Behind the scenes, standards make every industry work more efficiently. Standards define terms, establish protocols and specify performance of products and personal. As the cannabis industry comes to terms with its increasing visibility, enhanced regulation and risk exposure, the time is ripe to understand how adoption of the appropriate standards allow cannabusinesses to take a proactive approach to regulation while adopting practices that not only mitigate risk but enhance business performance.
- Know the historical perspective in the US as it relates to regulating new consumer goods categories, the timelines, challenges, etc. that have occurred in the food and drug industries previously, the different regulatory bodies who have oversight responsibilities, etc. and how cannabis will follow this same pathway - regardless of where it ends up being regulated.
- Describe the role standards play in the process of establishing regulations in a new industry, how standards are different from regulations, why standards are helpful to industry and regulatory - including how FOCUS standards fit into this process related to cannabis.
- Outline the operational aspects of the industry that are not where they need to be today that will be required under federal legalization.
- Explain the difference between compliance as a minimum legal requirement and adopting standards as a business solution
- Provide specific examples and commentary of the issues we see in cannabis operations today, the long-term risks that occur by not addressing those issues,the impossibility of trying to fix them on the fly when regulations change, etc.
- Discuss the steps the industry can and should be taking today - despite not knowing exactly what the regulatory framework will be - and where to start.
Founder | FOCUS: The Cannabis Health and Safety Organization
Ms. Engelking’s career is a track record of successes that include launching new products and companies and actualizing a new industry. She is a strategic self-starter with 20-plus years of professional experience in multiple industries: cannabis, government relations, pharmaceutical, mental health, and non-profit.
Her strengths are identifying client needs, then delivering custom solutions and streamlined processes to ensure quality, safety, compliance, and increased revenue. Ms. Engelking’s passion for community outreach, coalition building, and public policy issues, in combination with a love for new challenges and the ability to produce simple solutions for complicated situations, make her the perfect candidate for work in public policy development.
With respect to the cannabis industry, Ms. Engelking has effectively navigated policies in both the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry and the inadequate patchworks of state regulations. She possesses a deep understanding of the correlation between state, federal, and industry self-regulation, making her uniquely qualified for her current role as founder of Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS).
Executive Director, Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO)
Steven Mandernach (Mawn-dur-knock) is the executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). There are numerous organizations working to improve food safety and public health around the world, but AFDO unites high-level regulatory officials, industry representatives, trade associations, academia and consumer organizations. AFDO members strive to foster uniformity in the adoption and enforcement of science-based food, drug, medical device and cosmetic products safety laws and regulation for improved public health.
Prior to becoming executive director in 2018, Mandernach was the bureau chief for food and consumer safety at the Iowa Department of Inspections. Mandernach is a past president of AFDO and current co-chair of the Association’s Laws and Regulations committee. He has also served as the chair and co-chair for the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Alliance. He is a past president of the Mid-Continental Association of Food and Drug Officials.
Mandernach has a J.D. from Drake University Law School. He has completed graduate work in Food Safety at Michigan State University.
Chief Strategy Officer, EcoBuds
Kyle is the Chief Strategy Officer of EcoBuds. He founded the company based on a deep understanding and experience in socio-technical design and econometric modeling and their application to disease mitigation. He is a serial entrepreneur with a background in sales, risk management, and patent development. In the cannabis space, Kyle focuses his attention on scientific verification methods and weighted decision making to ensure the end to end delivery of clean and compliant cannabis to patients and consumers. Kyle's ability to solve complex problems through the implementation of novel technology and business models is being applied to the cannabis industry through his efforts to bring the highest level of compliance, safety, and efficiency to the cannabis cultivation market.
Head of Enterprise Learning Solutions, Green Flower
Gil has spent over 20 years following his passion for learning and development. He was the co-founder and former CEO of the 7city Learning Group and the CQF Institute. By the time 7city was sold, in 2013, it had become one of the largest financial training companies in the world, winning the 2009 World Learning Award for Innovation and having been a constituent in the Times Virgin Fast Track 100 Index for an unprecedented 4 consecutive years. Gil has designed and delivered training programs for many of the world’s largest financial institutions and professional organizations around the world. He has been immersed in the cannabis industry for many years as an investor and now heads up Green Flower’s enterprise solutions business, bringing the academic rigor and technical know-how demanded from Wall Street to the cannabis industry at large.