N.J. cannabis industry to celebrate business excellence with 1st-ever awards banquet

Dayana Jones

New Jersey is experiencing another historic year in cannabis as the legal weed market is slated to open soon. Decades of advocacy from healthcare and business community activists will culminate when Garden State retail stores open its doors to adult consumers.

There will be celebrations — and on June 9, industry insiders will celebrate their accomplishments at the state’s first-ever cannabis business awards gala.

Businesses in the cannabis space were nominated for their achievements by subscribers of NJ Cannabis Insider, a weekly trade journal and events group produced by the NJ Advance Media newsroom, which powers NJ.com and The Star-Ledger, among other affiliated newspapers.

Voting by subscribers-only began last week. This week, the vote goes to the public. Winners in several categories will be announced at a formal dinner banquet at the Carteret Performing Arts Center, where NJCI recently held its spring conference.

“It’s exciting whenever the cannabis community comes together,” said Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Assn., which operates as the state’s cannabis chamber of commerce. “For the community to recognize the hard work of professionals is especially important. We are working for a sustainable cannabis industry, and we expect many more businesses to be recognized in the future.”

There are six candidates listed in each category, acknowledging contributions in the fields of law, social equity, building, innovation and consultancy. Businesses owned by women and minorities will get special recognition.

Voting ends March 31 at 11:59 p.m. After votes are tallied, three finalists in each category will be announced in NJ Cannabis Insider and NJ.com. The winners will be recognized during a June 9 gala, which will include a green carpet, entertainment and a rooftop afterparty.

“I’m truly looking forward to handing out an industry statuette at this first-ever awards ceremony,” said Enrique Lavin, publisher and editor of NJ Cannabis Insider. “For years, we’ve been documenting the progress the state has made in creating this new industry. Now it’s time to recognize and document the achievements made by individuals and companies in the space.”

Cast your vote below. Please note, the voting ballot may take a few seconds to load. Descriptions of each category is listed below the ballot.

Category descriptions:

  • Excellence in Cannabis Law — Law firms that provide legal and policy services to every area of the cannabis industry.
  • Excellence in Commercial Building Operations — Consists of the activities necessary to design and build buildings. This includes everything from securing property, general contracting, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and energy.
  • Excellence in Consultancy and Professional Services — Professional services include: accounting, staffing, security, IT, recruitment, and management industries.
  • Excellence in Innovation — Innovative programs, products, or services
  • Excellence in Social Equity — Companies that support social and economic equality in the cannabis community through grants, education and business development programs.
  • Minority Business of the Year — A minority business is identified as being at least 51% owned by people of color.
  • Woman-owned Business of the Year — A woman-owned business is a business in which at least 51% is owned by a woman.
  • Excellence in Healthcare and Life Sciences — Activities ranging from patient well-being, treatment, testing, manufacturing, and research and development.

“Our cannabis conferences have been bringing the industry and community together since 2018,” said Kristen Ligas, events manager for NJ Cannabis Insider and NJ Advance Media. “We can’t wait to recognize the achievements made by companies at what will be our biggest event to date.”

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscriber-based online trade journal and events group produced by NJ Advance Media, which also publishes NJ.com, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated papers. Are you interested in the N.J. cannabis industry? Subscribe here for insider exclusives. Follow us on LinkedIn.


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