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.
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