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Cannabis Plant-Science and Cultivation Webinar Series

Join us for the "Cannabis plant-science and cultivation" monthly webinar series, co-hosted by Prof. Sang Hyuck Park (senior scientist/Research liaison at ICR, CSU Pueblo) and Prof. Nirit Bernstein (senior scientist, Head of the medical cannabis research lab at the Volcani Institute, in Israel). This platform hosts renowned cannabis scientists and cultivation/industry experts from around the globe, and provides recent updates on cannabis plant physiology, biology, genetics, and chemistry, addressing advances in cultivation strategies and challenges. This webinar series offers stimulating discussion, analysis of cutting edge research, and opportunities for networking.

October 25th Webinar: The ICR Hemp Farmers Association is pleased to host Dr. Brian Whipker on Wednesday, October 25th, at 11:00AM MST Title: "Cannabis Insights: Diagnosing Nutrient Disorders”

Brian Whipker has been a Professor at NC State University for over 30 years specializing in plant nutrition, plant growth regulators, and disorder diagnostics. He has published >120 scientific papers and >300 grower articles during his career. He co-created an online grower resource which focuses on nutrient monitoring and nutrient standards. He also co-authored the book Nutrient Deficiencies in Bedding Plants: A Pictorial Guide for Identification and Correction. The culmination of his plant growth regulator research is emphasized in the Plant Growth Regulator Guide for Annuals published by Fine America/GrowerTalks. His current focus is to provide scientifically-based grower information about plant leaf tissue analysis standards and plant nutrition.

Previous Webinars


    September 13 Webinar: The ICR Hemp Farmers Association is pleased to host Dr. Jim Faust on Wednesday, September 13th, at 11:00AM MST Register Here: Title: "Nutrient Restriction (AKA Flushing): An old idea with a new twist"

    Dr. Jim Faust is a professor of floriculture physiology at Clemson University in South Carolina, US. where he teaches hydroponics and greenhouse production courses and does research on Cannabis mother plant production, propagation, height control, flowering and postharvest drying and curing. He and Dr. Allison Justice started the Cannabis Research Coalition in 2022 to introduce more science into cannabis production methods. He also does research on cut flower pro production and postharvest issues.


    August 23rd - Webinar: The ICR Hemp Farmers Association is pleased to host Dr. Mark Lefsrud on Wednesday, August 23rd, at 11:00AM MST Registration here: Title: Cannabis Production and Processing from a Canadian Perspective.

    Dr. Lefsrud is an Associate Professor at McGill University and leads the Biomass Production Laboratory. His education includes a B.Sc. (USask) and M.Sc. (Rutgers) in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, and a Ph.D. (UTenn) in Plant Physiology, giving him a background in agriculture, biology, and engineering. The laboratory's primary goal is the improvement of plants for human consumption (food security), post-harvest processing, and energy. Within the focus of food security, we are investigating methods for controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and indoor plant environments (IPE), including research for medicinal cannabis, northern greenhouses, tropical greenhouses, greenhouse heating using wood pellets (with direct combustion and gasification), light-emitting diodes, HVAC, and technologies for improving vertical farming.


    July 19th - Webinar: The ICR Hemp Farmers Association is pleased to host Dr. Jan Frederik Stevens on Wednesday, July 19th, at 11:00AM MST: Title: “Chemistry and Pharmacology of Cannabinoids”

    Jan Frederik (‘Fred’) Stevens earned his M.S. in pharmacy (1988), Pharm.D. (1990), and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry (1995) from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He received postdoctoral training at Oregon State University (1995-1999), the Free University of Amsterdam (1999-2000), and the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry, Halle/Saale, Germany (2000-2002). In 2002, he joined the faculty at Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, where he holds positions as Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Pharmacy. He has authored more than 174 articles in peer-review journals (Web of Science h-index 47; Google Scholar h-index 54). He received five awards for excellence in teaching at the OSU College of Pharmacy. He holds a guest professorship at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, where he teaches a course on medicinal natural products. He serves on the Executive Editorial Board of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and has served the Phytochemical Society of North America as President (2013-2014). In 2022, he accepted the role of President of the World Polyphenols Congress. His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture, aims to determine the role and function of dietary phytochemicals in human health and disease. More than 90 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, visiting scholars, and foreign exchange students received research training in the Stevens Laboratory. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics is a major research tool in his laboratory for the discovery of biological effects of vitamins and phytochemicals in cultured cells, animal models of disease, and in humans.


    May 17th Webinar: The ICR Hemp Farmers Association is pleased to host Dr. James DeDecker, PhD, on Wednesday, May 17th, at 11:00AM MST : Title: "Hemp Agronomy and Variety Performance in the Midwest US"

    Dr. James DeDecker is Director of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan and a Specialist in the MSU Extension Community, Food and Environment Institute. James has led hemp research at MSU since 2019 with a focus on agronomy, variety performance, and integrated pest management for all hemp products. Together with university collaborators and growers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, James facilitates the Midwest Hemp Research Collaborative, which is currently focused on launching a new participatory research project supported by USDA-NIFA. James also serves as the Michigan representative for the multi-state S-1084 Hatch project focused on collaborative hemp research efforts across the US. 

    April Webinar: Dr. David (Dedi) Meiri on Wednesday, April 19th, at 11:00AM MST Title: The challenges in bridging the gap between traditional and modern medicine in the medical cannabis arena

    Associate Professor David (Dedi) Meiri heads the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at the Faculty of Biology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he is also a member of the Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC).\nDr. Meiri comes from a highly diverse scientific background. He holds an M.Sc. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from Tel Aviv University. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute where he focused on the role of the GEF-H1 protein in tumor invasion and metastasis, receiving in a short time worldwide recognition as an expert in the fields of G-protein coupled receptors and small GTPases.\nPresently, Dr. Meiri’s lab investigates the vast therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and other bioactive components in various species of cannabis, as well as endogenous cannabinoids from the human body. On top of the research on cannabis, the lab is also studying secondary metabolites from algae and psychedelic mushrooms. The lab’s current research interest is how these naturally occurring metabolites affect various types of cancer, inflammatory diseases and disorders of the nervous system such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and others. The lab consists of a highly trained team of skilled professionals and students, working in synergy to achieve the highest level of results, to better understand the complexity and diversity of cannabis and other natural components, and realize their full therapeutic potential for human health. \nDr. Meiri is also highly involved in governmental regulations and is a residing member in several Israeli Ministry of Health committees that seek to advance the fundamental understanding of optimal cannabis usage and curtailing adverse effects.

    March Webinar: Dr. Clinton Shock on Wednesday, March 15th, at 11:00AM MST Title: “Cost competitive hemp production for cannabinoids”

    Dr. Clinton C. Shock, PhD in Plant Physiology, University of California, Davis; Professor Emeritus Oregon State University; Certified Professional Horticulturalist.  Clint has enthusiasm for plants and seeks to use science and education to solve horticultural, environmental,economic, and social problems. His research has developed economically viable options that are voluntarily implemented by growers. As Director of an Oregon State University experiment station from 1984 to 2018 he headed cooperative efforts to improve growers’ yields and profitability while simultaneously correcting environmental problems. His work resulted in drip irrigation technology options for onion growers and improved groundwater quality in the Treasure Valley of Oregon and Idaho.Clint has studied thewater use requirements of many crops and crop yield and quality responses to carefully managed irrigation. He has supported professionally several watershed councils since their inception.These councils have designed, funded, and implemented over a hundred diverse watershed restoration projects. Clint has envisioned and generated win-win solutions to problems such as credit and market access for poor growers in the Brazil, revegetation in the Amazon, “sugar end” of potato in the Pacific Northwest of the US, and groundwater contamination and irrigation induced erosion in the Treasure Valley. In China Clint helps drip irrigation research. Currently Clint is conducting horticultural research and breeding on medicinal crops.

    Cannabis Cultivation Webinar Series (March): Dr. Clinton Shock


    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.

    Cannabis Cultivation Webinar Series (February):  Dr. Daniela Vergara

    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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