A cannabis botanist has been named director of product safety for National Cannabis Risk Prevention Services, preparing the organization to launch and build a product safety program to serve the needs of the growing industry.
Andrew Hatch has an extensive background in agricultural science, including nearly all parts of cannabis production, as well as cannabis-specific research, plant pathology, plant tissue culture, and plant breeding. He previously owned Rikki's Tropicals, a Colorado nursery dedicated to the conservation of endangered orchid species. He is a frequent lecturer at universities and botanic gardens, and actively mentors students in the fields of agricultural and horticultural science.
Hatch also previously directed research in the Scientific Operations department for Native Roots, a large vertically integrated cannabis dispensary chain. In this role, he led a team of scientists, driving process optimization, ensuring product safety, maximizing yields, developing high-throughput tissue culture protocols, and creating continuing education classes and training tools. The team also maintained a plant pathology lab for crop protection.
"Product risk in cannabis is still little understood by many operators in our industry, but it can cause serious human illness, loss of license, and cripple or destroy an unprepared business," said Hatch.