Awards and Honors

Colorado Companies Dominate Cannabis Business Awards

The Cannabis Business Awards are held annually in Denver to honor industry and advocacy achievements.
The Cannabis Business Awards are held annually in Denver to honor industry and advocacy achievements. Cannabis Business Awards
The seventh annual national Cannabis Business Awards were announced Thursday, December 7, at a ceremony at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Hosted by Clover Leaf University founder Chloe Villano, the awards have seen a rise in prominence that parallels legal pot's increased relevance across the United States.

Industry executives and advocates from across the country came to the birthplace of retail cannabis to see who'd be recognized, and Colorado was well-represented. Twelve of the businesses that took trophies are based in this state, while a handful of individual winners live here, too. 

Denver's own Wanda James won a lifetime achievement award for her extensive work in the industry and for advocating for legal cannabis opportunities for women and minorities, while Aurora's Gladys Solis won Budtender of the Year for her work at Diego Pellicer. But the biggest winner might've been Alex Bortell, a twelve-year-old girl from Larkspur, Colorado, who won Most Influential Individual. Bortell, a medical marijuana refugee and published author, is currently suing United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the federal scheduling of cannabis.

Find a full list of winners below:

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Wanda James is the owner of Simply Pure dispensary in Denver.
Cannabis Business Awards

Most Influential Individual
Alexis Bortell

Hope Award
American Medical Refugee Foundation

Cannabis Executive of the Year
Neil Demers

Industry Organization of the Year

Athletes for Care

Most Valuable Brand
Mary’s Medicinals

Activist of the Year
Nurse Heather

Advocate of the Year

Eugene Monroe

Political Industry Representative of the Year
Vicente Sederberg

Nonprofit of the Year

Cannabis Business of the Year
The Clinic

Best Medical Center
Kind Love

Best Retail Center
Diego Pellicer

Most Innovative Product


Budtender of the Year

Gladys Solis

Manager of the Year

Nick Jack

Best Flower in a Dispensary

Mandarin Cookies

Best Edibles
Coda Signature

Best Extract
Harmony Extracts

Best Infused Product

Evolab's Angel Salve

Best Hemp Product
Nature's Root

Publication of the Year

Sensi Magazine

Most Influential Media Source


Educational Achievement of the Year
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan

Cultivation Achievement Award
Green Dot Labs

Cannabis Woman of the Year

Nichole West

Lifetime Achievement Award
Wanda James

Best CBD Product
Haleigh’s Hope

2017 Honorary Awards
Mickey Martin
Dr. William Eidelman

2017 MVPs

Jair Velleman
Ted Daniels
Josh Crosney
Ashley Smither
Shawn Honaker

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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell