With a background in researching cancer and brewing beer, Andrea Baillo (Green Thumb Industries) hit a hot topic with her 2020 Emerald Conference talk on stability testing. We caught up with her after the show to dig into shelf lives, regulatory challenges, and technology tips.
You've had a varied career...
Yes, I started out in cancer research, but it was tough to find grant funding in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crash. So when an opportunity arose to work in QA/QC for a brewery, I decided to give it a try. I learned a lot about manufacturing, production, and quality management in the brewing industry, but I was keen to start using my hard-won laboratory skills again, so I was delighted to join Green Thumb Industries as Director of R&D and Quality. The cannabis industry was particularly appealing to me because there’s so much left to discover. The industry is evolving at breakneck speed and I thrive on change!
What does your role entail?
There are two sides to my role. First, I help design and formulate new products; at the moment, we’re doing a lot in topicals and edibles. Second, I make sure that we are producing high-quality, consistent products by looking at the technology and methods we use in all areas of the business, from cultivation to drug delivery.
A fun project we worked on recently was creating a new transdermal product line. It was great to have an opportunity to engineer a product to deliver cannabinoids through the skin and then prove it using the classic tape strip experiments used to test suncream and other consumer products.
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