Name: Erica Payne, Certified Ganjier
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Ganjier Graduating Class: November, 2021
Favorite Cultivar(s): The Skunk gene pool
What was your position before joining Ganjier?
Coming from an Agricultural background, I was a Grain Inspector with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, where I spent 12 years. When the Pandemic struck, I found myself with more time to dive back into cannabis, especially with the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri and the announcement of the Ganjier Program accepting applicants.
What is it now?
I am an Extraction Specialist at Holistic Industries in Kansas City, performing Hydrocarbon extractions backed by our skilled chemist and engineer who mentor me on the how-and-why on resin. I’m also a Brand Ambassador for Cannabox and conduct Ganjier product evaluations using the Systematic Assessment Protocol for the Missouri cannabis market, as well as judging multi-state cannabis competitions.
What was your primary ambition for joining the cannabis field?
Returning to my roots. I let fate guide me, and it led me to following the cannabis work being done by most of the Ganjier Council members years prior to the development of the program.
Why did you choose the Ganjier program?
I’ve felt the coming of a Cannabis Renaissance growing in minds across the world for a few decades now. So when I saw this powerhouse of knowledge gathering as one to mentor future cannabis professionals, I – without a second thought – wrote my essay and prayed to the universe everyday at 11:11 to be chosen for the Inaugural class. I literally felt my entire world shift the moment I read my acceptance letter.
What did you expect going into this course?
To meet Legends and Pioneers I had followed for years. To learn their knowledge, hear their first-hand experiences and what it was like going through the birth of the legal cannabis industry. To be with Mentors of the highest caliber in cannabis.
What did you find?
Exactly that and more: the depth of knowledge offered from seed to smoke, the ability to precisely guide consumers safely towards the right cannabis for them, industry best practices and real-time contacts for questions. There are also weekly Zoom meetings for students hosted by Certified Ganjier Elizabeth Sage. This allows students to interact directly, Q&A style, with many cannabis industry professionals and Ganjier Council members. Networking with professionals worldwide. And this is just the beginning.
Was there a game-changing “A-ha” moment for you during the course?
Yes (it rains gold nuggets in this program). The biggest mind-blowers for me were learning about the Endocannabinoid System and Terpenes as well as Industry Best Practices and Connoisseur Consumption, right down to nomenclature – a very basic but important foundation to standardize – with so much more in between.
What skills/knowledge/philosophy have you been able to take away and apply to your cannabis career?
Becoming a part of standardizing and shaping the future of cannabis. Backed by leading industry professionals, traditional market pioneers, and Legends in their own right, I have acquired a solid foundation of knowledge, experience, culture and a massive support network of worldwide like-minded professionals.
What impact did the Ganjier training have on your cannabis future?
The ability to cultivate my passion for cannabis into opportunity and arm myself with the tools and network to find my niche, my mission, my purpose in the cannabis revolution. The program is set up in progressive levels over years, and becoming a Certified Ganjier is only the beginning… and not everyone makes the cut.
To those considering the course, what advice would you give?
If answers to cannabis are what you seek and educating the masses is in your heart, for the sake of cannabis’ future, the Ganjier Program is a life-shifting start. Do it. Take your shot.