The Cannabis Influencers: Adolfo Gonzalez of CannaReps

“CannaReps is really the culmination of a lifelong dedication to working with this plant at all levels of society”

Gonzalez-CannaReps

"Plants are just so cool, but cannabis has always held a special place in my household," says Adolfo Gonzalez, founder of CannaReps. "The history, culture and science around the plant have intrigued me from a young age."

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Adolfo Gonzalez is a man on a mission. That mission, as he told CannCentral back in August, is to combat ignorance about cannabis. That ignorance is widespread, he said, even within the cannabis industry itself.

That’s why Gonzalez created CannaReps. The organization’s goal is “spreading true, honest, and accurate information about cannabis to those who need it most”.

Those who need it, Gonzalez told us, include those working in the weed biz as retailers and marketers. CannaReps runs courses on growing cannabis and dispensary management. Moreover, it designed its Cannabis Sommelier Certification program to impart a deeper understanding of the plant. It’s all part of addressing the endemic knowledge gap. And so the mission continues.

My first experience with cannabis

“My first experience with cannabis was when I was 15 years old on a beach near my home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It must have been around sunset and it was the classic scene: a bunch of teenagers getting silly with a bit of alcohol and weed. A friend passed me a doobie. I toked, coughed, and felt nothing. I did not mind the flavour. It must have been standard Mexican brick weed, maybe 2%-4% THC content. At the time I had no idea that this plant would become my medicine and life focus.”

My favourite weed-related memory

“This is a tough one as most of my favorite memories are weed related. Despite the twists and turns, life keeps getting a little bit better for me everyday thanks to this plant, so I would have to go with a recent one. I was recently part of a breeding program that taught me a lot. It also yielded an offspring that I believe will become a strong presence in the future landscape of cannabis genetics. The first time I tasted that plant was one of the most exciting moments of my career.”

Why I do what I do

“Plants are just so cool, but cannabis has always held a special place in my household. The history, culture and science around the plant have intrigued me from a young age and I was blessed to have many opportunities to expand on these interests. CannaReps is really the culmination of a lifelong dedication to working with this plant at all levels of society. My team and our students have experienced firsthand the effect that mindful product appreciation rooted in scientific and cultural awareness can have at the individual and company level. We feel enormous pride in having the opportunity to teach the industry’s brightest minds, changing the industry for the better one person at a time.”

One thing I would change about the cannabis industry

“If I had to pick only one thing to change about the Canadian cannabis industry, it would be to loosen restrictions around storage and for our government to think more about how we can undo the injustices caused by prohibition, rather than continue to demonize this plant as a threat to society. The way we think about cannabis here in Canada affects policy in other countries that are all too ready to forget about inclusivity and social justice as essential components of a truly effective legalization effort.”

Something everyone should know about cannabis

“Cannabis is like food. The products that you prefer will always be dependent on your personal taste. Stop looking for other people to tell you what will make you feel, this way or that way, and learn to safely experiment with cannabis. Listen closely to your body. Think critically about everything you read, including academic papers. Beware of overly simplistic answers to what is a highly personal experience that we are still in the process of understanding.”

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