Partner of Emerald Scientific.

What does the Emerald Conference have that sets them apart from other cannabis conventions?

The main way we differentiate from other conferences is our approach to content. We are vigilant in ensuring the content we bring is highly technical and fresh. Unlike the conference circuits, we don’t have the same speakers on rotation. We achieve this by electing a scientific director and session chairs. We bring in independent scientists and doctors to manage the acceptance of abstracts from researchers that can present and discuss their findings with attendees. This also allows us to be impartial in the selection process, creating an equal platform for cannabis research and discussion.

 

The 5th Annual Emerald Conference is at the luxurious Loews Coronado Bay Resort. What can the guests expect?

A boutique feel is always the goal for us. After the first show, it became apparent that collaboration and connectivity were the most beneficial components of our conference. Everything we do is built around the participants’ ability to stay connected and collaborate with their peers at the show. Loews Coronado Bay Resort is the perfect location with phenomenal food and drinks that allow participants to stay on campus to network while recharging with beautiful views. 

How will the Speaker Sessions be conducted?

We’ve remained a single track show with a single session room in an effort to keep everyone together to facilitate this collaborative and connected atmosphere. The content is broken up into 5 logical segments after we established and defined them as:

  • Cannabis Genomics and Chemotyping
  • Pre-Clinical/Clinical Cannabis Research: Concepts, Controversies & Emerging Evidence
  • Formulating the Future of Cannabis Products
  • Cannabis Cultivation, Extraction and Processing: Optimization and Innovation
  • Current State of Cannabis Testing: Lessons Learned & Future Opportunities

Can you tell me more about the poster session on the second night?

We work with the scientific director and find the most respected minds in those particular fields and ask them to be session chairs for us. After we have the chairholders in place, we call out to researchers and scientists in the community to submit abstracts to the correct session chair. After abstracts are vetted and chosen, the researchers are invited to present their work in a cocktail-style reception. The relaxed and intimate environment of the poster session truly allows researchers and analysts to discuss their work and connect with their peers.

This year’s Emerald Conference is surely not one to miss. There are limited sponsorship opportunities still available as well. To participate in this year’s Emerald Conference please visit www.emeraldconference.com for more information.

Before they sell out this year (again), make sure to register and reserve your tickets here:

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