In what has already been a historic year for New Jersey’s legal grass after the doors opened to consumers on April 21, business experts celebrated the industry’s success at the first awards gala of New Jersey. Garden State cannabis Thursday night.
NJ Cannabis Insider, a trade magazine and event group that is part of the NJ Advance Media newsroom, hosted the luxury event for some of the state’s leading business and political leaders at a ‘Performing Arts of Transformed Carteret.
Enrique Lavin, editor and editor of NJ Cannabis Insider, hosted the awards banquet, which featured a live band under a stylized canopy of light and stage fog. Some 200 experts, including guests from as far away as Colorado and Texas, showed off their style and fashion in contrast to the business or casual attire typical of most industry events across the country.
The winners of 12 categories, including four Publisher’s Choice Awards, received a statuette called The Canny in recognition of their success in the cannabis space. They were:
- CannaCoverage, an insurance company owned by Nichelle Santosfor the minority company of the year.
- NJ Cannabis Certificate, Sarah Trentfor the company of the year owned by women.
- Sapphire Risk Advisory Group and CEO Toni Gallofor Excellence in Consulting and Professional Services.
- Cova, a point-of-sale software company and CEO Gary Cohenfor Excellence in Innovation.
- Hiller, PC and company partner Lauren Rudickfor excellence in cannabis law.
- Trichome Analytical, a cannabis testing lab and CEO Kristen Goeddefor Excellence in Health and Life Sciences.
- 420NJEvents, a minority advocacy group led by Brendon Robinson and Stan Okorofor Excellence in Social Equity.
- Hance Construction and CEO Art Hance, for Excellence in Commercial Building Operations. Hance Construction has also been named a founding sponsor for its support of NJ Cannabis Insider since its inception in 2018.
(For the full list of nominees, go here.)
Early in the evening, presenters I love Sinha of the American Union for Civil Liberty-New Jersey, Dr. David Nathan of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Trent of NJ Cannabis Certified i Faye Coleman of Pure Genesis presented the inaugural winners of the Publisher’s Choice Award in four categories:
- The lifelong success was for Bill Caruso, lawyer and lobbyist for Archer & Greiner, PC and Archer Public Affairs.
- The ambassador of the year was Edmund DeVeaux, president of the CannaBusiness Association of New Jersey and lobbyist for Burton Trent.
- The community change of the year was for Jessica F. Gonzalez, a Hiller PC lawyer and general counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana.
- Excellence in education was for Rob Mejia, author, entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Stockton University.
Sponsors who supported the event were: Genoa Burns, Cave, Ascend, Cannabist, Treez and the Minority Cannabis Academy, which sponsored the night’s later party.
In April, the cannabis industry voted who should be recognized as the best in its categories. Six finalists were reduced to three, and the final winner was announced at the 2022 NJ Cannabis Insider Awards gala.
Stay tuned for more coverage in the coming days.
NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscriber-based event and trade magazine group produced by NJ Advance Media, which also publishes NJ.com, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated newspapers. Are you interested in the NJ cannabis industry? Subscribe here for the privileged exclusives. Follow us on LinkedIn. contact with us here.