Tom Ulanowski is President at Nextleaf Labs Ltd and formerly the Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and Manager at Canna Farms Ltd., a family-owned and operated 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 an MSc Degree in Biogeochemistry and Hydrogeology from the University of Western Ontario. At Canna Farms, Tom ensured that all of Canna Farms’ dried cannabis and cannabis oil was produced under Good Production/Manufacturing Practices (GPP/GMP). In addition to his QA/QC experience, Tom was 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 since 2015 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 in cannabis, 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.
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.
Chris Chackal is the Production Supervisor at Zenabis West.
Originally from Montreal, Chris moved to Vancouver with the cannabis industry in mind. His journey of learning about cannabis cultivation dates back before 2010.
As the Lead Production Supervisor at Zenabis West, he oversees all aspects of growing including: plant training techniques, automated irrigation programs, nutrient schedules, integrated pest management, cloning, harvest/drying and more.
Chris previously worked for Apple, has a certification in Audio Engineering, plays piano and loves boxing.
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.
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.
Scott Mayer earned an undergraduate honors degree in Biology in 1997 from the University of Mary in North Dakota. He is the Vice President of Operation, alternate Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and SPIC/RPIC at Experion Biotechnologies Inc., in Mission BC. Scott has been with Experion in the senior site leadership role since October 2017. In which time he has completed the build-out and commissioning of the site, established all cultivation systems and processes and directed the implementation of Site Security the Quality Management Systems. Scott has been with Experion from the approval to cultivate through to the unlocking of all the various Sales Licenses. In this time Scott managed every Heath Canada inspection, audit, notification of change and amendment application.
In addition, since 2013 Scott has been and continues to be a consultant to a number of approved and potential Licensed Producers (LPs) under the ACMPR regime, as well as Standard and Micro applicants under the Cannabis Act. With over 20 years pharmaceutical experience in Engineering, Quality, Operations, and consulting, Scott brings 2 decades of learning from working in highly regulated environments all over North America, the EU, Asia, and Australia to this new industry. As such, Scott possesses a multifaceted knowledge of manufacturing, regulatory, facility and process optimization in GMP, FDA and Health Canada regulated manufacturing facilities.
Scott an avid traveler, a lifelong athlete, coach and sports fan (Go Hawks!), and is an advocate for healthy living and natural, science-based alternatives to the pharmaceutical medicine. Scott sees great potential in the Cannabis plant and its derivatives and is very excited and grateful to be a part of this new journey.
Scott currently lives in Ocean Park with his wife Nikki and two beautiful daughters.
Kim Haakstad uses two decades of experience as a senior political aide and advisor for public, private and business organizations to provide insight to Global clients. She has built a reputation of maintaining integrity through adversity and brings a first-hand understanding of the inner workings of government to the issues management and government relations services she provides.
Prior to joining Global, Kim got her start as a political advisor as a constituency assistant in the mid-’90’s. She was Ministerial Assistant in the Ministries of Education and Family and Children before being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations for the Premier’s Office in 2011—one of a handful of senior political advisors to the government. She also worked as Manager of Local and Aboriginal Content Strategy for Spectra Energy’s Western Canadian business where her work ensured Aboriginal communities could more fully participate in projects occurring in their Traditional Territory. Kim also served nearly four years as the Executive Director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC).
Kim currently serves as the BC Chapter President of the Public Affairs Association of Canada.
Jamie Shaw is a Partner of Groundwork Consulting, a Director of the BC Independent Cannabis Association, and an Advisor to NICHE Canada. She has previously served as Government Relations and Sr. Policy Development for Indigenous Bloom, Government Relations Director for MMJ Canada, President of CAMCD, a Director of the B.C. Compassion Club, and co-founder of Canada’s first Women Grow Chapter. She was an expert witness in the Allard trial that won patients the right to grow for themselves, and her lobbying efforts led to dispensary licensing in multiple B.C. municipalities. She is a co-author of the Lift Retail Cannabis Training Course, and her writing on cannabis issues can be found in various publications.