Why go to the Emerald Conference?

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Q&A with Dr. Reggie Gaudino, Chief Scientific Officer of Steep Hill Labs

Dr. Reggie Gaudino sat down with us last week to help explain the basic premise behind the Emerald Conference.

Watch the 40-second synopsis

Q: Why should I bother going to the Emerald Conference when there are so many other cannabis conferences out there?

A: Of all the cannabis conferences that I go to there are very few that I find extremely useful where you get information, you get contacts for networking, for solutions, for technology. This is the one where I get the most of all that. The Emerald Conference is not a conference for the lifestyle people; it’s the conference for the people who are looking to invest in technology to put together a program to help them succeed in the cannabis industry.

Q: [actual question from Facebook] “$400/ticket, #%&* what are people paying for?”

A: [laughing] In a way this is a great question. My keynote address is speaking to why we are all here together. The Emerald Conference is really a great value. It truly is the first science conference in cannabis. Emerald Scientific started this conference 4 years ago, and there’s been a steady evolution ever since. It’s not just for vendors like some other conferences. Emerald has programs for extractors and cultivators to pick up tips and hone their game, to see what the cutting-edge technology is that will help them get their jobs done better.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about how new regulations will affect the industry. How can I participate and contribute to this conversation?

A: The beauty of this conference is that for the past couple of years regulators have started attending, too. So now there’s an essential, open dialogue taking place here that’s not happening elsewhere. There’s a lot of information that continually needs to transfer between the players in this industry. Sometimes regulators are misinformed about what’s really happening in cannabis production facilities. Compliance means testing which means you need the right KPIs, the right equipment, and especially the knowledge. Emerald provides a central platform where you have everybody coming together to talk and learn together so that moving forward the industry becomes a better place.

Q: Why does this conference have a reputation for being the most technical cannabis science conference?

A: The technical nature of this conference arose in parallel to the evolving technical needs of the industry. Five years ago, who would have known that we need technology to do the things at the GLP (Good Laboratories Practice) and GMP (Good manufacturing practices) level that they do in pharma to be able to cross that threshold of professionalism.

For example, my lab discovered a lot of things about pesticides way before people were happy to hear about them. When we learned that pesticides were being used early in the cloning process, we published papers on it began educating everyone about this problem. We were able to solve this problem because Steep Hill doubled down as a company and invested in that next level of equipment and methods, and by doing so we discovered the whole next layer of the puzzle. In the beginning it was tough for cannabis labs. A lot of the more traditional biology reagent vendors were unwilling to work with cannabis companies until Emerald came along. Emerald Scientific helped pull a lot of early cannabis labs through a really hard time. And now through this conference which is certainly the most technical in the industry, we are helping educate other professionals to take everybody along to the next level.

About Dr. Gaudino and Steep Hill Labs

Dr. Reggie Gaudino oversees all scientific research and development for Steep Hill and manages the Ynsight™ genetics division. Dr. Gaudino directed a team of researchers which led to the development of GenKit™, the first cannabis DNA-based sex test. The research from Dr. Gaudino has been peer-reviewed and published, leading to important new discoveries in the cannabis industry. He is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of cannabis genetics where his former experience as a Patent Agent with Sequenom brings valuable insight to the cannabis industry. His groundbreaking work was featured in April 2016 in Wired Magazine.

Dr. Gaudino also is the Scientific Advisor for partner company, Pathogendx, where he helps identify and commercialize DNA based testing opportunities in the Cannabis Industry. Dr. Gaudino and Steep Hill act as the partner laboratory for Pathogendx product development and validation testing. Dr. Gaudino also is currently advising additional Cannabis companies, from both a scientific and intellectual property perspective.

Dr. Gaudino received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and he conducted four years of post-doctoral research at the Washington University in St. Louis, studying transcriptional regulation of rRNA. Reggie was one of the first African-American molecular biologists to enter a PhD program in the United States in 1985.

Learn more at Steep Hill Labs

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