People Who Helped Shape The Cannabis Industry: Ed Rosenthal

By Kent Gruetzmacher
Published: December 1, 2017 | Last updated: April 8, 2021 11:20:38
Key Takeaways

The name Ed Rosenthal has become synonymous with world-class marijuana cultivation wisdom and techniques.

The name Ed Rosenthal has become synonymous with world-class marijuana cultivation wisdom and techniques.


Rosenthal, now in his early 70s, is perhaps the most famous cannabis consultant in the world, being dubbed the “Guru of Ganja” early in career in the 1970s.

His place in the contemporary cannabis space is a combination of horticultural 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.

Rosenthal’s career has been highlighted with various advocacy efforts in California (CA) and beyond, drawing 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 complements 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.

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 2000s.

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 medical marijuana.

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, 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 advocacy efforts in itself.

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 more than a dozen books relating to cannabis cultivation that have been printed in over a million copies and sold worldwide.

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.


Share This Article

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Written by Kent Gruetzmacher | Writer, Owner of KCG Content

Profile Picture of Kent Gruetzmacher

Kent Gruetzmacher MFA is a Colorado-based writer and owner of the writing and marketing firm KCG Content. Kent has been working in the cannabis and hydroponics space for over a decade. Beginning in California in 2009, he has held positions in cultivation, operations, marketing, and business development. Looking specifically to writing, Kent has worked with many of the leading publications and marketing agencies in the cannabis space. His writing has been recognized by such icons as Steve D’Angelo and Rick Simpson.

Related Articles

Go back to top
Maximum Yield Logo

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter this site.

Please confirm your date of birth:

This feature requires cookies to be enabled