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Historic Vapor and Communal Spirit: 5 Takeaways From the Canadian Cannabis Awards

Published on December 1, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020

What do you get when you put some of the Canadian cannabis industry’s top minds into one of the country’s swankiest party venues in black-tie attire? That’s what we set to find out Thursday at the fourth-annual Lift Canadian Cannabis Awards, held at Toronto’s historic Carlu Concert Hall. Here’s what we learned.

Despite a week that saw Aurora Cannabis attempt a hostile takeover of CanniMed, the industry happily put aside drama for a night of togetherness.

1. MedReleaf and OrganiGram stole the show with multiple awards.

While it seemed no licensed producer left the awards show empty-handed, the big winners of the night were MedReleaf and OrganiGram. The former won the Best High CBD Strain award with its prized Avi-Dekel strain, which also for Best CBD Oil. MedReleaf also took Top THC Flower for its Eran Almog strain, and won the coveted Top Licensed Producer award. OrganiGram, on the other hand, won Best Sativa Flower with its Wabanaki strain, Best Value Variety with its Blueberry strain, and Best Licensed Producer Compassionate Pricing Program.

Very proud to be a part of the @jwcmed team tonight! #EmployerOfTheYear #liftcca2017

A post shared by Erik Fletcher (@erik_fletcher) on

2. One of the acceptance speeches had us teary-eyed.

Adam Miron gave one heck of a speech while accepting the Best New Product award on behalf of his company Hydropothecary, which they won for their activated cannabis powder Decarb. Miron, batting away tears, told the audience that his father was the very first client of the company. He’s since passed away, but Miron says, “I know these products made a difference in my father’s life.” His company would later also win Top Licensed Producer Packaging.

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3. Community ruled the night.

Despite a week that saw Aurora Cannabis attempt a hostile takeover of CanniMed, the industry happily put aside drama for a night of togetherness. Where else could you mingle amongst CEOs, lawyers, master growers, and W. Brett Wilson, the business entrepreneur best known for his time as a judge on TV show Dragon’s Den, while eating shockingly delicious pierogi?

4. The cannabis industry can be a tough crowd.

Comic relief for the night came from the Lucas Brothers, the twin-brother comedy duo that famously associated themselves with cannabis use via their animated television show Lucas Bros. Moving Co. The Lift Awards Gala seemed to be a tough crowd for the duo – at one point, one of the brothers lamented that their jokes went over better in front of US audiences. Still, they scored their hits: In an impromptu moment that broke the fourth wall and had some members of the audience wailing in laughter, the brothers sat down at the table of accounting firm MNP, continuing their set while munching on the chicken breast entrée and trying to get their new executive friends to agree that “Mussolini was the number 4 dictator in the world.”

5. All cannabis events should have a vape lounge.

One of the best parts of the evening was the complimentary vape lounge for authorized medical cannabis patients (which, like most vapour lounges, was bring-your-own-bud). Hosted by vaporizer e-retailer TVape in the Carlu’s Circle Room, the lounge featured velvet couches, high ceilings, and what seemed like every portable vaporizer known to man. As the emcee told the crowd, history was being made: It was the very first time the Carlu had allowed medical cannabis users vaporize cannabis within the confines of their walls.

By this time next year, cannabis will be completely legal in the True North, and we can’t wait to see what kind of innovations that spurs for next year’s party.

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Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and enjoys reading and writing about the regulatory affairs of cannabis in Canada and around the world.
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