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Eastern announces speakers, sponsors for Connecticut's first cannabis academic research conference

Published on October 11, 2022

Eastern announces speakers, sponsors for Connecticut's first cannabis academic research conference


The first New England Cannabis Research and Education Conference (NECREC), hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 21-22, has announced its full roster of speakers and panel topics. The conference is the first academic conference in Connecticut focused on cannabis studies.

NECREC aims to create a learning space where students, educators and members of the cannabis industry in New England can gather to share information in the emerging field of cannabis studies. The theme of the first conference is "Growing Plants; Helping People." The conference complements Eastern's academic minor Cannabis Cultivation and Chemistry - the first such program in the state.

On Oct. 21, University of Connecticut Plant Science Professor Gerald Berkowitz will deliver the conference's plenary address at 7 p.m. in Eastern's Student Center Theater. His presentation is titled "Molecular Analysis of Cannabinoid Biosynthetic Genes: How Hormones, Environmental signals, and Transcription Factors can Increase the THC (or CBD) Content of Cannabis."

On Oct. 22, Dr. Jason White, the director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, will give a 12 p.m. keynote address in the Science Building auditorium at room 104. His presentation is titled "The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: 147 Years of Consumer Product Safety Testing Applied to Hemp and Adult Use Cannabis."

A full day of panel discussions will occur Oct. 22, presented by academic, law, medical and business experts. Topics will include:

  • · Considerations on starting college cannabis programs
  • · Cannabis business and employment possibilities
  • · Cannabis as medicine
  • · Sustainable cannabis cultivation
  • · Cannabis chemistry and testing
  • · Cannabis legalization
  • · Plant management
  • · Two undergraduate research panels

For students and professional academics, NECREC will also feature a poster session for cannabis research in the Science Building room 301.Between panel sessions, conference attendees can tour Eastern's cannabis greenhouse and browse the Exhibitor Hall in the Science Building lobby to learn about area cannabis-related businesses.

NECREC is sponsored by Mr. Nice Guy Cannabis Cultivation and Garden Supply Store, The Botanist, ECSU Foundation, Inc., SweetHeal, The Willimantic Food Co-Op and Leading Edge Construction.

Registration for the conference is still open, and the public is welcome. Businesses may become exhibitors or sponsors. The conference is free to all university students. Students have registered for the conference from across Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.

Registration fees to attend the conference are $50 for academics and the general public; $200 for businesses in the Exhibitor Hall; and free for university students. Businesses may also purchase sponsorships.

  • · NECREC registration:
  • · Student registration:
  • · NECREC website:

Written by Amanda Irwin