DENVER, CO - April 25, 2016: William, a budtender at The Colfax Pot Shop, measures out an eighth of an ounce of their indica dominant Star Killer strain for a recreational adult use customer in Denver, CO. (Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post)

Weed quality: Imagining a pot equivalent to Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale

What Wine Spectator’s 100-Point rating system is to wine, the Trichome Institute wants to create for weed.

“Sophisticated wine shoppers don’t go into a liquor store and say, ‘Excuse me, sir, I’m looking for this species of grape at this percentage of alcohol. Could you please help me with that?'” says Max Montrose, president of the Trichome Institute, a provider of cannabis education and training.

Trichome Institute developed a program called Trichome Assurance Grading, or TAG, as a means to assess the quality of cannabis flower.

“When you go to the grocery store and buy food, it’s been quality-checked; when you buy medicine, it’s been quality-checked. We are a multibillion-dollar industry that has no way to measure and quantify what our units should cost,” Montrose says in a discussion with Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca on The Cannabist Show.

TAG grades aspects of flower that are scientifically measurable — such as structure, trichomes, ripeness, pungency, contaminants and mold — utilizing sight, smell and taste. Two double-blind tests are conducted by testers who have received Level 3 Interpening certification — the institute’s equivalent of sommelier training.

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