Ganjier, or how to become a cannabis sommelier

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The legalization of cannabis in American states has led to a paradigm shift in the consumer experience. From the “guy” who came to their homes, consumers went to dispensaries with dozens of varieties of cannabis, waxes and other concentrates, not to mention the edibles or dyes.

The consumer then relies on the good advice of the budtender to choose the product that corresponds to it. A veritable compass, the latter must be able to guide his client towards the right variety or the right method of consumption to obtain the desired effects, whether medical or simply recreational. The expertise of the budtender is therefore essential to provide expert information to customers.

Ganjier, a new training program in California, aims to increase the expertise of these budgeters. Developed by a group of 18 cannabis industry professionals, including Frenchy Cannoli, alongside growers, breeders, scientists and other connoisseurs of the plant in their own right, the Ganjier program and certification were designed in partnership with the company Green Flower, specialized in education around cannabis.

Derek Gilman, the program’s general manager, tells Forbes that certified Ganjiers can play a vital role in legal cannabis.

“While the wine industry has sommeliers, the cigar industry has catadorsthe coffee industry has cuppers, until the launch of the Ganjier program, no such expert existed in the field of cannabis,” says Gilman. “The Ganjier is both a aficionado cannabis and an interpretative liaison – trained in the intricacies of taste, terpenes and maturation – who mediates between cannabis and the consumer, navigating its complexities and optimizing the user experience. »

Go beyond the Indica/Sativa split

Common perceptions of cannabis and its varied qualities and effects initially focused on broad categories such as indica, sativa and hybrids, groupings that no longer make much sense in today’s market and its wide range of commercial varieties.

It is even less reliable to use the percentage of THC or other cannabinoids as a determining factor in the selection of cannabis products. Competitions such as the Emerald Cup have already gone beyond this benchmark to further categorize varieties according to their terpene profile.

The Ganjier program also wants to teach students to use their senses to assess the aroma, appearance, flavor and effect of a cannabis flower, including nuanced characteristics like terroir and terpenes, a class of aromatic and often therapeutic compounds. Once certified, the Ganjier will be ready to help consumers navigate the hundreds, if not thousands, of offerings on offer at their dispensary.

“A diverse and ever-expanding array of cannabis-related products and services are entering the market today,” says Gilman. “As consumers enthusiastically explore more natural ways to improve their lives, treat ailments, and seek to elevate and refine their cannabis experience, the demand for those with a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of plant, its nuances, its innate qualities and its possibilities, becomes essential. »

The Certified Ganjier Initial Level consists of 31 online lessons spread over 10 courses covering history, science, botany, genetics, cultivation, processing, evaluation, service, sales and consumption, plus a additional bonus course covering “The World of Cannabis Knowledge”.

The online training is followed by a 2-day in-person course that takes place in Humboldt County, California, in the heart of the famous Emerald Triangle cannabis growing region.

Students will learn the Customer Interaction Protocol, which helps guide conversations with consumers to provide them with the best possible service, or in-depth hands-on training in assessing the quality of cannabis flower and cannabis seeds. concentrated.

Certification is obtained at the end of the “face-to-face” training and subject to passing a final exam. Once off the hook, the Ganjier will be a trained and certified “cannabis service master.”

“Ganjiers learn how each of the decisions made by the grower, from genetics to curing, affects the final quality of the cannabis flower,” notes Gilman. “Our program also covers the concept of terroir, its role in the genetic expression of the plant, and how this affects the flavor and potency of the final product. »

Registration is currently open and nearly half full for the Class of 2022, with spots being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Ganjier’s training program costs $2,997. Advanced Ganjier programs will be introduced in the future.

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