"Wine Sommelier "style training for bud tenders as legal industry gets more sophisticated.

Liz Filmer
16 Nov 2021

Fine restaurants employ sommeliers whose job is to advise diners on just the right wine to pair with their meal. Well, it looks like the marijuana industry's newbie equivalent will be getting an equivalent, the "ganjier". As a sommelier, they will be a certified trained professional who can guide retail customers to just the right product strength.

This new job role signals a broader development in the cannabis industry that has ties with mainstream companies. Cannabis employers are seeing the potential benefits of training and onboarding in the hope of positioning employees for long-term employment and success.

That evolution comes as cannabis employment has snowballed. There were 415,000 full-time workers recorded across the country this year, increasing around 30% from 2020. Despite the growth, cannabis employers have found that it's not easy to keep hold of employees for long. grappling

Vital areas of the cannabis industry are struggling with high turnover rates, such as retail budtender roles. This is because most people who come into the positions do not have much cannabis experience. They do not understand all the compliance requirements needed to run a successful licensed business.

Employee training, however, could help to stop those departures. By educating potential budtenders on everything cannabis, from plant anatomy, health and safety, and the wide variety of product categories.

In 2022, Green Flower Institute is launching a new set of training materials for the cannabis industry to become the industry standard to help improve employee knowledge, level of service and reduce the staff turnover rate.
They have developed the "ganjier program". This includes rigorous training that is inspired by the type of certification given to wine sommeliers.
Green Flower will also offer three certificates in the scopes of retail, manufacturing and cultivation.
Many people in the cannabis industry think they know all that there is to know about cultivation. However, there is so much more to learn to become a true expert.

"Green Flower's cultivation technician curriculum, for example, provide an abundance of information. This ranges from growing concepts  different cultivars, cleanliness and flowering cycles."

Employers want the best-trained people. If this program has everything their staff need to know, and they pass, you have the best-trained people for the job.

In Canada, each province offers certification for budtenders, with the cost falling on the budtender or the employer, depending on the region.

However, manufacturing and cultivation are not standardized, and college and certificate courses are available from accredited and nonaccredited entities.

The hope is that this new training program will become the industry standard in budtender, cultivation and manufacturing training. It's great just to see cannabis companies taking employee training and turnover more seriously.

Liz Filmer