As we scale for growth at our modern greenhouse facility in Strathroy, Ontario, it’s very important that we staff the site with innovative thinkers. Meet Shahed Al Massri. She is one of the newest members to join our Quality Assurance team that is responsible for overseeing compliance to ensure our products meet the highest standards.
Having recently graduated from Western University with a Master’s degree in Biochemistry, she trained for six months at our Aylmer facility before moving over to Strathroy. In her own words, biochemistry is a perfect marriage of the two subjects she loves: chemistry and biology. “It’s absolutely fascinating how living organisms come together on the molecular level to form such complex living systems, whether it be a single bacterium laying on a fan leaf, or the human examining the leaf to make sure it’s healthy.”
So why choose the cannabis industry? For some time she’s been reviewing evidence of the medical benefits cannabis provides and it inspired her to research the plant before she chose this industry. With the long-time goal of finding a career where she feels she’s helping others, it was no question – she wanted to be part of the movement that removes the stigma associated with cannabis.
When Shahed isn’t keeping the facility in perfect compliance, she draws, paints, and illustrates children’s books. Shahed said this about her passion for her art: “I’ve been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. Through the major changes in my life, such as immigrating to Canada from Syria when I was 12, having to learn a new language, understanding a different set of cultural norms, with all that, art stayed a constant in my life and it kept me feeling grounded.”
Shahed also speaks fluent Arabic and Japanese. Her interest in the Japanese culture led to her interest in learning the language. She loves that Japanese culture offers a highly different perspective from Western and Middle Eastern culture, and if her experience of immigrating to Canada has taught her anything, it’s that accepting different perspectives is essential for becoming a well-rounded individual. She was taught Japanese by excellent teachers in high school and university and has continued to pursue the language because it has been such an enlightening experience.