*Editor’s Note: Brian was instrumental in partnering with SC Labs and Ganjier to bring the first-ever cannabis competition/exhibition to the California State Fair this year.
Name: Brian Applegarth
Ganjier Graduating Class: April, 2022
Favorite Cultivar(s): Harlequin, Spyrock Sour, Harmony Rose, Super Silver Haze, Blue Dream
What was your position before joining Ganjier?
I create, innovate, and educate at the intersection of cannabis travel.
What is it now?
Same – creating, innovating, and educating at the intersection of cannabis and travel.
What was your primary ambition/motivation for joining the cannabis field?
Cannabis and hemp are capable of making the planet and people healthier and happier. Cannabis and hemp re-entering the mainstream is an extraordinary opportunity to make things better and more balanced in many ways. I am inspired to support that effort through my work.
Why did you choose the Ganjier program?
I love to learn. When I became aware of the Ganjier Council that was assembled to develop the program, I knew that the product and certification program was going to be excellent and likely set the standard globally for the cannabis sommelier situation. In my cannabis travel work across multiple destinations and projects, the integration of a cannabis sommelier or Ganjier is vital to normalization and strategy. I knew I wanted to be part of the Ganjier story and support its success as a program, specifically in the travel and visitor economy.
What did you expect going into this course?
I expected access to knowledge that would make me more informed and accomplished in my work, which is exactly what was delivered.
What did you find?
A comprehensive and valuable experience that needs to be shared with the world.
Was there a game-changing “A-ha” moment for you during the course?
Aaron Varney’s module that addressed cannabis retail, consumer profiles, customer service strategy, and menu curation was informative and interesting. Applying those business methods through the cannabis travel and visitor economy strategy lens unlocked a new area of thought and opportunity in my work.
What skills / knowledge / philosophy have you been able to take away and apply to your cannabis career?
The knowledge I ingested from the Ganjier certification course is relevant to my daily work in cannabis travel and tourism. I look to not only apply it, but also to uplift the Ganjier program whenever possible.
In my work, I often weave the Effect Pairing Cannabis method into cannabis travel products we create. I find myself increasingly supporting and integrating the Fuel, Fruit, Floral, Earth and Sweet category positioning within the Effect Pairing framework to drive forward that relatable approach into mainstream travel.
Another example is including the wall-size version of the Ganjier SAPguide as part of the CA State Fair exhibit experience, which reached a large mainstream audience and had great media coverage. Supporting awareness and adoption of the Ganjier in the travel economy is something that I am inspired to support, as it drives forward normalization and understanding of cannabis as a toolkit for well-being.
What impact did the Ganjier training have on your cannabis career/future?
The Ganjier was a boost of inspiration and motivation for me, as it delivered valuable knowledge from experts that I respect, luminaries in cannabis.
To those considering the course what advice would you give?
Be inspired. Do it. Knowledge is power. As important is the integration and activation of the knowledge you receive. As you study to become a Certified Ganjier, dream about your role after earning your Certification and make a plan for how you will share what you learn with the world, ongoing.