Tom Ulanowski is the Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and Manager at Canna Farms Ltd., a family-owned and operated ACMPR Licensed Producer of high-quality medical cannabis based in Hope, British Columbia. Tom is a Chartered Chemist, and holds an HBSc Degree in Analytical Chemistry & Environmental Monitoring from the University of Toronto, and a MSc Degree in Biogeochemistry and Hydrogeology from the University of Western Ontario. At Canna Farms, Tom ensures that all of Canna Farms’ dried cannabis and cannabis oil is produced under Good Production/Manufacturing Practices (GPP/GMP), and that all products meet and exceed strict acceptance criteria as required under Health Canada's ACMPR. In addition to his QA/QC responsibilities, Tom is intimately involved in day-to day production/manufacturing activities at Canna Farms, as well as method and product development, regulatory liaison, licensing, education/outreach, and marketing.
Tom is an advocate of a science-based approach to cannabis cultivation, and encourages the use of critical thinking and healthy skepticism in all aspects of the human experience. He has been involved in the Canadian legal cannabis industry for nearly 2 years, and has gained an intimate knowledge of all aspects of cannabis production/manufacturing and associated regulations from seed-to-sale, including cultivation, extraction, and testing of cannabis. 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. Tom has also conducted extensive interdisciplinary environmental research in the Hudson Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, Canada.
Tom currently resides in Abbotsford with his fiancée Tara, and in his spare time, enjoys photography, music, climbing, diving, snowboarding, and exploring his (relatively) new home on the West Coast of Canada.
Gabriel Bélanger is a Junior Chemical Engineer at Laporte Consultants, a consulting firm that specializes in biopharmaceutical, food & beverage and industrial engineering. Gabriel is a member of ASTM D37 Committee on Cannabis to develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes. He wants to contribute to the development of test methods, practices and guides for cultivation, quality assurance, laboratory considerations, packaging and security.
Prior to working with Laporte, Gabriel co-founded Vertica Urban Farm: a startup producing lettuce for restaurants in a vertical farming system. He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Université de Sherbrooke.
Gabriel spends his time between Québec City and Montréal. He enjoys travelling, reading and magic.
David has been studying advertising regulations for medical cannabis in Canada since the introduction of the MMPR in 2013. As the Communications Director for Lift Cannabis and the Editor in Chief of Lift Cannabis News, David has closely followed the development and evolution of Health Canada's Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) into the the current Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), exploring and reporting on changes within the industry, including the regulator's approach to marketing regulations for cannabis and their enforcement of these regulations. David has managed multiple social media accounts for various cannabis organizations in Canada, including developing and establishing Lift Cannabis' extensive social media network across multiple platforms. In his role as Editor in Chief at Lift, he has closely covered the ever-changing approach to how cannabis can be marketed in Canada, and as a marketer has helped brands establish themselves in the cannabis space in a tasteful, informed way.
David is an advocate for legalization and a proponent of a cohesive regulatory regime that allows for accountability, innovation and advancement of the cannabis industry.
Chris Chackal is the Production Supervisor at Zenabis West.
Ram Davloor is the Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and the Chief Compliance Officer at 7ACRES, a medical marijuana Licensed Producer and subsidiary of Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc. 7ACRES produces medical marijuana at its hybrid greenhouse in Tiverton, Ontario. Ram was part of the founding management team that started up the 7ACRES greenhouse and successfully obtained the licence from Health Canada to grow medical marijuana. He developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), implemented them, helped train staff in their use and works with the production department to improve their effectiveness. In addition to his role as QAP, Ram’s responsibilities includes managing record keeping, security and IT departments at 7ACRES.
Ram received his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario and his Master’s in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to joining 7ACRES, he worked for 29 years in the nuclear industry in various capacities, including management positions in operations, project management and program development. He developed the heavy water management QA program at Bruce Power and has authored several papers in waste management, water treatment and heavy water management. Ram has applied his strong background in regulatory compliance in the young and fast growing medical marijuana business. He is a member of the Cannabis Canada Association Committee on Regulations.
Ram lives in Port Elgin, Ontario, where he raised his 5 children. He enjoys music, travelling, and sailing.
Matthew is the Financial Controller for Sun Pharm Investments Ltd. Group of Companies which include Zenabis Ltd. and Vida Cannabis (Canada) Ltd. His primary responsibilities include capital planning, budgeting, maintaining internal controls, building and maintaining the accounting system, financial reporting, and supporting financing transactions. Matthew previously worked as a financial auditor of private and public companies while working for various public accounting firms. Matthew has experience working with manufacturing, life science, agricultural, and professional services industries.
Educational background includes a Master of Accounting and Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management from the University of Waterloo. Matthew is also a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant (Wisconsin). His interests include hiking, snowshoeing, camping, hockey, and travelling.
Karen Parent, BScN, MSc, MPA, MCPM
Karen Parent is the Divisional Manager, Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and RPIC for the BC Division of International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd. Karen has been involved in the regulated cannabis industry since 2014 and brings experience and knowledge on all aspects of the business from seed to sale. Karen has expertise in quality assurance, facility management, production, sales as well as research and evaluation. Karen holds two Master’s degrees; one in Epidemiology and the other in Public Administration, and a Masters Certificate in Project Manager from the Executive Education Centre at the Schulich School of Business. Working with a team of experts, Karen is passionate about building the core competencies of people looking to enter into this exciting area of work.
Dessy has been studying drug policy and the cannabis industry for over a decade. As a marketing strategist, she has worked with a number of medical cannabis companies through the various changes in regulations from Health Canada's original Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR) to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). In her role as chair of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) and as an advisory board member of the National Institute of Health and Education (NICHE) she works closely with stakeholders from cannabis organizations to politicians and educators to the general public on drug and health education. Dessy works with startups and small businesses to develop their brand and digital marketing strategies in and outside of the Canadian cannabis industry.
A serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, Natasha Raey’s primary work focuses include: healthcare, women’s empowerment and medical cannabis. Most recently, Natasha opened Cadence Health Centre, a multi-disciplinary health centre and compounding pharmacy in downtown Toronto, and is in the process of expanding to Vancouver, British Columbia. Natasha is the Chief Relationship Officer at GradsLikeMe – a technology startup that aims to help students create their personal brand and connect with employers for job and project opportunities. As a consultant in the primary health care field, Natasha works with construction companies, health authorities and family practitioners to improve patient attachment and the experience of family physicians, in addition to overseeing clinical planning for new developments. As the co-founder of SheTalks Global, Natasha spearheaded the creation of this movement that has created a platform for real women to share their raw, authentic stories. Natasha is also involved as a team member and partner in a handful of medical cannabis companies in Canada. A true nomad, Natasha splits her time between Toronto, Kelowna, and Vancouver.
Matt Rogge is the Director of Production at 7 ACRES where he has developed a proprietary production system designed to produce craft quality cannabis on a mass-market scale. The 7 ACRES cultivation system hybridizes greenhouse and indoor cultivation practices, and places heavy emphasis on integrated pest management, plant nutrition and carefully curated employee cultural practices.
Prior to joining 7 ACRES, Matt began his career by obtaining diplomas in Forestry and Horticulture, giving him the academic basis on which to develop his cannabis cultivation programs. As an instructor in the Cannabis Professional Series at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Matt shares his passion through engaging curriculum, mentoring the new generation of enthusiastic industry professionals.
Chrystal has over 7 years experience of financial accounting in the public sector, specifically within the Provincial Government. Her work includes several years as a Financial Auditor at the Office of the Auditor General of BC, which entailed auditing various government entities, including (but not limited to) crown corporations, ministries, and health authorities. She also held the position of Manager of Finance and Administration at the Office of the Chief Judge, part of the judiciary arm of government. Currently, she works as the Manager of Finance, Budgets and Analytics at School District #43 (Coquitlam). A large part of her position entails working with the Assistant Secretary Treasurer to develop, maintain and oversee the School District's budget of over $300 million.
In addition to her regular position, Chrystal also operates a personal business completing tax returns for a variety of clientele. She also serves as a mentor for Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) Candidates. Her educational background includes a CPA, CA designation (completed under the Chartered Accounting program) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Douglas College. Interests include travelling, fitness, cooking and movies.