Cannabis Sommelier Course Launching in Canada for the First-Time Ever
Whether you believe it or not, cannabis is now a mainstream product – especially in Canada, where it’s now enjoying fully-legal status throughout the country, albeit with each province setting up their own regulations.
But as with other mainstream products like wine, beer, and coffee, understanding cannabis requires dedicated study. Experts in each of these industries are required to obtain certifications through relevant tests and exams, so it’s no surprise that the same would be applied to the cannabis industry. It’s especially important considering that while cannabis is a mainstream product, knowledge of its finer workings and the many things that make each strain unique, just like how different wine varieties are unique, aren’t common knowledge.
This is where training comes in handy.
Vancouver-based private education company CannaReps is now paving the way towards expert cannabis education. Founded by headmaster and cannabis connoisseur Adolfo Gonzalez, who has over 15 years of experience with everything from growing cannabis to advocacy, CannaReps has just launched a Cannabis Sommelier Course which has been created to breed product masters who are experts at the plant as well as the best practices involved in using or selling it. It’s the first of its kind in Canada which is designed to provide academic-level education and training for individuals who want to get into the cannabis industry, teaching things like potency, ratio, and quality.
The course involves using all senses combined with laboratory hours, interactive activities, tastings, and dialogues to impart students with the in-depth information and training they need to become professionals. It’s open to anyone – not just people who want to get into the industry, but also those who want to deepen their existing knowledge of the plant for well-rounded professional development. CannaReps previously offered a similar program although it was geared towards dispensary employees, but the newer, refined version has been around for 6 months. “It just had to morph a bit because of the laws, and also because we realize that we designed the course originally to train dispensary workers, but then when we actually started running the company, it was an incredibly broad section of the public that was attending, not only retail workers,” Gonzalez explains.
CannaReps CEO Julie Domingo adds that many cities which have been chosen to host the course were selected predominantly based on the likelihood that their municipalities will operate only government-run cannabis stores. “We like to ensure that we can maximize the potential of us being there, and so when Ontario announced that they would allow some private retail, too, that was the perfect opportunity,” Domingo says, in a Growth Op feature. In Toronto, the course was quickly sold out, and had over 35 individuals on a waiting list. “We know that there’s hunger for this knowledge in Toronto, and we want to bring the same program back,” says Domingo. She goes on to explain that in the course’s history, it’s attracted a diverse range of people: from patients, dispensary managers, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, students, researchers, and much more.
The cannabis sommelier course is an intensive two-day program, giving students a deep-dive into various facets of cannabis plant botany. Students are equipped with medical gloves and microscopes and taught how to pluck buds from a jar, and they get to learn how to identify various aromas, shapes, crystal residues, and flavors of different strains. “It’s just the tools you need to practice because it’s like any sensory skill or understanding any culture,” says Gonzalez.
Gonzalez told Growth Op that more than just educating people, the course has a more important function and that is to eliminate the stigma associated with cannabis globally. “I really just want to take the opportunity to affect people’s way of thinking on a fundamental level,” he explains.
Of course, students would also be able to taste cannabis, as well as touch and smell it. “If you’re going to be someone that wants to work in the industry, you want to be ahead of the curve,” Domingo says.
The workshops are not just informative, but also social and laid-back – as one would expect from a cannabis sommelier workshop. The Cannabis Sommelier Course is priced at $ 680 plus taxes – check out the website to find the next courses near you.