At the Green Market Report Midwest Women’s Cannabis Business Summit in Chicago on Nov. 2, we recognized some of the stellar industry players with the GMR Midwest Women in Cannabis Awards.
The science/research award went to Dr. Michele Glinn, owner and chief science officer at Viridis Laboratories in Michigan.
Glinn, a longtime professional biochemist with a doctorate in the subject, launched Viridis in 2017, just prior to Michigan’s legalization of adult-use marijuana in 2018. The lab opened for business in 2019, and now serves the Michigan cannabis industry through its two locations in Lansing and Bay City.
“I’m really proud of everything we’ve done here,” Glinn told Green Market Report, noting that she’s even had a peer-reviewed scientific paper on cannabinoid testing published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
“There’s been data on the illicit market going back for decades. But the legal market is very different. So I’m very proud to be able to contribute that amount of information to the field,” Glinn said.
The biggest hurdle Glinn said she’s run up against, as a scientist, is a serious lack of established testing standards, best practices, and testing thresholds for contaminants such as heavy metals or pesticides in cannabis. That’s left labs such as hers often flailing in search of guidance.
“We’re trying to figure this out. There are people who are kind of working in this industry who don’t have a lot of either science or regulatory background, and we’re growing together. So there have been some growing pains there,” Glinn said. “I imagine in the next 20 years all that’ll kind of smooth out. But it’s been a little bumpy.”
When asked what she’s looking forward to as the industry continues to grow, Glinn said she’s eager for a “smoothing out” of the “Wild West” atmosphere, more steady predictability in the business landscape.
“It would be nice if it was just sort of an accepted industry where things are kind of a little bit more predictable and a little a little bit less volatile,” Glinn said. “It’ll just take some time. We’re in the exciting phase of the industry, which could be good or could be bad, but it’s been very rewarding for me. I’ve learned a lot.”