MJBizDaily Awards Honor 13

Wanda James, Simply Pure CEO, mjbizdaily awards hall of fame mg Magazine
Wanda James, chief executive officer for Simply Pure and co-founder of Global Cannabis Initiative, was one of two people inducted into the hall of fame during the inaugural MJBizDaily Awards. (Image: Mike Rosatti for mg Magazine)

LAS VEGAS – Individuals and companies both familiar and new were honored with inaugural MJBizDaily Awards during a gala ceremony December 12 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

At the top of the program, two industry pioneers pioneered a new frontier when they were inducted as the first two members of the awards’ hall of fame: Wanda James and Steve DeAngelo. Activist, author, and entrepreneur DeAngelo co-founded what became some of the industry’s most notable names: Harborside dispensary, Steep Hill, The Arcview Group, and the National Cannabis Industry Association. James, a former Navy lieutenant, in 2009 became the first black female to own a licensed dispensary in Colorado. She now serves as chief executive officer for that operation, Simply Pure, as well as co-founder of Cannabis Global Initiative, a communications and marketing firm specializing in political and strategic positioning. She’s well-known for her activism on behalf of criminal justice, underprivileged communities, and military veterans.

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Other winners of the evening were:

U.S. Market Leader – Retail: Planet 13

U.S. Market Leader – Infused Products: Wana Brands

U.S. Market Leader – Cultivation: East Fork Cultivars

Regional Game Changer – U.S. Region: Cresco Labs

Regional Game Changer – EMEAO (Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania) Region: Bedrocan (Netherlands)

Regional Game Changer – Latin America: PharmaCielo (Colombia)

Regional Game Changer – Canada: Fire & Flower Cannabis Co. (dispensary chain)

Hemp Game Changer: Front Range Biosciences

Industry Impact: Wana Brands co-founder and CEO Nancy Whiteman

Community Impact – Sustainable Business Practices: Native Roots Cannabis Co.

Community Impact – Giving Back: Berkeley Patients Group

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