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Ganjiers is the new certified expert on cannabis

Ganjier is official

Illustration by Cassondra Jones

It can be difficult to understand the role of Ganjier. For those unfamiliar with dispensaries or how the flower gets into the shops, Ganjier seems frivolous. Who doesn’t want to make money watching and smoking weed? But much like a sommelier or chocolatier, Ganjier specializes in assessing cannabis bud attributes such as color, density, smell, taste and overall experience. They essentially grade your cannabis.

First, it’s important to note the differences between legal and illegal cannabis flower. Shopping underground can often be a somewhat sketchy experience, even if you know who it’s from. It’s usually impossible to tell whether a flower is sativa or indica, let alone what strain it is. The effectiveness of the bud cannot be estimated and is often dried out, full of seeds or badly pruned.

Of course, if you smoke it, you’ll get high, but you can’t tell what kind of feelings it will make you feel. Worse, it tastes like a leaf you burned. The presence of mites, mold or other drugs cannot be ruled out.

Medical and recreational cannabis strains are completely different. It is grown under laboratory-tested, quality-controlled and very special conditions. All pieces are accounted for in the system and stored in locked safes.

This means that your first experience with legal cannabis can be intimidating. You need to know what you’re working with. It’s more important than simply getting a grower’s recommendation to understand the basics of a plant so you can make your own informed decision. The selection requires knowledge of the bud parts and their interactions with each other.

“The advantage [having a Ganjier] the more information you have about what you’re going to buy, the better. If you look at it with a verified eye, I think there’s value in that,” says Morgan Seaman, one of two Ganjiers in Missouri. “I want to convey the importance of why you should be interested and know where cannabis comes from. Who grows it, where is it grown? And [what is] how does it affect the Earth, society or your community?”

Much more goes into judging what makes cannabis “quality” than you might expect. The color of the stigma (hair-like pieces on the bud that usually appear in shades of orange and purple) indicates maturity. The opacity of the trichomes (mushroom-like growths on the bud) darken as THC is formed and broken down. Terpenes (compounds that determine taste and smell) are essential in determining how a plant makes you feel.

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Ganjiers. // Courtesy of Derek Gilman

“It’s not necessarily the THC percentage that really gets you high. This is called an accompanying effect, or a joint effect, because it is a plant. This is holistic medicine; you don’t take a single molecule and you don’t treat a single thing. It’s a whole pantheon, Seaman said. “Myrcin helps cannabinoids cross the blood-brain barrier more easily and is found in mangoes and hops. Humiline is also found in hops and has a more relaxing realm than an IPA. For me, drinking a really hoppy beer makes me sleepy. That is humility.”

Seaman explained that the accompanying effect is best analogized to alcohol percentage. No one drinks Everclear to have a relaxing evening, but a lower alcohol wine or beer makes for a more rounded experience. All of this is included in the initial evaluation before any consumption of the flower begins.

The Ganjier Program is a fairly new but highly regarded training for anyone who wants to learn more than weed. Traditional farmers, CEOs, celebrities, friends and fans all sign up to take 35-hour online courses before working in California to gain hands-on experience. Most classes are taught by some of the industry’s most respected and longest-serving professionals.

“Currently, we have designed and developed the program based on the wine sommelier programs that have been established and exist over the past five decades,” he says. Ganjier is co-founded and managed by Derek Gilman. At the time of the interview, he was looking forward to seeing the company’s feature film Today’s show.

“The certified level is designed to provide the aspiring Ganjier with a thorough and solid foundation of knowledge, from history to botany to science, genetics, cultivation, processing, consumption, evaluation and ultimately sales and we cover everything from service,” Gilman said. says.

The second step involves traveling to the infamous Humboldt County for live training and a final test to become certified. This will give Ganjier students an opportunity to interact with their instructors and meet some of the legends of the cannabis industry who will be attending. They make friends and discuss future plans. This is how Seaman worked on the land of inherited farmer Wendy Kornberg with a fellow Ganjier from Virginia.

“We collected the greenhouse plants for the ice cream cake, these big purple, really beautiful buds. We probably harvested a hundred kilos of fruit, and you could feel it from up his spine. We spent maybe two days harvesting it and hung it up when it started raining,” Seaman says with a sigh. “It wasn’t great. All cast. It was very heartbreaking, but that was the lesson. It’s not all fun sunshine and rainbows, it’s hard work. You are at the mercy of nature and cannot really control it. You just have to plan and prepare.”

In addition to training, Ganjiers usually become leaders in the industry, either offering promotion due to their extensive knowledge, or becoming judges at Cannabis Cup competitions where brands and cultivators compete for first place in various categories.

“There is an advantage to this supportive community. That creates job opportunities and opportunities for people to relocate or get a foothold in the industry because of the connections they’ve made since participating in the program,” says Gilman. “We had many examples. One of the students who attended the program last year was a manager at the Arizona Dispensary Association. He was recently hired as the CEO of this new company in Arizona.

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Ganjiers. // Courtesy of Derek Gilman

Unfortunately, Seaman found it difficult to apply his expertise outside of judging cannabis cups. A current buddy of BesaMe in Smithville, he’s excited for more opportunities as the market evolves. However, cannabis experts are slowly becoming more aware of the Ganjier program and the benefits it provides to consumers.

“I am very, very interested in meeting them. They are certainly what we want to become and incorporate into our practice and offerings,” says Dan McCauley, patient educator at Nuthera Labs. Currently, Nuthera is working on building and operating a new area where they can grow their own cannabis plants. Previously, they worked strictly on sourcing flowers from other suppliers.

“I think working with Ganjier is something that Nuthera Labs would be extremely interested in,” says McCauley. “The difference between cannabis and a Ganjier or a wine sommolier is that they can talk about more effect-driven results rather than the flavor profile of the plant or product… I think that’s where the market is going to go. . At many levels, even in markets, it is driven by medical need. I think a lot of people in our recreational market are self-medicating in some ways and would benefit from little bits of information that can help them make better choices about what’s best for them.”

If any of these sounds intimidating, don’t worry. It’s a lot of information, and it’s still a work in progress to get it to patients. The most important thing is to understand what you want from the plant and ask your trusted bud to guide you through terpenes and their effects.

“Cannabis is big and affects a lot of things. Ultimately, cannabis will be in a wide variety of products. It has the potential to replace any product that is currently made from petroleum, wood processing, etc. are produced. So when it comes to people trying to find out about this, [they should] find a topic that inspires them,” says Gilman.

He encourages new patients and the curious to do their research before going to the office so they have a better knowledge base. What do you care? Science, botany, taste, culture, or just a really good high?

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