How to become a Ganjier, the sommelier of cannabis

Millions of people in states where marijuana is legal have seen a huge change in the marijuana market since it became legal. Gone are the days of waiting on “your guy,” who, when finally available, was likely to have only one or at most a few varieties of cannabis to choose from. Today, shoppers in states with liberalized marijuana laws can be overwhelmed by the options available, including dozens of strains of cannabis flower and a healthy selection of marijuana edibles, topicals, tinctures, and more thrown into the mix.

The liaison between customer and cannabis in dispensaries is commonly referred to as a “budtender,” many of whom are top-notch connoisseurs able to guide their clients to just the right variety or method of ingestion for the desired effects, medicinal or otherwise. But training and experience from one budtender to the next can be spotty at best, leaving customers to wonder just how knowledgeable the person on the other side of the counter is. Now filling that gap in expertise is the ganjier, a new certified cannabis professional trained to serve customers as the sommelier of cannabis.

The Ganjier training program was developed by a group of 18 professionals in the cannabis industry, including legacy growers, scientists, breeders, hash makers and executives, all of whom are connoisseurs of the plant in their own right. The group of experts is called the Ganjier Council, and they worked with the cannabis education company Green Flower to make the Ganjier curriculum and certification. Derek Gilman, managing director of the program, says that certified growers can serve a vital role in the rapidly growing world of legal marijuana.

“While the wine industry has sommeliers, the cigar industry has catadors, and the coffee industry has cuppers, until the Ganjier program was launched, no such expert existed in cannabis,” Gilman explains in an email. “The Ganjier is equal parts cannabis aficionado and interpretive liaison—schooled in intricacies like taste, terpenes, and finish—serving as a conduit between cannabis and the consumer, navigating its complexities and optimizing the user experience.”

[Original Source]