In this series of interviews, we report the experiences and opinions of those who have made a profession out of cannabis.

Growers, breeders, biologists, marketing experts, budtenders, sales representatives, and other industry professionals explain how they started their careers, the challenges they faced, and how they trained to get where they are.

We discover what they think about the current and future situation of the cannabis industry and finally ask for some useful advice for those who want to become cannabis professionals.

Interview #5: Alessio Fabbro (Biotechnologist)

This time we entered the laboratory to interview Alessio Fabbro who deals with biotechnology and scientific research.

Always passionate about the cannabis world and its potential, he is currently carrying out various research on DNA, genetic mutations, viruses and cannabis viroids.

Alessio Fabbro was born and raised in Italy, but he recently decided to move to Spain to collaborate with a renowned botanical research laboratory.

Alessio Fabbro in the greenhouse of the IRTA laboratory where he carries out his scientific research

What educational path would you recommend to those who want to enter the legal cannabis sector?

Given the various applications of Cannabis, it mainly depends on the area you want to approach. In general (since it is a plant) a scientific background, with an inclination to biology/agriculture would certainly be appropriate.

However, if you prefer to stay in the world of green cannabis building, in my opinion, you should lean more towards an education in engineering and architecture.

This is also due to the fact that in Italy, but also in Europe, institutional training courses on cannabis in its entirety are not yet offered. Based on the application or specific sector in which you would like to work with the cannabis plant, I recommend that you also study as a self-taught person, seeking more specific training courses.

In your opinion, how is possible to find work in the legal cannabis industry?

I would say that first of all it is important to have some preparation or experience and then you have to dedicate yourself to an intense search for jobs, both through the internet and through public relations (very important!).

Senza dubbio bisogna essere disposti a spostarsi ovunque sia necessario, per avere ancora più possibilità, perché purtroppo il nostro è ancora un settore in crescita e con leggi diverse dipendendo dal Paese.

Do you love your job? Why?

“Mammamia se amo lo!”, I have a beautiful and profound relationship with Nature, it really makes me feel good.

It also motivates me that this plant is still taboo and that so many people still don’t know its potential.

When I began to take a professional interest in this plant, very few believed that it would experience this great renaissance that we are already seeing in Europe as well.

Seeing with my own eyes the benefits that this plant can bring to people gives me immense strength and for this I love what I’m doing more and more.

How does your working day usually go?

I arrive early in the morning at the CRAG research center and based on the agenda and the project, I already know what activities I will have to carry out during the day.

One of the activities, for example, is doing DNA extractions, but I can also dedicate myself to preparing samples for cannabinoid and terpene analysis, or pathogens.

In the last period I was waiting for the sequencing results and I devoted myself more to bioinformatics, phylogenetics and a bit of bibliographic research, so I worked mainly on the computer.

Then, about three times a week, I take care of the greenhouses. I have a population of 75 Cannabis Sativa L. plants which are protected in the structures of the IRTA Research Centre.

Obviously I’m cultivating in a completely legal environment and exclusively for scientific research purposes. In the greenhouses I dedicate myself to the cleaning and maintenance of the plants, phenotyping of height, conformation of the leaves and other particular traits of the phenotype.

Tell us about the most important cannabis research you have been involved in.

I think the most important research that I have been and am currently involved in is my current research on genetic mutations.

What makes my project important and challenging is the fact that I am legally growing a variety of Cannabis which is illegal in most countries of the world, as it will develop buds with a THC concentration around 17%.

Unfortunately, in the European cannabis community it is still something that must be done secretly, with discretion, and which easily accompanies you with states of anxiety; on the contrary, in my case I have the possibility and the fortune of being able to openly show and share what I am doing, with total transparency.

Picture of Alessio Fabbro

How do you see the European cannabis sector in 10 years?

Surely it will have grown a lot, slowly the plant will no longer be a taboo and will become a normal topic of daily life.

Probably not yet in all countries, but surely there will be more possibilities for people who want to work in this fantastic world.

And you, where do you imagine yourself professionally in 10 years?

Hopefully, I’ll have my own lab. Otherwise I could also think of a collaboration with a third laboratory if the context is the right one.

One of the first steps in the cannabis DNA extraction process

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this sector?

Not to lose motivation. If it is a true passion of yours and you really want it, you will succeed without problems.

Do you currently see more legalization opportunities in Italy or Spain?

I don’t know very well the political situation in Spain yet; however, comparing the two countries and the present “cannabusiness”, Spain could probably arrive at legalization a little earlier than Italy.


We thank Alessio for his availability and for allowing us to get to know a field in which cannabis certainly has many opportunities: scientific research.

What do you think? Would you like to work in the laboratory? Are you more into farming and working outdoors? Are you the office type and do you prefer marketing or sales? Leave a comment.

In the legal cannabis sector, there really is room for various types of professions, so never give up on your goals!

If you are looking for a specific training course, take a look at the training offers of CannabisJobs here.

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