Weed Woman: Dr. Allison Justice, Cannabis Cultivation and Plant Research

“There are higher percentages of men but the women who participate thrive and continually push the bar."

Dr. Allison Justice has a Ph.D. in Plant and Environmental Science. She’s a genius in a greenhouse and spends her time working on new cannabis innovations. Dr. Justice has been appointed to the California Industrial Hemp Advisory Board. And did we mention she’s pretty amazing?

We caught up with her to hear the latest in plant research and government regulations.

What motivates you? How did you get interested in cannabis?

What motivates me is the thought of being able to discover something new. Plant research has always been my passion and cannabis just so happens to be the plant which has been denied of university research due to legality.

What is it like being a woman in the cannabis space?

Being a woman in the cannabis space doesn't feel much different than being a woman in general agriculture. There are higher percentages of men but the women who participate thrive and continually push the bar of their industry.

Can you tell us a bit about the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board and why you choose to be a part of it?

It is an interesting fact that cannabis is recreationally legal in CA but the cultivation of hemp is illegal. Currently, CA Department of Ag and it's Advisory Board is trying to develop protocols and regulations to allow for cultivation of industrial hemp. Just as each state as the freedom to propose its own laws, each county will then have the ability to regulate how hemp is cultivated. This has been an amazing opportunity to see how the state government using federal law, passed state bills and then implements for certain activities. There is a good chance that plants will be in the ground by Spring 2019.

What do you do you think the cannabis/hemp space will be in the future and what do you hope it becomes?

As cannabis/hemp becomes less stigmatic and legal, I see both becoming regarded the same as any other agricultural product. Not that it is my hope, but the majority of the industry will be dominated by large scale growing and automation. Though this is sad for the small scale grower, the general population will embrace consistency, reproducibility, and brand association. Just like the craft beer scene, there will be a place for small scale cultivation associated with unique genetics, superior quality, and a local feel.

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