In the tradition of the wine sommelier, cigar aficionado, or master chocolatier, Ganjier is a first-of-its-kind, rigorous, multi-tiered cannabis sommelier certification created and taught by the most respected names in the field to produce an entirely new class of cannabis professional—the Ganjier.
When creating such a completely novel role in an industry experiencing exponential growth, you need an equally awe-inspiring setting and environment for Ganjiers-in-training to gather, learn, and test their knowledge, skill, and ability.
Enter 243 acres of pristine wilderness nestled in the highlands of Humboldt, California.
In April of 2022, Ganjier took a quantum leap from its modest former classroom at the One Log House near Garberville, CA to a stunning, secluded, natural setting that now sees future cannabis sommeliers immerse themselves in the study of the plant, far removed from any of the distractions of the outside world, and free to experience learning without limitation.
Surrounded by the towering forests of Humboldt County, the Ganjier Campus is bounded by verdant woodland, redwood groves, the storied Salmon Creek, and the majestic King mountain range. The region is also renowned for its prevalence of multi-generational legacy farms and revered craft cultivators whose proximity to the campus gives Ganjier seemingly endless options to provide students with unique hands-on instruction, tours, and insight into the minds and gardens of local regenerative cannabis growers.
To fully realize the vision and true potential of the Ganjier program, it was critically important to create a space free from judgment or stigma, with unfettered access to the boldest, brightest minds in the profession and filled by a supportive community of like-minded enthusiasts passionately committed to preserving and perpetuating the best of cannabis craft and culture.
The Ganjier Cannabis Classroom is the hub of activity on the new campus. Featuring a lounge area (including the actual interview chairs from the popular “High Rollers” series), a breathtaking scenic consumption patio, state-of-the-art cannabis appearance, aroma and consumption assessment stations, and 1420 sq ft. to work within, the classroom setting provides the perfect environment for in-depth cannabis analysis and instruction that builds on everything students have learned throughout their online coursework and on-campus experiences.
As detailed in the previous issue of Skunk Magazine, prospective Ganjiers go through rigorous online training, comprehensive skill assessment, and live, hands-on instruction designed and conducted by 18 of the preeminent experts and artisans in the cannabis field encompassing: history, genetics, cultivation, processing, consumption, service, and more.
After completing online coursework and training, the final two steps to becoming a Certified Ganjier happen on-campus in Humboldt: the live hands-on assessment training and taking the three final exams.
A Legacy of Learning
Continuing the tradition of immersive education, this same campus was once home to another highly disciplined training program focused on martial arts. Established in 2005 by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming – one of the most prolific authors in the world of martial arts and Qigong with expertise in White Crane Kung Fu, Long Fist Kung Fu, and Yang-style Taijiquan (Tai Chi) – the center housed a group of disciples in a multi-year, comprehensive martial arts training program. Students from around the world would come to immerse themselves in multi-year intensive training at this sprawling martial arts retreat and academy, then return home to teach traditional Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
Known for using his scientific background to introduce ancient Qigong theories and practices to western audiences, Dr. Yang also incorporated yoga and meditation into his teachings. His thoughtfulness and consciousness are still felt today in every aspect of the campus design and the orientation of its gardens and structures – making it a perfect fit for the teachings and introspection of the Ganjier Council and its adherents.
In fact, there are still some martial arts training remnants scattered throughout the property, including hiking trails, workout, and balance stations, and a climbing rope – upon which an ambitious Ganjier student will occasionally test their strength and agility.
The Ganjier Program’s first year in this unique, pristine wilderness environment was so successful – due in large part to the incredible Ganjier Council instructors and program staff, who facilitated every element of training, study, and assessment while meeting the inherent challenges of a remote wilderness location – that it received national media attention.
The experience of the Ganjier journey, attending the new campus and pursuing the Certification, was captured by NBC’s TODAY Show, which included an interview with NFL legend, cannabis entrepreneur, and Ganjier student Ricky Williams.
Throughout the first year of in-person training and exams at the new Humboldt Campus, several trends emerged:
Culinary Crossover: Ganjier classes are increasingly attended by those with a culinary background, as cannabis is a gustatory experience. This included the private chef of the Austrian ambassador to Germany and an Italian confectionaire looking to create his own brand of cannabis-infused ice cream.
International Appeal: As pandemic travel restrictions continue to lift and interest in Ganjier grows, international students (including those coming to the U.S. for the first time specifically to take Ganjier training) from Colombia, Australia, Chile, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, Canada, Moldova, the Caribbean and more visited the new campus.
Executive Decision: CEOs, sales directors, and other industry execs are realizing that leveling up their cannabis knowledge will better help them lead their employees and cannabis enterprises forward. This includes the heads of a nano-infused beverage company, risk assessment firms, and more, participating in the 2022 Ganjier training.
Consummate Professionals: From law to tech to finance, the transition of high-level professionals into the cannabis industry was a prominent narrative among many of Ganjier’s students in 2022.
Farm Fresh: One of the most popular elements of the Ganjier live, in-person instruction involves visiting a local cannabis farm to get a close-up, hands-on look at the inner workings of a craft cultivation operation. 2022 saw several exemplary legacy cultivators within a short radius of the campus, allowing students to experience terroir, cultivar selection, trichome quality, regenerative farming, soil science, and more.
As Ganjier’s 2023 class opens, these 243 acres are the physical representation of the program’s original vision. Its expanse, beauty, and functionality facilitate an experience that allows students to build the multidisciplinary knowledge and astute professionalism needed to raise the standards of excellence throughout the cannabis industry as individuals and as a community – all in an incomparable natural setting.
Imagine a place where you can completely immerse yourself in the study of cannabis, unencumbered by restrictions or distractions from the outside world. The new Ganjier Highlands Wilderness Campus is fast becoming a truly unique world-class destination for higher learning.
To learn more about Ganjier, the in-person training experience at the new campus, and how to apply for the 2023 Certification program, visit Ganjier.com today.
As a successful second-generation California cultivator, Derek Gilman has been breeding and growing exotic, sungrown, boutique cannabis for over four decades. His uniquely specialized knowledge in producing high-end cannabis coupled with an innate ability to effectively communicate this knowledge, landed him a role as Director of Cultivation Content at Green Flower Media in 2017. Through his tenure at Green Flower Media, he's been the on-air host, producer, and creator of several popular cannabis programs such as The Grower's Quest, High Rollers and Quick Hits, featuring vanguard cannabis personalities including Kevin Jodrey, Kyle Kushman, Mel Frank, Frenchy Cannoli and others.