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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Roger Pertwee

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Roger Pertwee, Ph.D. will deliver the Mechoulam Lecture at the Institute of Cannabis Research – 2020 Conference. Dr. Pertwee was personally recommended by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam for this honor.

Roger Pertwee has three degrees from the University of Oxford: MA (in biochemistry), D.Phil. (in pharmacology) and D.Sc. (in physiological sciences). He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen, where he is still actively engaged in scientific cannabinoid research. He is also an invited scientific advisor on cannabinoid pharmacology/therapeutics to the Beckley Foundation, and has formal links with GW Pharmaceuticals.

In addition, he is co-chairman of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Subcommittee on Cannabinoid Receptors, has served twice as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS; 1997-1998 and 2007-2008), and once as chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM; 2005-2007), and is currently serving as International Secretary of the ICRS and as a member of the IACM Board of Directors.

He received the 2002 Mechoulam Award “for his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research”, the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) 2011 Welcome Gold Medal “for outstanding contributions to pharmacology, based mainly on research achievements”, the 2013 IACM Special Award “for his major contributions to the re-introduction of cannabis as a medicine”, the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICRS “for outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research and to the ICRS”, and Highly Cited Researcher Awards from Thomson Reuters in 2014 “in recognition of ranking among the top 1% of researchers for most cited documents in their specific field”, and from Clarivate Analytics in 2018 “in recognition of exceptional research performance demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers, those that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Pharmacology and Toxicology”.

He is also an Honorary Fellow of the BPS. His research has focused mainly on the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. This cannabinoid research began in 1968 at Oxford University and continued when he moved to Aberdeen University in 1974. His achievements include (1) the demonstration that cannabidiol is a highly effective inhibitor of certain hepatic microsomal enzymes, (2) the development of assays such as the in vivo “ring immobility test”, and the in vitro mouse vas deferens assay for CB1 receptor agonists, (3) discovering the basis of the hypothermic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice, and (4) the joint discovery both of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin in cannabis, and of endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), the discovery of a CB1 receptor allosteric site, and significant contributions to the pharmacological characterization both of phytocannabinoids (e.g. delta-9 tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid and cannabigerol) and of notable synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. methanandamide, ACEA, ACPA, AM281, AM630, HU-308, HU-580, O-1057 and Org27569).   

Dr. Jeffrey Steiner

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Dr. Jeffrey Steiner is the Associate Director of Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. Jeff organizes national field research, development of faculty-led research consortia, and management of center activities. The GHIC is home to the world’s leading experts in hemp research and is the largest of its kind in the nation. The Center works to advance hemp and its market potential through innovation across all aspects of supply chains, involving faculty leaders from multiple disciplines who partner with diverse industry sectors to help meet the growing demand for food, fiber, essential oils, and other products made from hemp. Jeff previously served as division director for plant production at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Washington, DC. where he was the agency technical lead for hemp, and helped establish department policies for utilizing grant programs for hemp research. Jeff is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and recipient of the career CSSA Seed Science Award. He was raised on a diversified family farm near Visalia in the California San Joaquin Valley where his parents grew cotton, alfalfa hay, grain, and fruit and nut tree crops, and raised hogs and cattle.

Unlocking a Dusty Time Capsule: Shaking out Hemp Genetics, Geography, Sector Composition, and Equity

Hemp, a new-old crop, has missed out on 80 years of discovery and innovation that have propelled agricultural productivity to this point in time when more food, feed, and fiber are produced for so many, by so few, than ever before. The efficiencies by which agricultural-based products are produced are staggering compared to early in the last century, but with these increases have come additional economic, environmental, and social challenges to the long-term sustainability of farms, communities, and the planet. The potential for hemp is widely touted as a solution to improve health outcomes, provide new renewable products, and expand economic development, but what does that really mean? This presentation reviews the status of hemp as an emergent commodity finding its way into existing agricultural landscapes and markets, and provides perspectives on its possibilities for the future and what is needed to get there.

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