Each week we highlight entrepreneur’s in the cannabis industry so our viewers can learn who is behind the team of the upcoming and leading businesses, organizations, and non-profits in the industry.
This week we would like to introduce Joshua Crossney, President and Founder of jCanna, Inc., (www.jCanna.com) a Maryland based 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of cannabis science, analytical testing, and personalized (precision) medicine.
Joshua has a background in analytical science recruiting and event planning. He is doing his best to bridge the gap between analytical sciences and the medical cannabis industry to help improve the quality of medicinal cannabis products being used by patients. The lack of unified methods and standards for contamination and potency in cannabis testing and the fact that some states don’t even require QC/QA testing for their medical cannabis programs was very troubling to Josh. This led him to found jCanna.
Josh is especially passionate about helping pediatric cannabis patients suffering from debilitating illnesses. Josh is a contributing author for multiple publications, including The Analytical Scientist, Medical Jane, and 1000 Watts Magazine. He has also done on-camera hosting and moderating for multiple cannabis and scientific media outlets.
Josh is also the Founder of the annual Cannabis Science Conference (www.
Josh has a motto of collaboration, not competition in this emerging medical industry where so much still needs to be accomplished.
In our interview we asked Joshua a variety of questions sharing about his experiences, he had some insightful information and advice to share with each of you.
Please share with our viewers, a little about jCanna, Inc.
Joshua M. Crossney: jCanna is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of affiliates including cannabis industry insiders, scientists, medical doctors, policymakers and interested novices working together to advance awareness of legal, medicinal cannabis related topics. Our affiliates work to share insights and advance solutions to improve cannabis analytical testing technologies.
They host meetings and roundtables include topics on sample preparation, chromatography, mass spectrometry, cannabinomics, terpene profiling, quality control testing for public safety, contamination analysis (pesticides, residual solvents, microorganisms and heavy metals), genetics/genomics, regulations, legalization, scientific methods/standards and medicinal uses of cannabis.
jCanna participates and hosts several meetings, including an annual Cannabis Science Conference event.
Being a founder, we are bound to make a mistake or two, what is one mistake you made that turned up being one of your biggest learning lessons?
Joshua M. Crossney: One of the biggest challenges for me is that I sometimes try to do everything on my own. If we want to be truly successful, we have to reach out to others for help. I highly respect the advice I receive from employees, volunteers, mentors, and peers. As entrepreneurs, we need to be able to accept praise, as well as constructive criticism and learn how to grow from it. Everyone is stronger with a good team behind them!
How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Joshua M. Crossney: I would love to see this industry share more information and innovations with each other, rather than being proprietary and secretive, especially when it comes to helping sick patients. It would be great to see more collaboration, instead of so much competition.
We have heard a lot of great feedback about the Cannabis Science Conference, what makes your conference different and why is it important for the cannabis industry?
Joshua M. Crossney: Thank you for the positive feedback! We take great pride in being the world’s largest cannabis science conference & expo. We have built up a great base of expert speakers, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors. Being a non-profit, we have no products or services to push. Our agenda is to bridge the gap between analytical science, medicine, and cannabis. Our inaugural event in October 2016, hosted over 750 attendees from all over the world, including Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Israel, Guam, Russia, Denmark, UK, and Nigeria! We also hosted 75 Sponsor & Exhibitor booths. The buzz that you heard about our inaugural event just reflects the incredible sense of coming together to share information and begin to overcome nearly a century of misinformation and stigma. Attendees enthusiastically stated that they received goosebumps from the incredible sense of sharing and togetherness.
We also host a very unique “Canna Boot Camp”; a full-day, hands-on cannabis education workshop that covered topics such as cultivation, processing, extractions, sample prep, analytical testing and edibles manufacturing. What made this event magical was the diversity of attendee backgrounds, as well as Chalice Farms amazing facility! The amazing feedback from last year has prompted us to expand our Canna Boot Camp this year.
Can you share with our viewers of what you have in store for us all this year?
Joshua M. Crossney: We completely filled our 2016 venue, The Red Lion on the River, and we knew it was time to move on to a much bigger venue for 2017. This year the Cannabis Science Conference will be held at the beautiful Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland, Oregon. We have over 60,000 square feet of exhibit hall space and over 50,000 square feet of meeting space for technical sessions. We will host parallel technical tracks, one covering cannabis science and the other will focus on medical cannabis topics. We also added poster sessions in the exhibit hall. We are aiming to attract over 2,000 attendees from all over the world, and possibly much more! We take pride in being the show that under promises and over delivers. Of course, we also have some surprises in store for you too!
What led you into entrepreneurship? Was it something you always knew you wanted to be or did you just stumble into it?
Joshua M. Crossney: I used to run an event planning company in Maryland. We specialize in high-end weddings, events, and galas. I had the opportunity to plan a few events for some of the larger medical and scientific institutions locally in Baltimore & near D.C., and I really enjoyed organizing these events and making some great connections. I was ready for a change in my career path, and I decided to transition into staffing & recruiting for the analytical science industry. My start-up company grew very quickly and before we knew it we were placing candidates with some of the largest analytical science companies and labs in the country.
I had always been interested in the emerging cannabis industry and I closely monitored the progress of legal cannabis in the US ever since California passed Prop 215 in 1996. I must say that I was a little surprised at the lack of development of cannabis science, especially when it came to lab quality control testing. Some states don’t even require QA/QC testing for their medical cannabis programs. This led me to found jCanna, a Maryland-based non-profit that focuses on the advancement of medicinal cannabis information, education, cannabis quality control testing, cannabis science and cannabis research through education and training of practitioners, laboratory scientists, industrial scientists, healthcare professionals, and patients.
Now that we are well into our second year, we couldn’t be happier with our growth and success. We are definitely bridging the gap! Many of the attendees from last year’s conference have forged new collaborations and partnerships. I am excited to see what the future brings, and I am most excited to meet many new people. Looking back, my event planning and recruiting experiences helped open another door for me. Although I am busier than ever, I am also happier than ever!
Time management is important and can be challenging at times, can you give us a peek into how many messages are in your inbox right now? and How do you manage email?
Joshua M. Crossney: Keeping up with email is a never-ending job. I try my best to respond on the same day. That being said, it is hard sometimes when traveling so much for work. I always make sure to respond in the order emails were received. I think it just makes it easier to keep up with that way. If an email requires additional thought on my end before a response, I will flag it for later.
What drives you to success?
Joshua M. Crossney: I’d have to say that in this industry the patients really drive me to succeed. Without them, we would have no industry. Being a contributor to the future of cannabis science is also a very motivating factor for me. What we know about cannabis is but a drop and what we do not yet know is an ocean. I am excited to learn as much as possible about this medicinal plant and do my best to facilitate education for others.
Podcasts or books? If so what is your favorite that you suggest our viewers check out?
Joshua M. Crossney: I really like both podcasts (especially Ted Talks) and books, but I tend to enjoy books a just a little bit more. It’s nice to be able to completely disconnect from your computer and phone and pick up a good book to receive some non-electronic inspiration and motivation. That being said, it is definitely challenging finding time for either, but it is vital that we make time for ourselves. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day!
Thank you for this opportunity to share our story. I encourage all readers to join us in Portland this August to become a part of the cannabis science revolution! It is much more than a learning experience, it is a phenomenal networking opportunity, and a chance to make some amazing, new friends!!!
To learn more about jCanna, Inc., you can learn more at www.jcanna.com.
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