Ed Rosenthal: 5 Most Influential People in Cannabis

Ed Rosenthal: Cannabis Horticulture & Cannabis Advocacy

Among growers, the name Ed Rosenthal has become synonymous with world-class cannabis cultivation wisdom and techniques. Rosenthal, now in his early 70’s, is perhaps the most famous “cannabis consultant” in the world, being dubbed the “Guru of Ganja” early in career in the 1970’s. His place in the contemporary cannabis space is a combination of  legend and marijuana advocate—a fact that is reflected in his widely circulated books concerning cannabis growing. Many of these books were published at a time when the cultivation of marijuana was still a highly secretive affair and spreading knowledge promoting this illegal activity put Rosenthal directly on the frontlines of legalization controversy.

Ed Rosenthal History

Rosenthal’s career has been highlighted with various advocacy efforts in the California cannabis and beyond. To this end, he has drawn particular recognition with his contributions to CA Prop 215 and the organization Green Aid. California’s Proposition 215 was enacted in 1996 and is recognized as the United States’ first medical marijuana program. Rosenthal’s involvement with Prop 215 dealt primarily with consultation concerning patient treatment and access. By way of his cannabis expertise, Rosenthal advised CA State on structures and avenues for patients to follow in the acquisition of pharmaceutical quality marijuana. Rosenthal compliments his legislative acumen with his work as the Executive Director of Green Aid, also referred to as the Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund. Through Green Aid, Rosenthal spearheads campaigns to spread awareness about such topics as law enforcement zealotry and the legal complexities of traveling with medical marijuana.

Ed Rosenthal in the Headlines

As seen with many marijuana industry icons, Rosenthal has faced his fair share of legal troubles in his time—namely in Oakland, CA in the early 2000’s. While the exact details of the case are somewhat convoluted, it is clear that Rosenthal was precariously positioned between CA State and federal cannabis law on a variety of charges. To illustrate, it is reported that the city of Oakland had “deputized” with the ability to legally grow and dispense cannabis flowers. Nonetheless, as federal prosecutors became aware of Rosenthal’s role as both a public figure and marijuana grower, they arrested him in 2002 and indicted him on a number of charges. Interestingly enough, a number of jurors in the case walked out on the proceedings upon learning about Rosenthal’s cultivation sanction given by the city of Oakland. The case dragged-on until 2007 when he was convicted on three charges, yet only spent one day in jail. Rosenthal’s legal battles represent one of the first highly publicized court cased that directly pinned state and federal law against one another concerning medical marijuana—his trial became an example of cannabis advocacy efforts in itself.

Ed Rosenthal

Rosenthal Today

Today, Rosenthal continues to spread awareness about medical marijuana cultivation and consumption through written works, business ventures, and educational programs. To date, Rosenthal has published over a dozen books relating to cannabis cultivation that have been printed in over a million copies, the world over. Rosenthal adds to his literary expertise as a cannabis university faculty member, contributing to horticultural coursework at both Oaksterdam University and The Cannabis Training Institute. Finally, through his company Quick Trading, Rosenthal has developed an organic insecticide dubbed “Zero Tolerance” which can be found on the shelves of hydroponics shops across the United States.


This article originally appeared in the December 2017 / January 2018 edition of HydroLife Magazine.

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