Stories from the Cutting Edge of Cannabis Research – Eric Cook of RPC

Eric Cook is the CEO of the Research and Productivity Council (RPC) located in New Brunswick, Canada. They’ve been on the cutting edge of cannabis research since the very beginning, and they’ve learned from the young industry’s ups and downs. Listen as Eric talks about some of the exciting projects they’re working on with licensed cannabis producers, and where he sees the cannabis sector going next.

My Conversation with Eric Cook, CEO of the Research and Productivity Council

When I talked to Eric, I was reminded of what Thomas Edison once said, “Most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” That quote came to mind because RPC, years before legalization, was already researching some aspects of the plant. They developed methods to test cannabis for Cannabinoids (THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBGA, CBC, CBN), Aflatoxins, pesticides, etc. (full list here).

At the time, the revenues from that market were marginal compared to developing and validating methods, but they pursued it anyway because they recognized the long-term opportunity. Today, years later, that investment has paid off. RPC now serves a large portion of the cannabis analytical and testing market in Canada. In other words, they saw past the overalls. Now that the market has opened up, the fight to remain competitive is on.

Good opportunities often take time to develop. The road is bumpy and sometimes seems to end before smoothing out again. RPC has not been immune to the challenges of the changing policies and regulations leading up to legalization but has found a niche in a growing sector.

I asked Eric to elaborate on some of the costs the challenges posed, and my running point, which I hope is clear to all, is that there are challenges across every level of the sector supply chain. How we collectively deal with them is essential.

As my last podcast guest, Rod Wilson, spelled out in his now published white paper (link here), the solution to the challenges may very well most effectively be solved collectively.

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