Cannabis Connect – Turning Problems Into Opportunity

Andrew Byrne November 15, 2019

On November 12th, BioNB in coordination with the Provincial Cannabis Coordinator, Brennan Sisk, held our first Cannabis Connect event. Over 80 people from government, industry, and academia entered the Wu Conference Centre at UNB with the same goals; educate, learn, and connect.

New Brunswick, and the Atlantic Canadian region, have many advantages over other Canadian provinces when it comes to the legal cannabis industry. If we don’t coordinate and collaborate soon, these advantages could be overshadowed by other countries as soon as their cannabis legalization bills come into effect.

We have low-cost yet pristine soil that has been tended to and cultivated for generations. We have an extremely high concentration of researchers and academic institutions. We also have several governmental organizations that help support the growth of this industry. In terms of long-term goals, we are also in a prime spot geographically for the export of cannabis.

Cannabis Connect on the 12th was the first event in relation to this position and even though the weather wasn’t cooperating, the attendees certainly were.







The event may have ended for the day, but the networking certainly didn’t.

The presentations from researchers and companies ended up showcasing not all but many of the different aspects of life and industry cannabis touches:

Dr. Yang Qu – University of New Brunswick Cannabis Research Chair – “Research Opportunities in Cannabis”

Dr. Nicoletta Farone – Chemistry Department, Acadia University – “Plant Natural Products as a Continuing Source of Novel Active Biochemicals”

Pauline Roy (On behalf of David Joly) – Université de Moncton – “Cannabis Innovation and Research Centre”

Barry Strack – Horizon Health – “Medical Cannabis: Clinical Trials or Clinical Chaos?”

Yun K. Tam – Sinoveda – “Pharmaceutical Platform Technology: A New Drug Discovery Platform for Cannabis Development”

Yonghao Ni – Limerick Pulp and Paper Centre: University of New Brunswick – “Cannabis Biomass as Emerging Fiber Sources for Molded Pulp Products”

Dr. Bryan Crawford – Biology Department: University of New Brunswick – “Investigating the Effects of Cannabinoids on Vertebrate Behaviour and Cell Biology Using the Zebrafish Embryo”

Many of the presentations dealt with ongoing research because this was an opportunity, now that we had representatives from all outside stakeholders, to get industry and government thinking about all the possibilities that the cannabis plant holds. We must capitalize on all of the assets we have in this region while making sure our efforts don’t overlap with any other stakeholder, so BioNB along with several other organizations supported the creation of a Provincial Cannabis Coordinator. In this collaborative ecosystem, we are beginning to build, there is room for everyone, and we look forward to hosting several more of these events throughout the next year.

If you would like to know more about BioNB’s role in the cannabis industry or more about the Provincial Cannabis Coordinator, please reach out to Andrew Byrne at

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