International Women’s Day: A Conversation with Samantha Raphael
Quality assurance is one of the most important aspects of our work at Canopy Growth. For Samantha Raphael, it isn’t just a goal, it’s her job. After starting as a lab assistant with Canopy, Samantha shifted to the QA side, where she gathers and reviews production information and test results to ensure that everything complies with our internal standards, as well as federal cannabis regulations. Samantha’s big smile and happy attitude are a huge asset to our QA team. Chatting with her really gives a great look into what happens behind the scenes.
How has the medical cannabis field progressed since you started?
When I started it was much smaller. Now medical cannabis is growing globally and it’s all over the map. With that global awareness, you get expansion for more funding which means more studies, so people are looking into the other potential uses for cannabis, as well as its side effects. There are studies in curbing opioid addiction and other others in pain management, so it’s really cool to see how medical cannabis had started out with one goal in mind, and its use is growing broader because of research.
What steps are taken to ensure quality and consistent product?
We have our standard operating procedures that we have to follow along the way. For room conditions, we have set parameters that when plants are growing they have to stay within those certain temperatures or the CO2 levels. Even with nutrient applications, we have limits on how much a product can be sprayed. To ensure that we’re doing a good job, we also get all of those samples sent out for third-party testing to validate our quality.
As CGC grows as a leader in this field, what do you think is important to keep in mind?
I think the most important things we have to keep in mind is to keep up our initiatives. We help out communities a lot, we stay in touch with our customers, and we educate people globally about responsible consumption, and I think that’s really important. And in terms of quality, we have to make sure that we keep our procedures in check and make sure we really can stand behind the product that we provide and ensure that it’s safe for consumption.
What is it like being a woman in the science industry?
Honestly, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve worked for good companies, but I haven’t really had any issues being a woman in science. I feel like I’ve been pretty fortunate to have those women mentors and role models that I can look to and see how well-respected they are, but also see how they treat others with respect, and I feel like that’s what I strive to do every day.