Cannatrek head of research and development Emily Rigby has announced her departure after four years with the company.

In a post on LinkedIn, one of the industry’s most respected senior figures said her time with Cannatrek “has now come to end”.

Emily Rigby with Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert

The research scientist said she was “honoured” to have played a role in establishing a medicinal cannabis industry in Australia. But she acknowledged it “still has a long way to go”.

“In early 2016, when medical cannabis became legal in Australia, I embarked on a change in career to give more back to humanity in my field of work — not to mention the opportunity to research one of (if not) the most beneficial plants on earth,” Rigby wrote.

“My journey in the cannabis industry so far has been nothing short of incredible.”

Rigby, a former president of the Australian Society of Horticultural Science and a current director of Protected Cropping Australia, which represents commercial hydroponic and greenhouse growers, described the cannabis plant as “magnificent”.

“I am honoured to have played an integral role in advocating, researching and establishing a blooming Australian medical cannabis industry, including establishing a licensed medical cannabis cultivation and research facility, releasing Australian-grown cannabis medicine into the local and export markets, and participating in every opportunity to improve education, patient access, research, and regulatory reform, to remove the stigma surrounding this magnificent plant.

“In this short but challenging time, the Australian medical cannabis industry has come so far, but admittedly still has a long way to go.

“My contribution to Cannatrek, building it from start-up to a successful company with over 50 employees and Australian-grown cannabis medicines now available, is a testament to my passion and dedication to this plant medicine.”