The Importance of Building Bridges

Pulling the medical cannabis and analytical science communities together has been challenging – but oh-so rewarding. Now, with a conference dedicated to the cause and colleagues who have become friends, I believe we can achieve great things.

By Joshua Crossney, President & Founder, jCanna, Inc. & Cannabis Science Conference, with Sophie Ryan (

As I reflect on the past year, it truly amazes me to see what we have achieved in the run up to the inaugural Cannabis Science Conference. When I set out to create jCanna and start the Cannabis Science Conference, my primary goal was bridging the gap between the analytical science industry and the cannabis community. Our intention is that our organization and conferences will help to advance cannabis science and research. The road has not always been easy, and now, looking at the over 60 sponsors and exhibitors, it gives me great pleasure to see such well-respected companies supporting us at our first conference. During my campaigning, I’ve recognized that these sponsors and exhibitors are also pioneers of this exciting and emerging industry – and the reason that the Cannabis Science Conference will be a great success!

Looking back, I never imagined the show would grow so quickly. In addition to fantastic commercial support, we are proud to feature over 30 expert presenters from the fields of analytical science, medical cannabis, cultivation, lab operation, and more. Moreover, we’ve achieved global reach, hosting attendees from all around the world, including guests from Israel, Italy, Germany, Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Nigeria.

“Moreover we have achieved global reach, hosting attendees from all around the world, including Israel, Italy, Germany, Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Australia and Nigeria.”

Over the last year, I have had the pleasure to work with some incredibly talented and passionate people, many of whom I can now count as true friends. One of these amazing people is Tracy Ryan, CEO & Founder of CannaKids & Saving Sophie and the Cannabis Science Conference’s first plenary speaker. Her story and personal connection to this industry is truly inspiring (see page 26 for a full interview). Sophie – Tracy and Josh Ryan’s daughter – was diagnosed with brain cancer at only 8.5 months old. Throughout this roller-coaster journey, Tracy learned that cannabis, as medicine, might be able to help her daughter. Once Sophie beat every obstacle that doctors put in front of her and the Ryans saw a tumor shrink despite the fact it “wasn’t supposed to shrink”, Tracy knew that she had to share the story far and wide. This goal  led Tracy to found CannaKids & Saving Sophie. Wonderful people like Sophie, Tracy and Josh Ryan drive me to continue my work.

My organization, jCanna, is highly focused on education, helping pediatric cannabis patients, and addressing (and changing) the stigmas associated with children and medical cannabis use. Our passion for education extends to raising the profile of research into the human endocannabinoid system and the history of medical cannabis. In particular, we are concerned that many doctors are still not learning about such topics in their medical training. Uma Dhanabalan, a medical doctor based in Natick, Massachussetts, and one of the presenters in our medical cannabis session, has a great philosophy when it comes to allowing people to take control of their own healthcare: “Educating! Embracing! Empowering!”  Michele Ross, Founder of IMPACT Network, is also presenting in our medical cannabis session. A great educator on medical cannabis and its benefits, Ross is both a cannabinoid medicine researcher and a cannabis patient.

In the run up to the conference, I’ve been involved in many exciting projects that have helped pave the way – from writing articles for 1,000 Watts magazine and Medical Jane to hosting The Medical Cannabis Report. I’m pleased to say that I have also been given the opportunity to organize a full day Analytical Cannabis Symposium at Pittcon 2017, March 5-9 in Chicago. It has been a great journey so far; I am even more excited to see what the future holds for jCanna, the Cannabis Science Conference – and the industry as a whole.

Finally, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of our expert presenters, sponsors and exhibitors, media partners and volunteers for helping to make the Cannabis Science Conference a reality. With the conference only weeks away, I am confident that we are accomplishing my original goal: bringing the analytical sciences and the cannabis industry together for the greater good.

For more information on our non-profit, jCanna, please join us at and to learn more about our annual Cannabis Science Conference, please visit We would love to see you at one of our upcoming events!