Edsel Ortega is a technical engineering expert and recently sat down with Hopegrown to discuss the future of cannabis and the healthcare industry.

1. What is your personal story and mission that encouraged you to start examining cannabis?

My personal story with cannabis started after a personal spine injury and the prevailing need to manage the chronic pain I went through. I started researching and educating myself in order to learn more about cannabis therapy. As a member of the federally regulated pharmaceutical industry I had the opportunity to learn more about cannabis using the scientific methods and tools I acquired throughout my professional career. This allowed me to have a better understanding and expand my knowledge becoming a scientific advocate and subject matter expert.

2. Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?

Health care professionals absolutely will require more engagement to expand their understanding about alternative (and complimentary) treatment with medical cannabis. A properly trained healthcare provider will be able to provide the right guidance to their patients. It will be a potential benefit for doctors who reach this level of expertise to educate and provide the most accurate plan for their patients.

3. What kind of cannabis research is currently needed in the healthcare industry?

Cannabis treatment dosing. In order to provide patients with the most appropriately derived cannabis treatment, a good starting point is a design based on each individuals' endocannabinoid system. This is one of the most important issues in my professional and expert opinion that will require more research in order to establish a better program downstream on this journey for providing hope to those who need it the most.

4. How do you see medicinal cannabis growing in the next few years?

Within the next five years we should expect to have more education not only for healthcare providers but for the general population and governments as well. Based on extensive research it has been scientifically proven that cannabis has a huge and positive potential for use as an alternative (and complimentary) treatment to conventional medicine when properly used.

5. What is the best guidance you can give to a someone consuming cannabis for the first time?

Before opting for cannabis treatment it is more important than anything that each individual look for expert guidance in terms of education from trustworthy sources to gain a better understanding about this process. Talk to your physician about your decision for the alternative (or complimentary) treatment and as a team make the right and informed decision backed by science.

Edsel Ortega, CSSBB, CMRP, PMP

Mr. Edsel Ortega is a technical engineering expert responsible for project work toward the design, development, installation, startup, validation and maintenance of manufacturing processes, laboratories, production technologies and equipment. With over 18 years of experience in medical devices and pharmaceutical engineering, validations methodologies and capital investments project management.

Mr. Ortega's professional industrial certifications include the following: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB) – Process Improvement Leader, Certified Reliability Maintenance Professional (CMRP) and Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He also has collaborated with healthcare professional in the research and investigations around the scientific discipline related to cannabis derived products in Puerto Rico and California. Edsel is currently supporting the medical device industry in his role as an engineering leader for project management teams.