Delaware ACS September Section Meeting - Melissa Newell

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DuPont Country Club

1001 Rockland Road

Wilmington, DE 19803

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Marijuana, Hemp, and the Chemistry of Cannabis

Melissa Newell - Delaware State Police Forensic Chemistry Unit

Reception 6:30-7:00, Talk 7:00-8:00

Abstract:

What is marijuana, exactly? Recent legislation has placed marijuana analysis at the forefront of forensic analytical chemistry. Statutory definitions of industrial hemp and marijuana have caused the forensic chemistry community to reevaluate the methods used to detect Cannabis sativa L. Forensic Chemists must now play the role of botanist, chemist, and lawyer when analyzing cannabis samples. This presentation will discuss the chemistry behind the plant Cannabis sativa L, including chemical compositions, biochemical pathways, and genetic differences between hemp and marijuana. Laboratory challenges created by recent legislation and potential solutions will also be explored.

Bio:

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from the George Washington University. I began working at the Division of Forensic Science (formerly the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner) in 2006 as a Forensic DNA Analyst and was later promoted to Senior Forensic DNA Analyst. In 2015, I moved to the Forensic Chemistry Unit as an Analytical Chemist III, and was later promoted to Laboratory Manager I. In 2018, I was promoted to Laboratory Manager II and I currently oversee the day to day operations of the FCU. I am a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics in Molecular Biology.

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DuPont Country Club

1001 Rockland Road

Wilmington, DE 19803

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