PITTSBURGHMarch 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) has appointed Alex Hearding, a scientist and cannabis industry veteran, as its first Chief Risk Management Officer.

The move is the latest step in an aggressive plan by NCRMA to deliver an innovative risk management model to the emerging industry and respond to the needs of its rapidly growing membership.

Hearding’s role will include the introduction of a cannabis risk protection model and the development of a suite of educational offerings exclusively for NCRMA members. The first phase of this comprehensive syllabus will include training and certifications in the areas of cannabis occupational health and safety, becoming an internal risk manager, cannabis business failure modes and effects analysis and disaster planning.

In a rapid reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, Hearding and the NCRMA are developing a cannabis hygiene short course that focuses on personnel hygiene, proper handling of the product, and cleaning of equipment and facilities. The NCRMA will offer this course to members and the industry starting in April. More information on the release date and availability will come soon.

“The current coronavirus crisis and response demonstrates the vitality of aggressive risk management,” said Hearding. “We will learn from this unprecedented event and use the lessons to best prepare our members for an uncertain future.”

Hearding joins the NCRMA with an educational and professional background as a water and soil scientist and safety professional. He has been responsible for the project management of large infrastructure projects, superfund sites and hazardous waste management, and water treatment and distribution systems. Hearding has also legally cultivated marijuana as a medical caregiver and as a facility manager in a licensed greenhouse. He brings more than 10 years of experience starting marijuana businesses including license application, construction, operational development, and management application writing, facility design, policy and procedure development, occupational safety and health services, training and risk management.

“We understand both the responsibility and demand for expediency involved in bringing these services to our membership,” said Hearding. “I am excited to join the NCRMA and become an integral part of advancing the premier risk management platform in the cannabis market.”

Providing members access to someone of Hearding’s experience and expertise, particularly during this crisis, shows the value of NCRMA as an organization, Rocco Petrilli, chairman of the organization, said.

“Our appointed brokers and members have pointed out the need to organize and provide a focal point for access and advice,” Petrilli said. “Alex provides this entrée point and promises much more in the area of disruptively innovative risk management products and services.”

NCRMA had planned to introduce Alex and announce the training, education and certification initiative at NCRMA2020before having to postpone the organizations first annual conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is now being rescheduled and a new date will be announced soon. NCRMA leaders say the interim period will be used to strengthen its offerings and make membership an even more valuable proposition.

“We have promised additions to the staff, increased marketing efforts, service partner additions and new collaborations with other cannabis industry businesses. We are committed to being the beacon for the cannabis industry,” said Petrilli.

To hear more from Hearding, listen to his interview on ChronicRisk, a NCRMA’s new podcast on the Cannabis Radio network. The podcast is part of NCRMA’s efforts to make its risk management education offerings more accessible. Go here http://www.cannabisradio.com/podcasts/ncrma-chronic-risk/.