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MJ Lifestyle Issue 01 Digital

MJ gets

MJ gets cozy with Dr. Monica Vialpando Inventor Scientist Yogi Renegade INTERVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER SKOG ISSUE 01 86

Dr. Monica Vialpando unexpectedly discovered her want into Cannabis Industry, and now she is by helping businesses engineer better products. She holds a patent on technology to improve the solubility of drugs, but her development portfolio boasts Cannabis products from sublingual tablets to dry powders to vape pens. TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CANNABIS. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN OPEN WITH YOUR CONSUMPTION AND ADVOCACY? I started to use Cannabis as a reward for getting homework done when I moved to the Bay Area for college. I also quickly realized that it helped me treat menstrual pain and nausea, so both medical and recreational products are very important to me and I want to have an impact on both. After college, I moved to Belgium to pursue my Ph.D. I missed the easy access to high quality flower available in California (Cannabis is still prohibited in Belgium although simple possession is decriminalized). I found myself taking over-the-counter painkillers for the kinds of issues I would have used Cannabis for back at home. My knowledge of biosciences made me acutely aware of both the increased efficacy and the decreased risk (particularly in relation to the liver) Cannabis poses to pain patients, and I think even back then I made a subconscious decision that at some point in my career I wanted to explore the potential of cannabinoids. WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND, HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY TO THE CANNABIS SPACE? I have a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a research focus on formulation of poorly water-soluble molecules. After graduation, I worked for major pharmaceutical companies in the US and Belgium, including Johnson and Johnson, where I helped develop new medicines and oversee clinical trials. I then had the opportunity to move into vaping as Chief Scientific Officer for Liberty Flights, a major vaping company in the UK, where we designed and scaled up a huge range of successful products. Even though the products I worked with at the time contained nicotine rather than Cannabis, the knowledge I was able to build up there - particularly when you look at whether things are safe to inhale - is very relevant in today’s Cannabis market where vaping is fast replacing smoking as the delivery mechanism of choice. I moved back to the Bay Area after that and spent 18 months or so at a major pharmaceutical company, but always with one eye on the development of Cannabis products. As luck would have it, an old friend ( Johanna Nuding, founder of Casually Baked) was also looking to get into the business. Together, we studied the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids beyond THC. I quickly realized the scientific potential and need for more research so I phased out of my pharmaceutics job and started Vialpando LLC. 87 @MJLIFESTYLE

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