As marijuana’s popularity grows, quality has become increasingly inconsistent. This according to Max Montrose, president and co-founder of the Trichome Institute in Denver, CO. His school is looking to change that by planting seeds for a new generation of cannabis connoisseurs who appraise marijuana the same way top sommelier’s evaluate wine.
“Imagine going to a bar and ordering a stout and being served a Pilsner. That’s what’s happening in cannabis right now,” Montrose recently told CTV NEWS.
Trichome’s program teaches students something it calls “interpening”—a portmanteau for “interpreting terpenes.” Terpenes are the fragrant oils that give different strains of marijuana their unique aromas, such as pineapple, blueberry, or the signature “skunk” smell. Students are then trained to understand the quality and the psychotropic effects of different marijuana flowers based on sight and smell alone.
The program has three levels—the third is by invite only and Montrose says that not even half the students pass.
But will marijuana sommeliers ever be taken as seriously as wine somms? Montrose seems to think so.
“It’s more than just cool and fun,” he asserts. “It’s important.”
While Montrose is working on creating a new generation of cannabis aficionados, other industries are trying to take a page from the world of wine connoisseurship as well. Check out the first milk sommelier.