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2024/2025 Board of Directors Nominees

The C-45 Quality Association has received a total of six (6) nominations for the 2024/2025 Board of Directors!


 

Name: Jay Jay Brien


Current Employment: Certified Cannabis Health Coach & Educator, Executive Co-Chair EduCanNation


About Me:

Jay Jay O'Brien, a 2x cancer sur’thriver’ thanks in part to medical Cannabis, is the Executive Co-Chair of EduCanNation Cannabis Education Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to promoting responsible Cannabis education and advocacy.


A Chartered Herbalist, Jay Jay's passion for natural healing and success with Cannabis therapeutics through cancer led her to become certified as a Cannabis Health Coach & Educator through the Cannabis Coaching Institute (CCI), Healer.com, and Dr. Bonni Goldstein, so she can empower patients to manage, maintain, or maneuver their health with Cannabis.


She advocates through the naturalisticallynow Facebook group and Canecdotal Collective, the Women’s Empowered Cannabis Advocates Network (W.E.C.A.N.)., the Effective Cannabis Newsletter, and the EduCanNation (ECN) Digest.


Her forthcoming book, ""High Hopes for Healing: Stigma-free Education and Support on Thriving Through Cancer With Cannabis,"" scheduled for publication in early 2025 with Balboa Press and Hay House, further solidifies her commitment to providing accessible information for individuals navigating a cancer diagnosis with Cannabis.

Learn more about Jay Jay at www.naturalisticallynow.com


Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

"As Executive Co-Chair on the board of the nonprofit organization, EduCanNation, I value collaboration and networking and understand the importance of 'group effort' when it comes to effecting change within the industry.

As a medical Cannabis patient, it's important to me for patients to have a voice in the regulated market, and I would like to be part of a lobby for access to appropriate medicine needed for all conditions, including the high-dose medicine required to treat cancer. I live on the legacy side of the industry due to my medical needs, but I keep myself educated and abreast of all areas of the industry so I can best support the people I serve, and this would be a valued opportunity to learn and grow while supporting change and growth. "

 

Name: Arjun Dedakia


Current Employment: Director of Quality & Regulatory, Herbal Dispatch


About Me:

Arjun Dedakia is a distinguished professional with over a decade of extensive experience in the Quality Department of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Cannabis sectors. As a seasoned Quality Assurance Person (QAP) and Assistant/QAP, Arjun has honed his skills while working with renowned LPs, bringing a wealth of expertise to each role.


With a solid background in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Arjun seamlessly transitioned into the cannabis industry, driven by a passion for its unique challenges and the opportunity to contribute to its growth. His dedication to learning and serving the community underscores his commitment to making a meaningful impact in every endeavor.


Arjun's tenure in the industry has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence, characterized by his proactive approach to problem-solving and his unwavering adherence to quality standards. His ability to navigate regulatory frameworks with precision has been instrumental in ensuring compliance and upholding the integrity of operations.


Beyond his technical acumen, Arjun is known for his leadership prowess and his ability to inspire teams towards achieving common goals. His collaborative spirit and dedication to continuous improvement make him a valuable asset in any organization striving for excellence in quality management.


In summary, Arjun Dedakia's vast experience, coupled with his passion for the cannabis industry and unwavering commitment to excellence, position him as a highly sought-after professional poised to make significant contributions to the industry's continued advancement and success.


Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

As a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the Quality Department of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Cannabis sectors, I am deeply committed to upholding the highest standards of quality and compliance within the industry. Serving as a board member for the C-45 Quality Association would allow me to leverage my expertise and contribute meaningfully to the community.


I am particularly inspired by Tom's pioneering work as the first QAP for Canna Farms in BC and have learned valuable lessons from his past experiences. His dedication to excellence and commitment to serving the community have set a high standard that I aspire to uphold.


The C-45 Quality Association plays a crucial role in guiding LPs and fostering a culture of quality and compliance within the cannabis industry. By serving on the board, I would have the opportunity to contribute to the development of best practices, share insights, and collaborate with industry peers to drive continuous improvement.


Moreover, I am passionate about community building and believe that the C-45 Quality Association serves as a valuable asset in bringing industry professionals together to collectively address challenges and opportunities. By being actively involved in the association, I aim to contribute to its mission of advancing quality standards and promoting the growth and success of the cannabis industry as a whole.


 

Name: Deana Huntsbarger


Current Employment: Operations Manager / QA, IslandCanna Seeds Inc.


About Me:

A diverse individual with a breadth of experience in multiple sectors – publishing, education, research, farming and since 2020, cannabis. A US-born citizen and proudly Canadian since 2000, I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising from Michigan State University and a graduate certificate in Commercial Cannabis Production from Niagara College. In addition, I have six years of experience as a Certified Clinical Research Professional working in Regulatory, Start Up and External Relations in pharmaceutical drug trials at a community-based geriatric medicine clinic. During my time at the clinic I was elected to the Board of the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) as the Associate Member Rep, serving for two years.

While studying Commercial Cannabis Production at Niagara I was selected to join the College’s inaugural Inclusion and Diversity Taskforce and had the opportunity to work with other students and faculty to develop a framework for the College Board of Directors and Leadership.


Since graduation, I have worked for 3 License Holders – starting in cultivation in Ontario, moving on to a First Nations micro on Vancouver Island where I was qualified by Health Canada as the site QAP, and now serve as the Operations Manager / QA at a craft cultivation facility near Victoria, BC.



Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

I wish to join the Board of C45 to collaborate, learn and advance the cannabis industry through a focus on quality and in ways that are inclusive and innovative

 

Name: May Khatlib


Current Employment: Founder and CEO, Merit Method


About Me:

I'm a regulatory compliance professional with over 10 years in the cannabis industry. I was directly responsible (RP) for 4 manufacturing sites across Canada with a cultivation and processing footprint of over 1M square feet and over 1000 employees. I currently own and manage a compliance and marketing consulting agency serving businesses in Canada, US, Thailand and the UK.


Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

I've been in the industry for about 10 years, leading global compliance and quality programs. I feel have a lot of knowledge to share and contribute to the growth of businesses in this sector. I also would like to grow my network of compliance and quality professionals and learn from their experiences while sharing my own.

 


Name: Lisa Quiring


Current Employment: Senior Advisor, Cannabis Team, Consumer Products Directorate, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)


About Me:

With a background in legal studies, I have extensive experience working in policy, regulation and stakeholder engagement across government. At Health Canada since 2017, I was involved in enacting the Cannabis Act and making the related regulations. I was the primary author, drafting in both English and French, the Cannabis Regulations and Industrial Hemp Regulations, along with helping to develop the accompanying guidance documents and consulting with various industry groups. As of December 2022, I have helped to build the Cannabis Team at Innovation, Science and Economic Development. I now undertake ongoing industrial and economic research and analysis, data gathering, and cannabis consultations. In addition, I assist with the administration of the Cannabis Industry Forum. My work has also been focused on developing better services and better ways of engaging in public policy. I support the development, growth and integrity of a regulated cannabis industry, covering issues such as excise tax, potency, testing, and many others. I help to better navigate various government departments and regularly actively engage with the value-change to stay abreast of concerns and to learn more about industry trends. I am motivated and energized to work towards an efficient and sustainable cannabis industry and I consider quality assurance to be fundamentally important in a successful framework.


Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

There are numerous challenges being addressed by C-45 Quality Association, challenges which are impeding advancement of the cannabis industry. Lab shopping/pay to play are enormous problems. There is THC inflation and demands for standardized methods. There are also concerns surrounding the freshness of Canadian cannabis, and from other jurisdictional requirements (GPP vs GMP, etc.). Other problems include: sample tampering and non-representative samples, the lack of streamlining of key accreditation methods, gaps in government processes, among some examples. Having been involved at the outset of legalization, and knowing that quality legal access is one of the cornerstones of the objectives in the Cannabis Act, I would like to do my part in seeing advancements in the displacement of the illicit market, and a growing and thriving legal cannabis industry. I believe I would make a significant contribution to C-45.

 

Name: Patrick Uharcek


Current Employment: Senior Quality Auditor, Motif Labs Ltd.


About Me:

1. Started as a trimmer in May of 2017 at Emblem Cannabis Corp


a) At this time, the company was much smaller, so there was ample opportunity for learning. I was able to cross-train a lot in the cultivation area, including flowering, propagation, fertigation, and most importantly IPM, which I "apprenticed" for ~6 months, learning a lot of the nuance behind beneficial insects and overall IPM strategies. There was a lot of opportunity here to learn regarding genetics and phenotypes, which was a major interest.


b) Gained experience in harvest processing, machine operation, sanitation, post-harvest processing, packaging, and essentially anything in this general area

Over time, transitioned through various roles in the processing space, leading harvests, leading post-harvest (drying, curing)


c) About 2 years later, late 2018, I joined the Quality department, where I was able to utilize all my prior knowledge to standardize and improve all prior areas of knowledge

This included studies in areas of cultivation, standardizing and developing new post-harvest methods (the most notable being hang-drying implementation)


d) Over time, transitioned into more QMS development, and managing quality systems

This would include the basics such as SOPs, training, Deviations, Change Controls to start; and later transitioned into internal/ external audits (which really piqued my interest), calibration management, some IQOQ, with a finale of "GMP-ification" and providing GACP product internationally

Some other areas included PCP development, QAA development, New system development/ deployment, New product development, Some dabbling in CSV,

Anything and everything when it comes to HC audits (free consulting ... technically)

And essentially anything quality, And of course ... becoming AQAP.


e) During this time, everything from the above was emphasized even moreso,

and of course, included releasing product for sale and review/ approval of testing

Extracts, Vapes, Oils, Sprays, Kin Slips, Capsules, Edibles, Dried Cannabis Products


2. After my time at Emblem/ Aleafa, I moved to Motif, where I currently work (not as QAP/ AQAP) as Senior Quality Auditor - more so as a key leadership role that manages core QMS elements, which include:

i. Building a complaint management department, including liaising with provincial entities and clients/ customers

ii. Deviations/ CAPA system management

iii. Change Control system management

iv. Internal/ external audit

v. Vendor Management (including QAA management - which is how I suppose Beatrix noted that I work here), and setting up quality structures with new service providers/ suppliers

vi. PCP involvement

vii. QMS (SOP) management


Why I Would Like to Serve as a Director:

I would like to get more involved within the Cannabis space, in a broader sense. I would like to gain experience within the industry outside of just working within it.


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