2023 was a year marked by significant challenges in the cannabis industry, but along with those challenges came remarkable innovation, perseverance and creativity. The yearly ADCANN Awards seeks to honour the very best in cannabis marketing, branding and advertising across North America. 2023’s victors range from small independent brands to large multi-region corporations, but they all have one thing in common – the ability to communicate their value proposition to build awareness and loyalty among their consumers. Here are this year’s winners, voted by People’s Choice from you – the ADCANN community.
Accessory Brand of the Year
Canada – BOXHOT GLOWSTICKS
BOXHOT, the flagship brand from Motif Labs, has won this year’s Accessory Brand of the Year category. BOXHOT produces a number of cannabis products including infused pre-rolls, oils and vape cartridges. BOXHOT made waves in the market when they released a 1.2g cartridge – however, they stood out on the average, skinny battery. In response, BOXHOT launched their popular GLOWSTICKS, button-activated 510-threaded vape batteries with “3x the capacity of the competition”. These batteries are decked out with adjustable temperature, 650mAh, a preheat function, 3 heat settings and are physically big enough to support their 1.2g king-size carts.
USA – Raw
Hailing from Alcoy, Spain, Raw has been rightfully crowned Accessory Brand of the Year in the USA. Founded in 2005 by Josh Kesselman, Raw has become synonymous with natural, unrefined smoking products. The brand’s unbleached rolling papers, crafted from a blend of hemp and flaxseed, offer a smooth and additive-free smoking experience, catering to consumers who prioritize a cleaner alternative. Beyond rolling papers, Raw boasts an extensive product line featuring filter tips, pre-rolled cones, rolling trays, and other smoking accessories. What sets Raw apart is its commitment to sustainability, using environmentally friendly materials and earning a global reputation for its eco-conscious approach. This award recognizes Raw’s continued dedication to providing high-quality, natural, and environmentally friendly accessories that enhance the overall enjoyment of cannabis products.
Best Packaging Design
Canada – Tribal’s Live Resin Vape Cart Packaging
Tribal, the flagship brand from Licensed Producer Cannara, has won this year’s “Best Packaging Design” in Canada for their reusable 510 vape cartridge packaging. Tribal is one of the best-selling brands in numerous provinces across the country and offers a variety of flower and vape/concentrate products. Tribal combines sleek and aesthetic design with practical functionality and value with their 510 vape packaging. These metal cases keep their high-quality live resin cartridges safe while also providing two additional spaces to store more 510 vape carts. Keep multiple 510 flavours on you safe and in style with Tribal.
USA – Jeeter
Jeeter, celebrated as “the #1 pre-roll in the world,” secures the Best Packaging Design award in the USA, embodying a dynamic cannabis lifestyle brand offering sought-after products, apparel, and experiences. Renowned for their high-quality “Baby Jeeter” pre-rolls in protective jars and vibrant “Jeeter Juice” vape pens, Jeeter’s creative and groundbreaking packaging reflects their commitment to visual appeal. With limited-time holiday offerings and sports-themed packages, Jeeter’s innovative approach extends to California, Arizona, Michigan, and soon, Canada. Originating in Miami in 2007, Jeeter’s name, coined by a group of friends, harks back to their high school joint sessions. Ranked #1 globally, Jeeter continues its journey with a dedicated team, persistently innovating in product development and community engagement, inviting enthusiasts to find their next favorite in the Jeeter family lineup.
Best Social Media
Canada – Spinach
Spinach, the flagship cannabis brand of Cronos Group, has won the Best Social Media Category 2023 in Canada. The brand had quite the year in 2023, earning their spot as the number one edible brand in the country among numerous other achievements. With over 17,000 followers on Instagram, Spinach undeniably has one of the largest social media followings in the Canadian cannabis space. They built this following through bold, colourful, playful and engaging content that is posted frequently and thoughtfully.
USA – HYMAN
Pronounced [High-Man], HYMAN earns the prestigious Best Social Media award in the USA, asserting itself as a cannabis industry social media powerhouse. This luxury lifestyle brand, with a cultivation team of over 50 industry professionals and a 30,000 sq. ft canopy, sources cutting-edge genetics through rigorous phenohunts. Collaborating strategically with licensed retailers in Michigan, HYMAN distributes its limited HYMAN flower while captivating a diverse audience with progressive ideas and designs. Boasting over 17,000 Instagram followers, HYMAN stands as a finalist in the USA Best Social Media award, offering innovative products like “Dankaroos” pre-rolls, a “NFT” cannabis package featuring high-end pre-rolls and hash rosin, and vibrant THC disposable vapes. HYMAN’s exceptional online presence and groundbreaking products position it as a trailblazer in cannabis industry social media.
Marketing Campaign of the Year
Canada – Ghost Drops – MOM is Back
Ghost Drops, a craft cannabis brand born in the legacy market, has earned the Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023 in Canada for their extensive “MOM is Back” campaign. Ghost Drops originally gained popularity as a MOM (Mail Order Marijuana) business in the pre-legal market. The model offered direct delivery of premium cannabis to thousands of loyal customers across Canada and Ghost Drops ultimately became the leading delivery platform in the legacy market. The acquisition of a licensed processing facility in 2023 allowed the legal Ghost Drops organization to return to its roots and offer an elevated version of the same service that made the brand infamous. Through its creative “MOM is Back” campaign, the brand played on a term (MOM) that resonates with legacy market consumers and Ghost Drops superfans. With the production of 3 high-quality commercials made in Los Angeles, California, the launch of a brand new award-winning website and e-commerce platform, the creation of a hotline 1800-IM-YOUR-MOM, and a holistic marketing campaign complete with digital advertising, social media and email content, the brand clinched this year’s marketing campaign category.
USA – Cannabis Media Council – I’m High Right Now
The Cannabis Media Council (CMC), an American trade association committed to dispelling the stigma surrounding cannabis plants and people, achieved a remarkable feat by winning the ADCANN Marketing Campaign of the Year 2023 in the USA. The CMC’s groundbreaking campaign, “I’m High Right Now,” strategically utilizes unique testimonials from individuals and couples to challenge perceptions, boldly declaring, “Love more or hate me, I’m here to stay and I can provide benefits either way.” Through this innovative approach, the campaign showcases diverse perspectives to normalize cannabis use across all age groups and dismantle myths in North America. The ADCANN Marketing Campaign of the Year award recognizes the CMC’s outstanding efforts in challenging stereotypes and promoting a more informed and accepting society.
Social Good Campaign of the Year
Canada – Roilty – Andrea Flowers Pride Month Campaign
Roilty is the flagship cannabis brand presented by Lifeist known for its high-quality dabbable concentrates, 510 vape cartridges, and consistently innovative marketing. During Pride Month, Roilty collaborated significantly with Andrea Flowers, a cannabis educator and trans activist, and Spiffy, an inventive bud-tender education tool. Together, they introduced two impactful resources in June: “The Retail Inclusivity Handbook” and “Gender & Sexuality Training.” These initiatives transcend mere symbolic gestures, offering crucial insights for cultivating a safe and inviting retail atmosphere. This dedication seamlessly corresponds with Roilty’s commitment to inclusivity, positioning them not just as a standout brand but also as a pioneering force in advancing diversity within the cannabis industry.
Independent Store Brand of the Year
Canada – The Woods
The Woods, with storefronts in Brampton and Mississauga, has been named this year’s Independent Retail Store Brand of the Year. With their thoughtful lifestyle branding, premium branded apparel and merchandise line and clean-cut stores, The Woods has been a standout player in the game since their inception. Their customers are bound to agree as they’ve grown their store beyond retail and into a full brand experience with both incredible digital and in-person marketing communications.
USA – House Of Dank
Earning the esteemed title of Independent Retail Store Brand of the Year in the USA, House of Dank proves its mettle as Detroit’s premier chain of legal cannabis dispensaries. With an impressive network of 9 locations across Michigan, House of Dank is renowned for its dynamic approach to cannabis, standing out with high-profile collaborations such as those with celebrities like White Boy Rick—a fusion of cannabis and culture. The brand’s reputation is further solidified through its hosting of numerous star-studded events and parties, creating an unparalleled cannabis lifestyle experience. This award recognizes House of Dank not only for its exceptional retail environment but also for its innovative marketing strategies that seamlessly blend cannabis into the fabric of contemporary culture.
National Store Brand of the Year
Canada – Spiritleaf
Spiritleaf has earned the title of National Retail Store Brand of the Year for the third year in a row. Spiritleaf fosters local communities through regional marketing, including allowing each Spiritleaf franchise to create their own dedicated social media pages to communicate to their customers. The chain operates over 100 storefronts across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
MSO Brand of the Year
USA – Chill Medicated
Chill Medicated achieves the remarkable title of MSO (Multi-State Operator) of the Year in the USA, showcasing excellence in operations across multiple states. This award is a testament to Chill Medicated’s strategic expansion, operational efficiency, and profound impact on the cannabis industry. The brand stands as a trailblazer in the evolving landscape of multi-state cannabis operations, recognized for its commitment to growth, innovation, and the delivery of high-quality products and services. Chill Medicated is renowned for its unique variety of cannabis-infused products, including infused cannabis syrups, RSO, topicals, body rubs, and more. Sourced, produced, and rigorously tested in Michigan, their topical offerings are legally available in all 50 states. With a singular mission to be a beacon of healing, Chill Medicated’s passion and commitment have rightfully earned them the MSO Brand of the Year at the ADCANN awards.
Marketer of the Year
Canada – Alanna Fonseca, Cronos Group
Alanna Fonseca, the current Vice President of Marketing & Innovation at Cronos Group, has been named this year’s Marketer of the Year in Canada. Cronos Group is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group’s portfolio includes the flagship and best-selling brand “Spinach”. You might recognize Alanna from her tenure with MedReleaf, Aurora Cannabis, and more. Bringing over a decade of experience to the table, she’s undeniably contributed to the success of Cronos’ portfolio.
USA – Ricardo Baca, Grasslands Agency
His third ADCANN Marketer Of The Year award, Ricardo Baca is a pioneering figure in the cannabis industry and the deserving winner of this category in 2019, 2021 and now 2023. Known for his impactful contributions, Baca is the founder of Grasslands, a prominent cannabis-focused communications and PR agency. Previously, he served as the first-ever marijuana editor for The Denver Post, where he created and oversaw The Cannabist—a groundbreaking platform covering cannabis news, culture, and industry trends. Baca’s extensive career has been marked by his dedication to providing credible and informative journalism around cannabis-related topics, playing a crucial role in shaping the narrative and perceptions of the industry. His current role at Grasslands continues to contribute significantly to the cannabis discourse, making him a key influencer and leader in the field.
Craft Brand of the Year
Canada – High Quadz
High Quadz clinches the coveted Craft Brand of the Year title at this year’s ADCANN Awards, reaffirming its status as an award-winning craft cannabis brand of exceptional quality. Renowned for its premium strains like Galaxy Cake and Incredible Flawless Victory, High Quadz, headquartered in Vancouver, is dedicated to bringing the finest BC bud to consumers nationwide. High Quadz was also named the winner of the yearly ARCannabis Cup 2023. The wins continue for Highmark Brands!
USA – Gentleman Quinns Blunt Co.
Gentleman Quinns Blunt Co., based in scenic Colorado, has claimed the Craft Brand of the Year title in the USA. Renowned for their mantra “HIGH CLASS, BIG ASS BLUNTS,” they specialize in the best pre-rolls, offering lab-tested and certified full flower flavors with no pesticides, contaminants, or metals. Lead Bluntador, Gentleman Quinn, a true Colorado native, personally oversees the rolling process, ensuring each product meets the highest standards. Since 2015, their independently owned and operated establishment has been at the forefront of the pre-roll market, symbolizing craftsmanship and dedication to premium cannabis experiences in the state of Colorado.
LP Brand of the Year
Canada – Reef Organic
Canada’s first Clean Green Certified producer, Reef Organic, has taken home LP Brand Of The Year for 2023. Reef products are distributed nationwide and have even been shipped medically to countries across the world. The brand prioritizes organic cultivation methods, ensuring their cannabis products are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. Their unique cultivation process utilizes a combination of organic living soil made in Nova Scotia. Throughout 2023 they remained steadfast in their mission for sustainability and launched several new exciting products including their Queen SanG strain, which also won 1st Place in this year’s GrowUp Cannabis Cup.
Rookie of the Year
Canada – Woody Nelson
Woody Nelson, your 2023 Rookie Of The Year, is one of Canada’s newest craft cannabis brands that made an undeniable splash across the country in 2023. Based in Nelson, British Columbia, Woody Nelson produces high quality BC bud grown in organic living soil. The brand is known for their proprietary strains like Rainbow Driver, SSOG and Glade Runner. Woody Nelson’s aesthetic combines colourful and playful illustrations with high quality bud shots and behind-the-scenes content. Furthermore, they launched their lines LoFi (CBD-dominant products) and HiFi (THC-dominant concentrates) with much success. This brand is one to continue to watch as they progress and grow in 2024!
Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by ADCANN