About Trichome Institute

Science. Education. Certification.

Trichome Institute has been setting the highest standards for science, education, and certification in the cannabis industry since 2014.  With the lack of standardized education being a shared problem across every aspect of the industry, credible, accurate, and thoroughly researched information is necessary to further unite the cannabis community and end prohibition once and for all.  Trichome Institute is not only setting the bar for the education of cannabis, but continuously raising it as the legalization of cannabis permits more legitimate research, to even better explain the amazing and complex cannabis plant.


Trichome Institute produces state specific training textbooks and student workbooks for cannabis education, along with Interpening and TAG. The online and live curriculums are reviewed and approved by the highest authorities in cannabis law, science, and medicine.  The Interpening program is a multilevel mastery certification in evaluating cannabis quality and determining psychotropic effects, regardless of strain names, speciation categories, or hybridization.  Throughout the world, Trichome Institute students and Interpeners work in every level of the cannabis industry, including cultivation, distribution, retail, legal, culinary, and judging cannabis cups.


Trichome Institute is dedicated to the proper education of cannabis by empowering cannabis consumers with knowledge on the science and quality of cannabis, so they are confident in what they are consuming.  As this flourishing multi-billion dollar market becomes a mainstream, normalized, and federally legal industry, Trichome Institute will continuously evolve and embrace the newest science, technology, and research.  


“The good thing about science, is it’s true whether or not you believe in it”.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Meet the Team

Max Montrose

Max Montrose


Max is the cannabis industry’s authoritative voice and a key educational advisor to the government, business, and public sectors for cannabis-related projects.  Max specializes in cannabis safety, education, and awareness. He works with lawyers, doctors, and scientists in the cannabis industry to understand, discover, and educate people about the truths and complexities of the cannabis plant. Max is the co-founder of Trichome Institute, which specializes in providing a certifiable cannabis curriculum for professionals and recreational users.  Max created Interpening, the art and science of the cannabis sommelier. As the author of the Interpening book, tools, and producer of Trichome Institute’s online courses, Max is continuously researching cannabis to provide the world with proper education, about this amazingly complex and beautiful plant.


Jim Nathanson

Jim Nathanson


With more than 30 years of experience as a strategist in the marketing services and branding industry, Jim has based his career on thinking differently and creating unique growth opportunities.  Jim’s infectious energy for what he does has helped him influence customer and associate engagement and marketing strategies of both national and global brands, including top retailers, travel companies, utilities and government agencies.  Jim is a renowned expert in organizational development, technology, operations, and strategic initiatives, lending his considerable talents over the years to companies such as CarMax, Booking.com, and FileMaker, an Apple subsidiary.  As President of Target Marketing for nearly three decades, Jim focused on redefining the company’s sales strategy, effecting double digit revenue and EBITDA growth over the course of his leadership.  As co-founder and CEO, he brings that same passion to Trichome where his drive to actualize great ideas makes him a galvanizing leader and a strong partner.
Brandon Allen

Brandon Allen

Director of Research and Development

Brandon Allen is a professionally trained Chef who studied at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he created his own apprenticeship with a Master Chef on the Olympic Culinary Team.  Throughout his culinary education he competed in numerous competitions, preparing him for the day he earned the title as the first ever High Times Top Cannabis Chef.  Brandon is an Interpener through Trichome Institute, which is best described as the “sommelier of cannabis” and has the ability to identify cannabis quality and effects through visual and aromatic evaluation.  After sharpening his Interpening proficiencies and further educating himself on cannabis quality, evolution, and taxonomy, Brandon partnered with Trichome Institute as the Director of Research & Development, with the parallel mission to normalize cannabis and develop Interpening as a respected expertise.