There are hundreds of cannabis strains available in the market today. Like wine, some consumers need guidance when selecting quality buds that are most beneficial for their medical symptoms or personal preferences.
This is where an expert in the form of a cannabis sommelier comes in. A marijuana connoisseur works at the front lines of dispensaries, usually talking directly to customers about the latest weed products available in the store. Compared to your average budtender, a sommelier is an individual who has devoted his or her entire life to the plant. For businesses, having an industry expert around can ensure that consumers find exactly what they’re looking for.
Different Highs, Same Plant
Weed connoisseurs are the bridge between a consumer and an increasingly complicated selection of marijuana products. These days, strains are being created for specific ailments and diseases. For example, patients suffering from chronic pain may lean toward Thai Tanic and Ogre Kush strains. While those who are looking for high CBD variants may indulge in Harlequin or Sour Tsunami. The latter, high CBD options are not your typical, couch-friendly buds; and when smoked, provides significant energy boosts with minimal munchies. During the strain selection process, the traditional “all weed is the same, any strain will do” mindset is ineffective and may lead to undesirable results.
Going beyond different highs, marijuana experts also take on quality control specialist roles in the business. “First, they check the health of the plant to verify it has no insects or illnesses. Then they evaluate things like the structure and ripeness of the flower, the quality, the color and the hair, and determine its density and moisture,” said the Huffington Post.
With the rise of edibles, extracts and vaping, cannabis connoisseurs must also understand the array of mediums for consumption. Such experts are responsible for keeping customers updated with new strains and practices. This can add value to the products around the dispensary, and ultimately encourage buyers to return to the store again for all of their cannabis-related needs.
Becoming a Cannabis Sommelier
There are several ways to become a professional weed connoisseur. As mentioned earlier, commitment is crucial to this role, and most experts have been around the industry for a very long time- way before the imminent spread of legalization. Hence, the first step to becoming a marijuana sommelier is first-hand experience in the sector. Gaining a foothold in the industry can come from a wide range of positions, including trimmers, edible chefs and sales representatives.
“I would say probably after nine years [of cultivating cannabis] did I became a true connoisseur,” Matthew Huron, CEO of Colorado dispensary Good Chemistry, told Volteface. Individuals may also want to refine their senses through certification courses, such as Budtender Training and Certification from the Trichome Institute in Colorado. As cannabis hits mainstream status, more educational resources for cannabis experts will likely increase in availability.