Big Leaf Consultants have extensive experience in both the US adult-use/recreational market and the European GMP medical market.
Their nearly two decades of combined experience working with Cannabis using a number of different techniques has seen them acquire various skills and expertise that are invaluable for companies starting up in
emerging markets and those looking to optimise their current operations.
Natalia has worked in the commercial cannabis industry since 2014 when she got her start in California, a mecca for Cannabis cultivation. Having gained experience in greenhouse and outdoor methods, she deepened her knowledge of controlled environment hydroponic agriculture by working at a microgreens farm in the UK.
Since 2019 Natalia has been based in Portugal where she relocated to take up the position of Head of Cultivation for Holigen/RPK Biopharma. Since then she has collaborated with several of the country's leading medical Cannabis companies to design facilities, plan production and manage the daily operations of some of the largest and most ambitious projects in the country. She has gained a thorough understanding of EU GACP and GMP and works with clients to turn guidelines into actionable practice to ensure compliance and standards are maintained through every part of the cultivation and post-harvest process.
Natalia has an academic background in neuroscience, horticulture and sustainability. Her latest MSc research investigated the impact of biostimulants on drought stress in greenhouse-grown Cannabis. She also has an active role in Cannabis education and designed and delivered one of the first courses in Portugal to cover the fundamentals of Cannabis cultivation for professionals in the medical Cannabis industry.
As a lead consultant, Natalia’s methods are based on the belief that every company and facility is different and requires a carefully tailored programme to ensure a product that is perfectly balanced between uncompromising quality and cost optimisation.
Dean’s journey in commercial cannabis cultivation began in 2012 in Humboldt Country, California. Since then he has led the design, build and daily management of several projects and facilities in the “Golden State” and in neighbouring Oregon.
Dean’s area of specialisation is organic horticulture which he has practised in indoor, greenhouse and outdoor settings. Alongside his background in environmental science, he has a broad and thorough understanding of the various applications of organic techniques in commercial cannabis cultivation. He continues to expand his knowledge through practice and engagement with the latest science and research in the belief that organic and regenerative cultivation methods can ultimately bring out the best in this incredible and multi-use plant.
Dean’s previous role was as Director of Operations at Wild Flower Farms in Oregon, an outdoor fully organic site. He currently works for Big Leaf Consultants advising European clients on the foundations for growing cannabis organically and is the lead consultant for outdoor plantations. He designs custom nutrient soil blends, biological pest management programmes and strategises the planning and logistics associated with large-scale outdoor projects.
Dean’s methods focus on staggering growth to ensure companies can grow sustainably and internally promote the skills and technical expertise required to establish their brand through the consistent delivery of high-quality products.