Brenda Perkins is the Scientific Operations Manager and COO of NV Cann Labs. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in biology from Arizona State, she began her career as a laboratory technician at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. As she realized her love for the fast-paced field of sample analysis, she quickly ventured into environmental chemistry. There, she became a leading environmental scientist utilizing Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS).
While managing and operating environmental laboratories, Brenda became proficient in obtaining accreditations from institutions including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) and National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP).
In 2011, the State of Arizona passed legislation for cannabis use, but there were no consumer safety protocols. Brenda realized the need for consumer safety controls and took advantage of the opportunity to offer testing options to consumers and the industry. She opened the first cannabis laboratory in Arizona and began her journey shaping and gaining expertise in the emerging cannabis testing industry. With a focus on consumer education and safety, Brenda implemented high quality lab practices, per ISO and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations, to provide the most accurate and precise testing methodologies.
As cannabis testing was not state mandated, it was pure passion that drove Brenda to continue her operations. There was little to no demand for testing and surely no financial incentive to maintaining a lab. Despite the negative profit margins, Brenda was part of multiple lab endeavors, one after another. This was truly a demonstration of interest and commitment to cannabis science and consumer safety because Brenda continued operations, even at her own expense.
Being involved in the industry from the conception has given Brenda an appreciation and understanding of how to analyze the complicated matrix of cannabis. Over the years, she worked closely with instrument manufacturers, research PhD’s, and regulators to develop the numerous methodologies needed to achieve the highest precision and accuracy in analytical testing. Further, she is well practiced in the intricacies and dynamics of the plant in various mediums, wet, dry, in edibles, topicals, patches, etc., and with other ingredients and variables.
In 2016, owners of NV Cann sought out Brenda in Arizona and began courting her for a position with NV Cann, and Brenda ultimately came to Nevada in February 2017. She was hired by NV Cann to be a co-scientific director, develop the lab and ultimately take over operations, all of which she did efficiently. She not only lowered the learning curve for the NV Cann, but she continues to impress clients with her accessibility and ability to make cannabis science approachable. She has fostered a trusting and professional environment where clients are comfortable approaching her with questions and ideas. Further, she has also created an intellectually stimulating lab where NV Cann’s scientists are comfortable and encouraged to explore and improve cannabis science by drafting white papers, experimenting with methodologies, creating R&D projects, etc. Everyday she grooms NV Cann scientists to continue developing their passion for cannabis science and knowledge, so that they can help mold the industry, especially as the forefront of cannabis science is still emerging.
Brenda also is also the chairwoman for the Independent Laboratory Advisory Committee (ILAC), which advises the Nevada Department of Taxation marijuana enforcement program. Everyday, she works to address the negative stigma of cannabis and further the industry in a fair and equitable manner, so that none of the licensees, nor the consumers, feel disenfranchised.