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Cannabis Cultivation Webinar Series

Starting in February 2022, join the ICR Hemp Farmers Association (IHFA) co-chairs Dr. Sang Hyuck Park (Senior Scientist/Research Liaison at ICR, CSU Pueblo) and Prof. Nirit Bernstein (Senior Researcher, Head of the Medical Cannabis Research Lab at the Volcani Center in Israel) for a monthly webinar series focused on providing recent updates on farming technology, cultivation challenges, and entrepreneurship topics related to cannabis; as well as a networking opportunity. This webinar series hosts renowned cannabis scientists and cultivation/industrial experts who bring insights into the world of cultivation strategies.

February Webinar: Dr. Daniela Vergara on Wednesday, February 15th, at 11:00AM MST Title:“The upstream genes in the biochemical pathway”

Dr. Daniela Vergara is an evolutionary biologist, data analyst, educator, scientific writer, and public speaker. In addition to her multiple publications, she founded and directs a non-profit organization, the Agricultural Genomics Foundation (AGF; AGF aims to make hemp and cannabinoid science available to a broad public. Vergara has been part of escientific teams at private companies including Steep Hill, Inc. who are a global leader in agricultural testing, and the biotech company Front Range Biosciences. Dr. Vergara recently joined the Harvest New York Extension Team from Cornell University as an ‘Emerging Crop Specialist’ to help hemp farmers with their crop.

Dr. Vergara’s scientific publications include the comparison of the cannabinoids by the federally produced Cannabis to that produced by the private market. These results were featured in news platforms such as The Atlantic, Science, and FiveThirtyEight. Recently, she published a comparison between the genome of these federally produced varieties to the genome of the varieties found in the private markets. Some of her other scientific publications are a compilation of the existing genomic tools available for Cannabis research that was featured in Science, and the maternally inherited genomes (chloroplast and mitochondria). Vergara has authored these publications along with collaborators from the private sector in the Cannabis industry as well as academics from several institutions worldwide.

Vergara is also an international consultant and policy advisor and has advised companies in the US and Latin America. Additionally, she has worked as an expert witness for multiple legal cases in the US and abroad. Dr. Vergara is a scientific writer in both Spanish and English and has translated her scientific work in Spanish for a broad public in Hispanic Countries.

Previous Webinars


    November Webinar: Wednesday, November 16, 11:00AM MT; Dr. Eun-Soo Kim; Title: "Structure and Function of Glandular Trichomes in Cannabis"

    Dr. Eun-Soo Kim's background is in plant morphology and development, specializing in industrial and medicinal plants such as Cannabis, ginseng, geranium, hops, and Mentha. His research informs on practical issues in agriculture and plant biology. As a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University, he was responsible for investigating the development and ultrastructure of glandular trichomes in Cannabis. Additionally, from 1991 until 2002, he served as a visiting scientist in Dr. Paul Mahlberg’s lab, which was one of only two given DEA permission to grow Cannabis in the United States. He has published 20 research articles on Cannabis which have been cited over 750 times. His short-term plan is to research cannabinoids on glandular trichomes, such as CBD, CBG, and CBC in the hopes of providing useful knowledge for the development of a candidate medicine. He is Professor Emeritus at Konkuk University and has served as Dean, the College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Konkuk University. Currently, he is working as a Visiting Scholar, with the Institute of Cannabis Research.

    Cannabis Cultivation Webinar Series (November): Dr. EunSoo Kim

    November 2, 2022 at 11:00AM MT; Dr. Larry Smart Title: “Shedding light on the genetic control of flowering time in hemp”

    Larry Smart is Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University and is based at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. He is a plant geneticist and breeder who uses genomic tools to understand the biology of key traits and to breed improved cultivars of hemp for grain, fiber, and cannabinoids; shrub willow for bioenergy and carbon sequestration; and hop for craft breweries in New York. His research focuses on hybrid vigor, sex determination, and disease resistance. He earned a BS in Biology from Cornell University, PhD in Genetics from Michigan State University, and was an NSF post-doctoral fellow at UC Davis.

    Cannabis Research Monthly Webinar (November): Dr. Larry Smart, Wed, November 2, 2022

    July 20th at 11:00AM MT -Dr. Sanghyuck Park, Title: “Defensive Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) against Pest Insect Tobacco Hornworm Manduca sexta Through Disrupting Exoskeleton Development”

    Dr. Park obtained his PhD in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. He completed two postdoctoral research associate trainings at the University of Arizona and USDA-ARS. With his expertise in plant cell & molecular biology, Dr. Park joined the ICR in 2017 as a Senior Scientist. He has been leading multi-tiered cannabis and cannabinoid research with ICR partners, as well as international collaborators. He published 25 research articles and received the ElSohly Award from the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision, of the American Chemical Society in 2020, and was also awarded the Excellence in Innovation, Colorado State University - Fort Collins in 2022. He received a large national grant from South Korea and anticipates continuing his cannabinoids testing using a novel insect model system. Dr. Park is a member of the ICR Conference Planning Committee and serves as Chair of the ICR Hemp Farmers Association.

    July 2022 Cannabis Cultivation Webinar - Dr. Sanghyuck Park

    June 15th at 11:00AM MT: Dr. Stanley Freeman - Fungal diseases of medical cannabis and non-chemical methods for inflorescence decontamination

    The recording of this webinar will be posted once we receive permission from the presenter due to the unpublished nature of some of the research presented. Check back later for the recording.

    Dr. Stanley Freeman is a senior researcher of plant pathology at the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Center, Israel, where he has worked primarily on fruit crop diseases since 1993. Dr. Freeman obtained his Ph.D in plant pathology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel in 1991, and was awarded a BARD postdoctoral fellowship to conduct research at the University of California Riverside, USA, from 1991-93. His expertise encompasses the fields of molecular plant-pathogen interactions of Fusarium, Colletotrichum, and other fungal species. Over the past 5 years, he has been involved in identifying fungal pathogens affecting medical cannabis and managing causal agents of disease. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, 30 articles in conference proceedings, 15 book chapters, and edited two books. He frequently presents his research accomplishments at international conferences, at other scientific meetings, and to local growers. He is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal 'Phytoparasitica', and served as the President of the Israeli Phytopathological Society from 2013-2017.


    May 18th at 11:00AM MT -Dr. Whitney Cranshaw - Identifying and Defining the Management Needs for Insect and Mite Pests of North American Cannabis Crops

    Dr. Whitney Cranshaw is an Emeritus Professor and Instructor at Colorado State University in the Department of Agricultural Biology. After receiving his M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1981) in Entomology from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Cranshaw became an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at Colorado State University in 1983. As a faculty member and extension specialist at Colorado State University for 37 years, Dr. Cranshaw’s responsibilities included developing applied pest management programs for insect pests of horticultural crops in Colorado including vegetables, shade trees and shrubs, turf, fruit, and greenhouse crops; meeting the entomology Extension needs of the state; and teaching undergraduate and graduate classes related to general entomology, horticultural entomology, and diagnostics. His recent work with cannabis has investigated Beet Curly Top Virus (BCTV) in Cannabis sativa L. in Western Colorado, rice root aphid in Cannabis sativa L. in North America, and developing pest management systems for hemp in the United States. In Post-Retirement, Dr. Cranshaw continues to maintain listserv discussion groups, websites for insect and hemp insect information, and Extension fact sheets related to entomology while also continuing to work on entomology related projects including hemp entomology.

    May 2022 Cannabis Cultivation Webinar - Dr. Whitney Cranshaw

    April 13th at 11:00AM MT -Dr. Punya Nachappa, Title: Wild wild west: Emerging viruses and viroid communities of hemp

    Dr. Punya Nachappa received her M.S. in Entomology from University of Georgia, and Ph.D. in Entomology from Kansas State University. After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Nachappa held positions as a post-doctoral associate at Kansas State University and Texas A&M University. Prior to joining Colorado State University (CSU), she was an Associate Professor at Purdue University Fort Wayne. As an Associate Professor at CSU, the Nachappa Lab's research focuses on understanding the interaction between plants, pathogens, and insect vectors in cropping systems that are of importance to Colorado agriculture, including hemp plants. Topics of interest include studying the biology and pest management options of some key pests of hemp such as the hemp russet mite and cannabis aphid and the ecology and epidemiology of the beet curly top virus (BCTV) and beet leafhopper in hemp. The lab is using hemp viral metagenomics to characterize the diversity of viruses/viroids in hemp.

    April 2022 Cannabis Cultivation Webinar - Dr. Punya Nachappa

    March 16th at 11:00AM MT -Mr. Mitchell Westmoreland: Toward a sustainable approach to phosphorus fertilization in Cannabis cultivation

    Mitchell Westmoreland is a Ph.D. candidate in the Crop Physiology Laboratory, currently under the directorship of Dr. Bruce Bugbee, at Utah State University. He received his B.S. in Biology from Utah State University in 2018, after which he worked for the USDA Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, UT before beginning his graduate work. His research deals with the cultivation and physiology of medical Cannabis, with a focus on the influence of electric lighting, mineral nutrition, and temperature on flower yield and quality. Westmoreland teaches an undergraduate course on the science of medical Cannabis cultivation, as well as an online course that is open to the public. He has published in the journal PLoS One and has been an invited speaker at Cannabis Business Times’ Cannabis Conference and is a member of The American Society for Horticultural Science and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

    March 2022 Cannabis Cultivation Webinar - Mitchell Westmoreland

    February 16th at 11:00AM MT -Dr. Nirit Bernstein: Advances in cannabis cultivation techniques: The power of mineral nutrition, lighting & plant structure

    Dr. Nirit Bernstein is a Senior Researcher and Head of the Medical Cannabis Research Lab at the Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, located in Israel, and is a leader in medical cannabis research and irrigation with recycled water in Israel. She has a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis USA, and a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her research focuses on the production and physiology of medicinal cannabis by manipulation of environmental treatments; optimization of agrotechniques for environmentally stressed plants; mineral nutrition of plants, and plant stress physiology.

    Dr. Bernstein has published over 60 academic publications, 10 book chapters, and inviter reviews, and is a member of the Editorial Board of five international scientific journals. Additionally, Dr. Bernstein serves as the Chief Editor of scientific manuscripts in Hebrew for the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel, has been a project leader of 60 national and international research projects, and teaches 2 graduate-level courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Bernstein has been attracting a lot of attention in Israel because she was the first agricultural researcher to be licensed to study medical cannabis in Israel.

    February 2022 Cannabis Cultivation Webinar - Dr. Nirit Bernstein

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