BILLINGS — Kari Boiter is the first and only ganjier in Montana and is in elite company nationwide and around the world. A ganjier is trained in the art and science of cannabis craft, consumption, and connoisseurship.
"I'm one of 235 certified ganjiers in the entire world right now," Boiter said.
Now the Purple Cow Dispensary in Billings has even more to offer on the best combination for all different consumer demands.
"Yeah, I need some for sleep, they know exactly what to tell you," said Dan Schaeffer, a customer at Purple Cow Dispensary.
Schaeffer says the bud tenders know a lot about marijuana and he welcomes any information about the products.
"I guess it's just like any kind of crop," said Schaeffer. "Producing wine, same thing. You gotta know your grapes."
That's also the sentiment of those in the industry, and Boiter's analysis of cannabis is similar to that of wine connoisseurs.
"Wine is really a great comparison because it's using the exact same categories that a sommelier would use," Boiter said. "And those categories are appearance, taste, aroma, and then experience that you have."
Boiter went through about 200 hours of education including instruction in California to become a certified ganjier.
That gave her knowledge of the different strains of marijuana and how those will fit into edibles, drinks and other products.
And she says she cannot give medical advice, but she can provide information.
"I could not recommend a product without having tried it myself," Boiter said.
Purple Cow's management helped with the tuition and now have access to Boiter's expertise in many areas including growing and processing.
"A ganjier will be able to tell you what kind of environment it was grown in, how it's going to finish off what kind of flavors you're going to taste and sense within the whole product," said Jim Huerta, Purple Cow CEO. "But then also be able to direct and educate people."
Boiter is not a Purple Cow employee and can also work with other marijuana shops.
"Now we're going to reap the rewards but so will anybody else in the industry," Huertas said.
"This is really a great opportunity to put Montana on the map and help make sure that this emerging industry has some standards of excellence that we can all really be proud of," Boiter said.
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