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Alisia Ratliff

CEO, Victus ConsultingVentures, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Biggest challenge facing cannabis science?

One of the biggest challenges facing cannabis science in 2022 is pseudoscience and false product claims. We are seeing producers of what we call “snake oil” entering the markets as legitimate brands. Testing labs have done blind analyses on products exposing the lack of cannabinoid content or incorrect cannabinoid content in these products. Marketing agendas are now eclipsing actual scientific evidence of newly isolated cannabinoid products. The rush to be first to market with a new product and capital appetite needs to come secondary to sound research and development activity before launching products into the market.

Controversial opinion? 

One of my strong opinions is that social equity programs are not serving the purpose that they were intended. Though the inclusion of such programs is a step forward in being a totally inclusive market, we are not seeing the support from investment, mentorship and regulation needed for those licensees to truly succeed.

I also believe that diversity and inclusion has become a trendy topic to discuss on conference panels around the world; however, from the inside looking out it’s still a very one-sided view sitting in the boardrooms of large cannabis producing companies. We need more women and people of color in executive roles, sitting on boards of companies and providing investments into the industry. This will bring a truly diverse outcome to the phrase, “giving back to the community.” It has to start somewhere and why not from the top down.

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