E49 - CannaReps and the Renaissance Sommelier

Aldofo Gonzalez may be the most interesting man in Canadian Cannabis.  His story ranges from Zaptista's in Mexico to Berkley City Council to UBC.  He's run a clinical trial to reduce methadone use with cannabis substitution.  He helped write the regulations for Vancouver's dispensaries pre-national legalization.  He helped medicinal patients feel better and helped recreational users appreciate cannabis like vinophiles appreciate wine.  Aldofo's latest venture, CannaReps, aims to up the game in cannabis education.  CannaReps courses focus on the human experience and take a hands on approach to Cannabis education for the CEO of an LP and the canna-curious consumer alike.  And you won't want to miss the next Collector's Cup.  Join Trevor and Kirk to listen to an entrancing life story, a history lesson in Canadian Cannabis and learn a little bit too.
 
 

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Episode Transcript

Aldofo:  Hey. So, yeah, I'm Adolfo Gonzalez, one of the co-founders of CannaReps.  The organization was put together about three years ago to up the ante a bit on the level of education and cultural exposure that new members of the industry were receiving. And we developed what we have called Cannabis Sommelier Program, which is a program that focuses particularly on the culture behind each of the different genetic pools, the geographical regions related to these genetic pools. And then we've also launched a entrepreneur course, which provides a more in-depth look at specifically dispensary management. In line with that, we'll be launching some grow courses and other like other similar courses that focus on different subject matter in the industry.

Trevor:  Thank you very much. So because it's always interesting this it sounds like this is a passion project of yours. How did how did cannabis start becoming part of your life?

Aldofo:  Sure. Yeah. I come from Mexico and I moved to Canada around 2001. And back home, I was having a lot of difficulty having access to to clean medicine, to be honest with you. The primary issue was having access to medicine safely. A lot of my friends were going to jail and even losing their lives for the sake of just obtaining some decent pot. So I applied to UBC with the help of my parents and I entered the psychology program there. And immediately as soon as I moved here in the year 2001, it was the same year that Canada had started the MMAR program. So the first federally licensed program and it was one of the primary reasons why I chose to immigrate to Canada, because I really thought that it would be a fantastic opportunity for me to apply everything I knew from varieties and genetics back home and sort of start to work with people that had a similar passion. And so 2001, I started doing a lot of activism at UBC. And as soon as I arrived there, I started what was called the Cannabis Society, which was sort of the preemptive organization to Hemp 101 which was an organization that lasted for quite a while at UBC. We were the first cannabis organization that was really heavily endorsed by the university. And they provided us with some classrooms to do a lot of sort of community discussions and training sessions for people that were at the time when the federal program came out. People were basically burning their houses down because nobody knew how to set up their lights or even do the basic work, you know. So that's sort of where I started. And I am a medical user. I've been using cannabis primarily for insomnia, but had some accidents in Canada snowboarding. So I started using it also for as a as a sort of a replacement for opiates. And I segued off to do a lot of research with dispensary groups after I finished university and I started focusing a lot on patient access and how people were obtaining access and started working with a lot of different types of community members to help them gain access to the right type of variety and help them go through that journey of trying a lot of different stuff to figure out what exactly was working for for them with their condition. And so that segued off to doing a lot of R&D work for different licensed entities and dispensary groups. I ran the first opiate substitution program in Canada, a study which we managed to publish in the IACM, which was sort of a pinnacle for my research career. From that point, I started doing a lot of work. That was a lot, a lot more sort of advocacy in nature, like I was one of the one of the lobbyists that helped the city of Vancouver to decide to regulate dispensaries in the city, which was the first regulated system in Canada. So from that point, I basically started doing more and more in the product development and working with different types of patient populations. And I developed the first iteration out of that work of CannaReps, which was actually primarily focused on therapeutic use. With a change of laws in Canada, which came last year around October, dispensary workers clearly had been stipulated to not engage in any type of therapeutic guidance. So at that point, I shut down my therapeutic guidance program and I started to focus entirely on cannabis sommelier and entrepreneur training. So, yeah, that's the whole that's the whole spiel.

Trevor:  Wow.  So many things I want to touch on in there. And then but first, because it keeps coming up over and over again. Tell me a little bit more about the opioid replacement study. What did you guys do and what did you guys find?

Aldofo:  Yeah, well, we started with a gamut of about 30 participants, which were very difficult to sort of get together because you had to had everybody verified from a methadone clinic or from one of the from one of the legal heroin programs that exists in the Downtown Eastside at the time. There was an assisted heroin program that was pure heroin at the time. And so it was primarily folks that were enlisted in those methadone clinics or in those heroin programs. And so we had to have all of the paperwork backing the fact that they were actually utilizing those products. And I mean, that's not easy to find because you need to have a compliant pharmacists, which, you know, to find that is a needle in a haystack and they have to have a compliant doctor behind them. And so it's a lot of medical practitioners you need to get together. And 30 people were. I mean, I can't explain to the amount of work I had to do to find those 30 of the 30. Only eleven people managed to provide us with, let's say, sufficient data points to derive any assumptions. And so as I as you can see, this this was a sort of initial incursion into the subject matter that it does not utilize a population size that's just sufficient size to really make any level of concrete assumptions. So that's the first point I want to make. But we did find some pretty. I mean, I thought I and obviously the IACM, accepted us because of the findings and the findings were pretty revealing. So over half of the eleven participants reduced their reliance on methadone, which is just staggering because reducing your reliance on methadone is not easy for people that are way. I've been on there for a long time, particularly. It's the lives that these people live and you know, the impacts not only on their bodies, but on their social lives and on their family lives. It's just it's beyond description. It's a very difficult thing. People are going through and have over half of the participants purely based on the use of standardized cannabis capsules. So we actually it was the first study that I end well, at least that I know of that utilized a standardized quantified capsules that were from the same variety throughout the entirety of the study. And they were donated by a grower whose name he preferred, not to mention, but it was a fantastic sort of community effort that came together. We had some private donations and a lot of amazing community work went into sort of getting those people medicine that was either discounted or free being provided to them out of the dispensary that they were already utilizing to get those specific products. So we were not encouraging people to try something that they wouldn't like to try. We weren't encouraging people to try to dosages that they weren't comfortable with. We just let them pick their dosages, use the medicine as they deemed fit. And over half of the participants saw, I think a I mean, some of these people were seeing an increase of 50 percent decrease reliance on methadone purely with the standardized cannabis capsules. One of the participants this is a point that kind of shocked me. One of them managed to completely stop using methadone and that it was out of 11 people. That was something that really shocked me because I actually went to his methadone clinic and I inquired directly and he hadn't been there for weeks. And I mean, I saw him actually I stumbled.

Trevor:  Did you do things like drug screens on them to see whether or not you got.

Aldofo:  No. Oh, no, no, no. That would have been beyond the sort of ethics parameters of what we were doing. It was a yeah. This was a study that was sort of. Well, it's a. We're trying to figure out if it's worth doing a larger scale, double blind study. That's sort of like objective that we had, but also so. So basically, participants were voluntary and already using cannabis as well as opiates. We didn't do an initial baseline test test for who was actually what we use as the initial baseline tests were simply their paperwork from their clinic which verified that they were actually using opiates to begin with. And this is the only way that we can actually. Measure that people were decreasing their use and reliance on methadone was through collaboration with those methadone clinics and discussing with those methadone clinics, if what was being reported, was actually observed something that they were observing on their end.  So it's collecting as soon as you collect blood or or tissue samples of any sort, you actually need a different level of ethics committee approval in order to then have your study approved for publication. So there's just a whole sequence of ethics standards that need to be met in order to be able to do those things. And at the time, we didn't have a backing university that would take the program. So we actually ran the program under a private R&D company, which I was working for at the time, which was owned by Dr. Paul Hornby. He's one of them, one of the guys that did early phase quantification of the plant in the West Coast. He's also one of the people that were was involved in early phase genetic testing for different types of genotypes. So, you know, he was a great mentor and great guy to work under, but because we were not a university and we could not have Ethics Committee approval done as thoroughly as needed. We knew that we could only collect certain data points and actually have to publishable at the end of the day. And frankly, it was very I was very surprised that you were even accepted to get published because of the nature of where we were obtaining the participants and where the medicine was being supplied out of which at the time were illicit dispensaries. Right. At the time I'm talking 2011 & 2012.  2013 I think we published that was a period where there were no licensed dispensaries in Canada. So all of this work was conducted under in the gray sector.

Trevor:  Wow. And just before you obviously sound knowledgeable, but just so to have it clear what what what's your what degree, what degrees that you get from UBC, like do you seem to know about research now.  What did you have some research background before you started doing this?

Aldofo:  I worked in a lot of research labs, primarily focusing on psychology. My degrees in psychology. I also have the equivalent of a minor in anthropology and actually practiced archaeology for a short period of time. So I was going into the cultural sphere of this, but I actually practiced in Mexico for a while and I realized it wasn't for me. So at that point, I decided to focus full time on cannabis.

Trevor:  Fair enough and honestly we'll get to the present soon. You have a very interesting past. So you're a part of the regulation of cannabis dispensary in Vancouver, pre national legalization. What what were you doing with what were you doing with the City of Vancouver? How did you convince them that they were putting a business tax on on not a not legal product was a good idea?

Aldofo:  Well, you know, I was working at Eden Medicinal Society at the time. And Councilor Jang, who was the counselor who had this this topic placed on his lap, I walked into my dispensary one day because he heard about my publication.  And he said I was surprised to hear that somebody in this gray market is actually conducting research and publishing. And so he sat down and I told them, oh, I'm also a UBC graduate because he comes from the School of Medicine of UBC. He's a PhD from there. And I mentioned to him some of the professors I worked under, and he knew all of them. And so we hit it off right away. And he was just very surprised and delighted to find that somebody like myself was working in an illegal dispensary and then in the illegal dispensary had actually put funds into having an R and D department where we did active testing of essentially everything we sold. And basically we were like a self-regulated entity before there was regulation and there were several dispensaries. And we're taking a similar path, including the Compassion Club and the Green Cross and other organizations that paid for testing. And so the city was delighted to see this. You know that people as citizens of this, as a good citizen, since we weren't just trying to put whatever on the counter and sell, sell, sell and focus on money, money, money. They were happy to see that there was more going on. So because of that, they asked me to do some consultation for them in terms of figuring out how they could approach city council to convince them that we should regulate dispensaries before the federal government decided to do it. The for for dozens of reasons and I could name right. And and so I reached out to a friend of mine, Jamie Shaw. She was the communications officer at the Compassion Club, an organization which. To me was I mean, it's the most inspirational group of people in this industry by miles. You know, what can I say? There are a group of people that are actually running it like a like a profit. It's not profit focused. It's a nonprofit organization. And they actually run it like a nonprofit. And I have to say that at that time, so many people were running under the nonprofit banner and virtually none of them were actually providing services to the community. So for me, the Compassion Club opened this up. You know, they were open in the 90s. My first wife used to work for them. And it's one of the reasons why I actually became so well versed early in my career, because those people have booklets and they have nights where they train people and they have a massage place that that brings in massage oils, that have THC in them. And I was exposed to all of this as a Mexican who has never seen people help each other with this plant this way. And so immediately when the city contacted me to help them, I reached out to the Compassion Club. And and Jamie Shaw was a person who stepped up. And between me and her, we basically provided Counselor Jang with extensive hours of free consultation to give them all of the sort of international for me. I have a very international background. I travel a lot and I've been looking at plants and growing plants in many parts of the world for a long time. So I knew exactly what happened to Berkeley. I knew exactly what happened. Like, I know people that were involved in that movement. And Berkeley was one of the first examples in North America where citizens stood up and said, enough. We're going to we need to do this ourselves. I need to do this right. And Jamie Shaw, you know, we really explained to them that organizations like ours were taking a leaf from those people in California and we were just replicating. And I told them, look how they worked with city council to enact the first set of rules in the entire country, which set a foundation for how the country then could approach this subject in general. You know, and I don't know if you're aware, but we're talking 98 when it comes to Berkeley. They were they were talking to city council and then in the late 90s.

Trevor:  No I had no idea it was that far ago.

Aldofo:  It's my friend. It's. And for me as a Mexican kid who I was an activist at the time in Mexico are very focused on native rights. Zapatistas, were were doing their thing at that time. And I was very pro, not revolution, but I was very pro native redemption, native recognition, native rights. And and intermingled with cannabis always because I was always a cannabis guy. But when I saw what happened in Berkley in the late 90s, I told my parents right away, said, mom, dad, like, that's what has to happen in Mexico one day. I want to be part of that. And when the time came, you know, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I was blessed by the universe and Councilor Jang just appeared at my doorstep.  And then with the help of the Compassion Club and and Jamie Shaw, the council managed to see the lights and they said, you know what? These people are not a bunch of black-market assholes trying to squeeze every last penny out of their clients. A lot of these people are well-meaning community members that are scientifically minded. And they said because of because we have these people and it wasn't just them, but we've put together this organization called CAMCD, which was a result of collaboration with some people from UBC. Really, really amazing academics that I that I basically pitched in to to create this organization that was dedicated solely to the pre-regulation of dispensaries. So creating all of the rules and regulations. We wrote it, to be honest. They wrote it because I came about a year after the organization started and those were the documentation that were the most convincing for the city when they saw that many of us had already put together an organization that represented many different dispensaries and that we had already looked at each other's practices and established a sort of like agreement on what general practices, generally acceptable practices were. And then we all started to sort of follow them. That's when the city said, OK, so now we have a community of people that care, that have experienced, they kind of know what they're doing. They've written things down. We can look at that. And they actually wrote CAMCD the into the into the city bylaws as the organization that would ratify and certify dispensaries to be part of the new legislative system. So it was a very it was a great for me, one of the greatest moments in my career and one of the greatest triumphs probably that I'll have in my life. And since then. I quit that dispensary organization and I basically started this. So now we're ending up in the present.

Trevor:  So we're up to the present. I have one more thing from the past because it just comes up in conversation. That BC was so far ahead of the whole country. The longest time on cannabis. But now I'm not sure if it's how the provinces bring things into place. But it is now much easier to find a legal dispensary in Alberta than it is in B.C.. Short and quickly because we really want to get to the present. Who dropped the ball or how can we fix it?

Aldofo:  Well, you know, my friend, there's so many. Your question is quite complex.  And there we have a thriving black market here. But that's really not the crux of the issue. The issue has been the rollout to my friends through the rollout of the legislation was a catastrophe. There's no other word for it. Okay. They didn't do their math right.  They didn't do their numbers. Right. They assigned the licenses, took way too long to assign in some areas of the country as it has in Alberta. We had enormous shortages.  So people that did invest, the money that did open didn't have the cannabis. So, B.C. was very afraid, they said, no, no, we can happen. We can have this this because it was a big. You know, the press really devoured them. You know, it was a bad moment for the province and it's a bad moment for our federal system. And I think that B.C. put the brakes a bit because Alberta had that issue a plus because of the fact that we have a more thriving black market. We have a lot of people that think the government wants to exclude from the from the system. And I think that it takes a little bit longer to do our security checks here. It probably takes a little bit longer to do a lot of things here because of the complexity of how much money is being moved around and how many existing points of interest there are, et cetera, et cetera.  And I think that many of these points of interest are competing.  And so it's a very, very complex landscape. The rollout was a catastrophe, my friend.  And the primary one to blame are the consultants and think tanks that are around our government. You can't expect our government to be a specialist on every subject. They pay people to tell them what to think, how to do their math, how to do their rollouts.  And I firmly believe that whomever here they had was not really speaking common sense and didn't do a very rigid math based assessment of how to make this economic success, something that Canadians would lose a bunch of money on, as it has been in so many other sectors of the cannabis industry.  And really, I think that that's been the number one downfall across the board for roll out of all of all federal and provincial legislature is that our government does not seem to really consider enough.  What is it? It's not just about what's ethical in terms of applicants and who doesn't get approved and who. It's about the economic viability of what you're proposing. And that's simple math. That's simple math. There's been some math has not been done. Right. Not just in B.C., but in virtually every one of our provinces. And I am going to say Saskatchewan, I believe, is the exception. Saskatchewan, if you read the law. It has multiple points to it, they actually proposed a this like for per capita. I believe they got the number right. Of dispensaries that they allowed the processing times. Were right. They were there in time at the right time. They had a little bit of product shortages, I believe not as bad. And it's all got to do with math. That's got to do with how you roll out the logistics of your legislature. My friends. And that's not easy to do. So I'm not blaming anyone directly. I'm just saying somebody dropped the ball in the think tank, my friend.

Trevor:  OK, thank you very much. Let's get the we're up to the present now. So CannaReps. So we talked to a little bit. I flipped through the Web site a little. So if so, what? What should we know about this? Your training us? If I come to CannaReps looking for training, what can what can I learn? What can you teach me? What sort of different streams you guys have?

Aldofo:  Well, what our program has become, it's become sort of the go to for all corporate groups, whether they are experienced or inexperienced. When you want to have a united vision that really gives a backbone and a soul to your company. And in this sector, you need to know what we're teaching, what you need to know, the real cultural roots of this movement and I'm not just talking to not really talking about people like me and Jamie Shaw that made laws. I'm talking about the traditional people and the traditional breeders and growers and those communities that brought us cannabis, that brought us Kush, that brought us Haze that brought us the different gene pools. It's really about realizing that. A lot of folks are coming into this thinking that we're starting from square one, and the number one point of my school is trying to teach everyone is that no, there is not square one here. This is one of the oldest plants that we've been using for a long, long time. And for a lot of non-Westernized people, it is a part of their day to day life. It is is an important part of their culture, of their society, of their economy, their legacy. And to a large extent, their legacy has been denied by Western thought up to this point. We're still in a place where people believe Kush just a street name. People think the Kush is just a street name. Somebody made up. I realize they don't realize the Hindu Kush Valley is a place that that plant looks the way that it looks for specific reasons and it has the biochemical profile that it has for specific evolutionary reasons. And so we learn to analyze why plants that are elongated ended up looking elongated. Why plants that are short and stocky? Why is it more evolutionary beneficial to them to be short and stocky and highly resined?  And we then connect that with its look. It's very much like wine culture, my friend. Like when wine culture started to get accepted in North America in the mid 60s and 70s. I mean, now there's people with money and with culture in the eighteen hundreds that knew how to drink good wine in in America. Right. But the mainstreaming-ification of wine culture starts to really creep in during the 50, 60, 70 era. OK, postwar era.

Aldofo:  And if you see how people received wine initially and how wine company and wine culture, wine marketing developed over time, I really think that you're going to see a lot of parallels, because right now there are not a lot of refined consumers that really understand how plant is supposed to express based on their genealogy. But I have this theory that cannabis was going to be just like wine and soon a lot of people are going to know that they prefer Merlot. A lot of people are going to know that they prefer cabernet sauvignon, a lot of people will know that they actually don't like reds at all, that they like whites. The more that the consumer becomes experienced, the more that there is a demand to understand what quality is, how to denote quality, how to understand quality. And that's intimately connected to understanding the genealogy of the plant. So our course provide something very unique and exceptional. We bring plants into the classroom, which is something that universities still don't do. We bring put plants that are cured into the classroom. And these plants have been have been scientifically cataloged by the companies that have provided them to me. So I know that the variety that I'm bringing that is called a South Indian Haze an original land race, South Indian Haze is a South Indian Haze. While obtaining it from a particular individual and a source that is verified may also bring in an original Hindu Kush. And I'll bring in an original Afghan from look from lower elevations in the Hindu Kush Valley. And I will show people in the flesh that you can, in fact, look at a plant and based on its morphology, say, hey, if this is a pure land race, this is probably from this type of environment. And secondly, that's because that's the skill we kind of build on the basic understanding of how different genes express. That's what we build on. But then we bring a good Kush, a medium grade cushion, a low end Kush. So you can understand how this genealogy expresses a different quality levels. So, basically what I've done is created the first. It's just like sommelier school for four wine specialist and wine consultants. We're except that what I've done is I've created a system that you don't have to go full throttle from the first one, of course. So that's why a lot of corporate groups sort of they run the CEO or the CFO, everybody that's at the top and then they'll run. Also, everyone that's at the mid-market and the front lines because we started Level 1, which gives everyone a good starting point, just like, hey, varieties are real. They exist and they come from different parts of the world. And let's talk about that. Right. Because if you're in cannabis, let's say you want to make the best beer in the world, but you don't know what IPA means. You don't even think IPA is a real thing. Right. That's going to create an industry where you have a bunch of nonsensical products that don't actually deliver value, a bunch of marketing that's empty, a bunch of stuff that's already happening right now. And I'm very much against a lot of people. Don't actually believe cannabis can provide therapeutic benefits to people. And although I don't really focus that much on my class, that's a big problem to me. It's a big problem to me when people tell me cannabis is just marketing. Just put it on there for marketing. Cannabis is not really, you know, going to relax people or give people's a benefit or something. They enjoy something that adds to their life. And that's really what I want to what I really want to strive in at level one to a company is very simple. This product has a history. You must know that that history if you want to make the best product, because how are you going to be a wine specialist if you don't drink any wine and you don't even know cabernet sauvignon exists? How do you do that? How does how does one become a wine specialist without knowing anything about the price process of wine manufacturing? Oh, well, carrying anything about that? Right. So we focus on that. We focus not only on the genealogy, but on the methods of growing and how living organic soil growing tends to accentuate that particular sweet, earthy flavor. But not just that you can taste the earth and the plants when it's grown in earth, but also it's how those genes become unlocked when they're exposed to the right kind of environmental conditions that really maximize the terpene potential, that really maximize not so much the cannabinoid contents, but how that cannabinoid content is is expressed in the feeling of consumption when the right amount of total terpene is there and when the terpene that should be there are there. So the ones that are expected from that particular variety. Right. So it's what we're teaching, my friend, is we're trying to add a heart and we're trying to add some culture and we're trying to make people really excited to taste their product. This this concept that a lot of my academic counterparts have, which is a tasting, has no part in quality assessment. The Q A parameters should not include anyone ever burning a joint.  How uncouth. Well, let me tell. Let me tell you something. That is exactly why we have so many misunderstandings about the way people use this plant and about how it can be beneficial, how it cannot be beneficial, because a lot of our thought makers do not consume cannabis on the regular. They don't know what's hot, what's not, what people are liking, what people are not liking. Why? They don't know that they don't they don't focus on that, they focus more on receptor binding, on quantifying what's in the plant. Etc., etc. the consumption experiences the je ne said quoi of the Yum. Like why something is yummy to one person and not yum to another, which has a lot to do. You might know with with a medical effect obtained that that's what we're trying to dive into. We're trying to say cannabis is not just science. Yes, it is mostly science. Yes, absolutely. Science is the bedrock upon which we build.  But there has been an enormous amount of culture and arts that have come into the fold that are completely neglected right now, T.J..

Trevor:  So want to get to the Collectors cup in a second before running time with you? All right. So if, you know, I was part of a large company, I can see how, you know, signing up for what these courses to be great. What if I'm just an individual person just getting into cannabis? Is there any sort of courses aimed at, you know, the canna-curious, the I've tried it a couple of times that I want to learn more. Does your company sort of do the equivalent of amateur wine tasting for the, you know, the newbie or not so newbie into cannabis?

Aldofo:  We do. We do shorter workshops, which are one or two hours. However, even. Even the average consumer, the person that's inquisitive on whatever level, the level one course is really designed for all of those people. It's designed for the corporate group. It's designed for the member of the public. It's designed for the doctor, the academic. It's designed for anybody who doesn't come from this culture that I've lived and breathed since I was a little boy, because I had the good fortune of being born in a family where that plant was not a bad thing. So I've been learning about it since very young and bringing people into that world of breeders, traditional growers, seed companies, bringing them into that world and making them realize that this is an established community. That's something that benefits anyone because it really opens your eyes. If you're not from this world, it really opens a whole new world to you. So it's good for people in the industry and members of the public. Designed for both.

Trevor:  Thank you. All right. Collectors Cup. I think it is just come and gone. Your first ever. What? What is/was the collectors cup? What happened and are you going to do it again?

Aldofo:  Yes, we're definitely gonna do it again. It will happen either September or October of next year. We're going to be announcing in the next couple of months. Collectors Cup was the first legal cannabis flower competition that I'm aware of. It was set up to be legal because instead of asking a bunch of growers to give us flower, which then we would give away to judges, which is clearly a violation of law. Not that I don't support those types of events, but we decided to ask members of the public to simply bring in their favorite flower and a quantity no larger than 28 grams. And this year's the first year that adults are allowed to carry up to 30 grams legally. Any adults? Right. So we basically created it's like a wine or coffee show where everybody brings in their favorite bottle per say. And then we look at the product, we taste it together and we review it together in an unbiased format that provides us with a good understanding of what the hottest products on the market are.

Trevor:  And assuming, I'm legally allowed to because in Manitoba I'm not. But this could have been something I grew at home, something I bought from someone that got it legally.

Aldofo:  Exactly. As long as you got it legally, you could have bought it dispensary, grown it at home. Somebody could have given it to you as a gift. We don't mind. We just want to look at what are you liking, what our members of the public and specialists liking. We had a lot of growers bring in their own stuff. We had a lot of breeders bringing their new varieties, but we also had a lot of members of the public that were just really hyped on whatever flower. Some of it being LP flower, by the way. So we did have a separate category for it from licensed producers and for homegrown. We didn't pin those up against each other because they don't have to abide by the same type of quality assurance standards. So so yeah, it was really fun. And we did it all kind of in an Antiques Roadshow format where I had some of the most renowned names in the biz sort of sitting at a table. People like Chimera Seeds, Marcus Bubble Man. There was there was a lot of really amazing people there that basically would just look at the flower being brought in and then they would provide some background as to the storyline breeding company or genetic ancestry of a particular plant. So it was a great opportunity for specialists to interact with specialists as well as specialists with the members of the public, you know.

Trevor:  And how was it judged? You know, you mentioned taste and what it looked like was anybody poking it to see what it felt like, like how are these how were these judged?

Aldofo:  Well, we have a standardized grading sheet, which is an app goes on everyone's phone. It collects all of the results in real time and feeds them into a spreadsheet, which disallows from anybody tampering with results. Everything reported in real time and there's no time to tamper with anything. And that's really one of our claim to fame, because most bud cups that exist in the U.S. and Europe are actually sold to the highest bidder. That's something that has become common industry knowledge. I'm not I'm not bursting any bubbles, but yeah, we really we really, really, really just collect the grades. And the grades are relative only to physical appearance, tricomb coverage, stuff like that, as well as a tasting portion. So people would grade first on physical appearance, then on taste. And out of the two, an average is is derived. Obviously there's many, many factors that go into quantifying the burn. Right. It's not just the taste, but rather than the accumulation of. Cetera, et cetera. And when it comes to quantifying it physically, I mean, there's multiple like I said, it's a tricomb coverage, the bud integrity, the bud development, etc., etc. So there's a lot of different parameters we judge on.

Trevor:  And we are rapidly running out of time. Feel like I could talk to you for hours, but Aldofo before right before I let you go. This was great. Thank you very much.

 

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