The First Step to Becoming a Certified Ganjier: The Curriculum

Anyone who is passionate about cannabis knows there is so much to learn about this plant, industry, and culture that surrounds it. Unfortunately, that knowledge, and the people that embody that knowledge, have not been easy to locate because she is just now coming out of the shadows. 

Ganjier was developed to be a library for that knowledge, and a community where the people at the top of the cannabis field can gather and share their craft. At Ganjier, you won’t just be learning from one expert, you will have the opportunity to learn from 18 of the most well-respected experts the modern cannabis industry has to offer.

The Ganjier Curriculum is the first step toward becoming a Certified Ganjier. Over ten courses, The Ganjier Council will provide you with expert instruction on everything that affects the end quality in the cultivation and processing of cannabis. The goal of the curriculum is not to learn how to grow or process cannabis, but to gain an understanding of how quality is produced. 

Here’s a quick preview of what you can expect to learn when you decide to start your journey of becoming a Certified Ganjier! 

Course 1: The History of Cannabis & Cannabis Consumption

Cannabis has been a close friend of humanity for centuries, yet most people

are still unfamiliar with its origins, its spiritual and cultural significance, or even why it suddenly became so outlawed in our western society. This course aims to make you more sophisticated in your understanding of cannabis history.

In Search of the Origins of Hash, Frenchy Cannoli takes you on a journey that explores the origins of the cannabis plant, it’s earliest uses, and its movement through the ancient world. Frenchy then takes us on a deep dive into the origins of hashish—including the various methods of resin collection and hash production by region, and the best ways to discern hashish quality.

In Spiritual, Mythological, & Historically Practical Uses, Swami Chaitanya offers a survey of how people have consumed cannabis for spiritual, religious, and medical practices. From the ancient farming practices to the earliest consumption methods, Swami examines the ancient concepts, traditions, and rituals that still permeate today’s cannabis culture.

In Prohibition to Present, Dr. Amanda Reiman concludes the first course by presenting an in-depth exploration of the reasons cannabis was declared illegal in the United States in the early 20th Century and its path to decriminalization in recent decades.

Course 2: The Botany of the Cannabis Plan

There are 300-400 terpenes in cannabis, making it one of the most complex flora on the planet. That also makes cannabis plant knowledge a pivotal component of the Ganjier canon. Our roster of experts have been studying cannabis for decades, and now you can join them for an up-close look.

In Foundational Botany, Mel Frank lays out the basic structure and function of cannabis, including common cannabis nomenclature and proper terminology. He walks you through the process of propagation, cannabis genetics, the genetic significance of cultivars, and the intricacies of cannabinoid classification. Mel concludes with a deep-dive into the distinctions between Indica / Sativa as well as Ruderalis and Hemp.

In Exploring Trichomes, Master Hashishin Frenchy Cannoli is back to give a comprehensive look at the structure, function, and compounds found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. Differentiating glandular from non-glandular trichomes as well as their sub-classifications, Frenchy explains how the plant produces the all-important cannabinoids. Frenchy also illustrates how to gauge trichome maturity and peak ripeness—introducing the “fruit tree” model of assessing quality. 

Course 3: The Science of Cannabis

Interpreting the science behind the cannabis plant is a cornerstone of the Ganjier program, and we’ve assembled several progressive and pioneering practitioners of cannabis science to clarify the complexities contained in this remarkable plant.

In The Endocannabinoid System and Beyond, Dr. Jeffrey Raber breaks down the basic function of the ECS and introduces the concept of Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome. He offers insight on what we know and don’t know about the traits of Indica/Sativa and highlights the necessary olfactory skills Ganjiers will require to overcome current classification and naming vagaries. Dr. Raber concludes the course by debunking prevalent myths around cannabinoid concentration and potency.

In Mythbusting Cannabis, Dr. Amanda Reiman visits several well known “cannabis myths” and explains which ones are “Bullshit” and which ones are true. It’s so important to dispel these myths and provide credible information to all the new people who might be hesitant to try our favorite plant.

In Interpreting the COA & Decoding Terpenes, Josh Wurzer, President of SC Labs, introduces the dominant terpene classifications and profiles along with their respective traits and effects. Later, he provides a glimpse into the future of cannabis, where assessment and data are combined to provide the Ganjier with a whole new language to speak about cannabis.

Course 4: The Art & Science of Cannabis Cultivation

This course will take you into the minds and gardens of some of today’s most venerated and successful growers. You will learn all about the ancient, conventional, contemporary, and (re)emerging cultivation techniques that have been used over the years, and you will be shown how these impact the finished cannabis product.

In The Splendor of Sungrown, Swami gives a comprehensive overview of cannabis farming techniques, beginning with the basic building blocks of macronutrients. He describes the current movement away from chemical fertilizers to more organic approaches. Swami concludes by examining the differences between growing from clones and seeds—highlighting variation against genetic consistency in a connoisseur market.

In Achieving Quality in Mixed Light & Indoor, Kevin Jodrey explores the manipulation of light sources and their effects on the cultivar/chemovar quality. He outlines the factors to consider when growing indoors and sheds light on the popular practice of Light Deprivation. Lastly, Kevin explores the rationales for using clones or seeds.

In Terroir & Appellations of Origin, Genine Coleman teaches on the concept of Terroir and Appellation in cannabis. In this comprehensive written lesson, Genine combines science, culture, and commerce to construct a framework that can establish a naming and standards convention for cannabis cultivars as well as critical trade protections in the cannabis cultivation sector.

Course 5: Cannabis Processing Methodology

Between seed to sale and farm to flame, cannabis involves a myriad of moving parts. In this course, we delve into the mechanics of processing, how to discern quality cannabis goods, and how to articulate their value to the consumer.

In Processing Quality Cannabis, Patrick King illuminates the paths, timeline, supply chain, and market factors that ultimately affect cannabis quality and price. Patrick also examines the differences between “commercial” and “craft” cannabis processing, and he concludes by unveiling an innovative way to salvage tainted cannabis material using radio frequency while maintaining product quality. 

In Understanding Solvent Based Extracts, Dr. Jeff Raber gives a comprehensive overview of CO2 and other solvent-based extraction methods—explaining which method works best for each product and why. He concludes by stressing the growing significance of terpene extracts to the consumer, and the caveat that the extraction process does not replicate the exact terpene or cannabinoid profile found in the original flower.

In Defining Solventless Extraction, Nick Tanem (aka Nikka T) outlines the three critical benchmarks that affect product quality: starting material, environmental control; sterility/ cleanliness. He then discusses the optimal manufacturing environment and respective controls for ideal temperature and humidity. He concludes the session with a rosin press demonstration.

Course 6: Unraveling the Mysteries of Cannabis Genetics

In The Past, Present & Future of Breeding, Kevin Jodrey guides you through the roots of the modern cannabis gene pool. He takes a deep dive into the historical genetic building blocks of today’s modern cultivars. Professor Jodrey wraps the lecture by giving us a look into the future of cannabis breeding and the emerging role of genomic based breeding techniques.

In Chemotaxonomy, Alec Dixon takes us on an “Olfactory Odyssey” where we’ll explain the value of chemometric classification. Alex will identify the predominant terpene classes in contemporary cannabis cultivars, including their associated effects. Lastly, you’ll look into the critical role that terpene content plays in the assessment of cannabis harvest and batch quality.

In Deciphering the Role of Terroir, Justin Calvino takes you on a tour of three different farms in three separate regions to compare and contrast the variables that influence the phenotypic expression of the cannabis plant. Justin begins our journey in the heart of the Emerald Triangle. From here, he explains the concept of terroir and the relationship between where the plant is grown and its influence on the expression of the flower.

Course 7: Accurately Assessing Cannabis Flower & Concentrates

In Developing a Cannabis Palate: The Science of Taste & the Lexicon of Flavor, Madame Cannoli gives you the tools to confidently discern, educate, and articulate the difference between good cannabis and exquisite cannabis. In this written course, you will learn to hone your skills and senses to cultivate a palate that recognizes complexities in flavor and aroma and how these translate into desired effects for the consumer.

In Accurately Assessing Cannabis Flowers, Derek Gillman introduces you to the Systematic Assessment Protocol (SAP). He is joined by Swami Chaitanya and, together, they break down each criteria of the SAP as well as the rationale behind them. The core criteria – similar to those of a wine sommelier – are appearance, aroma, flavor, and experience.

In Accurately Assessing Traditional Hashish, Frenchy Cannoli shows how the SAP can be used to grade the quality of hash—encompassing criteria like appearance, aroma, flavor and experience. He also goes through the criteria that is specifically designed  for hashish, including melt.

In Accurately Assessing Cannabis Concentrates, Nikka T shows how the SAP works in the assessment of concentrates—utilizing the criteria for appearance, aroma, flavor, experience, and after-effects. He also covers assessment methods, tools of the trade, what to look for, how to assign value, and what makes an exquisite product.

Course 8: Contemporary Cannabis Consumption Options

Elevating the cannabis experience is a core tenet of the Ganjier mission. To that end, being adept at all manner of connoisseur consumption modalities is paramount. In this course, you’ll explore the entire gamut of options available..

In Savoring Solventless: Then & Now, Nikka T charts the history of concentrate consumption methods as well as offers demonstrations on different ways to construct and consume cannabis concentrates. Next, Nikka T advises Ganjiers on what they should look for in contemporary concentrates, and he concludes with a demonstration of a modern portable dab rig.

In Topicals, Tinctures, Edibles & More, Wendy Kornberg gives the aspiring Ganjier the tools to confidently guide beginners toward the optimal products and consumption methods for their needs. She covers a wide range of cannabis products and explains how they work, optimal applications, proper dosing, active ingredients, caveats, and what to look for on labels.

In Traditional & Modern Methods of Enjoying Hashish, Frenchy and Derek demonstrate the full spectrum of hashish consumption methods. They start with chillums and make their way to water pipes. Next, Derek and Frenchy explore the alchemy of paper, hash, cannabis flower and/or tobacco. The duo concludes their sojourn by sampling several classes of glass hash pipes. 

Course 9: Artfully Executed Cannabis Service

Being a Ganjier is all about service. The Ganjier course is designed to create an entirely new class of cannabis professional—one who delivers unparalleled insight to produce an elevated connoisseur experience and deliver a new standard of cannabis service excellence.

In Active Listening, Omar Figueroa explores how a Ganjier can create rapport, trust, and reciprocity with a client through active listening. You’ll learn how to dissect conversation, interpret feedback, and read body language. Conversely, you’ll also learn what gestures and behaviors you can employ to better facilitate engagement and enhance the interaction. The course concludes with several role playing exercises.

In Maintaining Legal Compliance, Omar Figueroa explains which government agencies actually regulate the legal cannabis market and provides informative sources to help you stay up to date. He also outlines the different regulatory framework for each license type.

In Introduction to The Consumer Interaction Protocol, Dr. Amanda Reiman gives an overview of the CIP. In this section she covers setting, desired outcome, situational pairing and health issues, as well as how to work with both veteran and less experienced consumers. Lastly, several Ganjier experts engage in role playing scenarios to help choreograph various client interactions, illustrating what a Ganjier should (and shouldn’t) do in specific situations.

In The Foundations of Etiquette, Nikki Lastreto demonstrates how a Ganjier can create a comfortable, enjoyable, educational environment for cannabis consumption. She reveals the secrets to producing superlative cannabis service, creating the perfect retail atmosphere, and transforming cannabis enthusiasts into store evangelists.

Course 10: The Business of Successful Cannabis Sales

For this course, Ganjier goes on location, where Aaron Varney delivers an exhaustive, compelling, comprehensive, and engaging master class in running a cannabis retail operation. In Curating a Successful Menu, Aaron covers the exact steps in curating a dispensary menu as well as provides a checklist of protocols for managing an inventory.

In Managing Inventory, Aaron outlines the crucial considerations needed for success. This includes insights into how to set pricing, how to pick the right packaging, and how to use messaging and loyalty programs to stimulate demand.

In Sales and Services, Aaron concludes our courses by giving a tour of one of his stores. In this section he discusses how design, physical layout, atmosphere, and the architecture of the customer journey can make each client feel welcomed and cared for. 

Why The Ganjier Curriculum Matters

The wisdom you will receive from this Ganjier training will not only help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the plant, it will also help you be a better stewart and guide within the cannabis industry as a whole. Demand dictates supply, and, if people are unaware of what quality looks like in their cannabis products, they can’t demand the best, and pretty soon the market will reflect that reality. 

Cannabis needs advocates to push for things like legalization, but it also needs individuals to educate the masses on how to gain the most value from this plant so that the future of cannabis remains bright. It takes time and dedication to become the master of any craft. One of the best things about the Ganjier program is that it makes the process fun.

Download a copy of the Certified Ganjier Online Curriculum brochure.

If you would like to participate in a future Ganjier training program, make sure to add your name to the interest list so you are first notified when new opportunities become available.

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