Have you ever wondered what it would be like to show up to the biggest cannabis awards ceremony of the year?

Grab your vape pen and unwind as I take you with on a trip inside the highly regarded 2019 Canadian Cannabis Awards.  Upon entry, you can tell this is a world of flashing cameras, red carpet, beautiful people, open bars and industry leaders working on bringing the next big commercial pharmaceutical deals to life.

Let’s set the stage.

It’s November 8th, 2019

Dress Code: High Fashion Formal

Setting: The pungently dank aromatic smell of craft cannabis and prime rib slowly circulates the floor around us. Upon entrance, it feels like you are welcomed into the sea of like-minded professionals passionate about creating the solutions for the problems of tomorrow using cannabis.

Official Itinerary:


  • 5:30 p.m. – Media registration opens *if you need more time for setup arrive at 5pm

  • 6:00 p.m. – Reception and red carpet

  • 7:00 p.m. – Awards!

  • 8/8:30 p.m. – Gala Dinner

  • 10:00 p.m. – After Party


The Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West – Toronto Ontario

Convention Floor— Closest entrance is the East Valet Entrance

There are volunteers around the lobby holding ampersands (&) if you need help.

The Fairmont has requested no content capture in the lobby or through the hotel. All photography and video is on our convention floor only.”

The Lift media team welcomed us kindly and ushered us into a large well lit room where we were able to unpack and get all of the equipment set up for the interviewing sessions. Immediately we were greeted by one of our personal friends Jon Hirsh who was leading an in-depth conversation about legalization 2.0. After some quick insight, we headed out into the madness of the red carpet walkway.

Here are some of the amazing people we spoke with on the red carpet.

Mario Naric, B.Eng

Motif Labs

Founder, COO 

Ryan: Mario, It is amazing to run into you here at the Canadian Cannabis Awards Ceremony.

First off, Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us here today. We have heard some major rumors that you won an award recently? Could you tell us a little about what the award you won was and what it meant for you?

Mario: Ryan, it was fantastic to see you as always! Yes – I’m honored to say I was selected as one of London’s top 20 under 40 by London INC magazine. It truly was a shock and I am so grateful to be recognized alongside such an influential list of professionals and entrepreneurs. Having grown up in London, it is very gratifying to be contributing to the local economy and to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication of the entire team at Motif Labs.

Ryan: Any nominations this evening at the CCA’s?

Mario: Not this year as we are still pre-license. However, watch out for us in 2020 – we have big plans.

Ryan After a successful fundraise like the one you and your team accomplished this past Spring, how does it feel to be seeing your dreams being built and come alive at the new facility?

Mario: It is so surreal to see the facility and team develop and grow so rapidly. Just over 2 years ago, Motif was nothing but an idea being developed and conceptualized in coffee shops. Today, we’re a team of 8 and our 12,000 sf manufacturing facility is 50% complete. Looking back on the journey to get to this point, all I can say is that I am very grateful to have this opportunity and to be executing on it surrounded by some of the smartest people imaginable.

Ryan: What brought you to the CCA’s?

Mario: Seeing the success of our colleagues, the pace at which the industry is developing and the excitement of all the entrepreneurs within it is infectious, motivating and invigorating. We were thrilled to cheer on some of our good friends and future clients as they received awards on the stage. Also, it is no secret that Lift knows how to throw a good party so how could we miss it!

Ryan: What are you most excited about in Cannabis Legalization 2.0?

Mario: I am excited to see the rapid product innovation that is about to kick-off. Flower products will always be a staple however, extract-based products are the future. With so many smart and passionate people working within the Canadian cannabis industry, I have no doubt that the products, processes, and brands that are going to be born out of Cannabis 2.0 will completely revolutionize cannabis on an international scale. Furthermore, Motif Labs gets to be on the ground floor of that growth and we could not be more excited.

Ryan: Any additional Closing thoughts?

Mario: I think we, as an industry, need to realize that our contributions extend much further than Canadian borders. We have an opportunity to be global leaders in what will undoubtedly be one of the largest industries in the world. For that possibility to become a reality, we need to collaborate and leverage each other’s specialties and talents to really accelerate national and international growth.

Taylor Carr, Director of Cultivation for WeedMD
Jocelyn Prefontaine, Commercial Sales Manager for Keirton 
Eric Akbar, VP of Operation at Cannapiece

Jocelyn Prefontaine

Keirton [Twister]

Commercial Sales Manager

Ryan: Jocelyn, tonight you looked fabulous. What is the buzz on cannabis machinery sales in 2019 so far?

Jocelyn: Thank you it’s been a fabulous event.

With the global expansion and the ability to export cannabis to other countries with the right licenses, standardization is key.

Along with quality equipment, producers are looking for companies they can trust and offer world-class support to create consistency and provide the best product for their end customers. I can’t speak for the competition but Keirton has had our best year ever, both in North America and the rest of the world.

Ryan: Were you nominated for anything this year at the CCA’s?

Jocelyn: Our company Keirton Inc – Twister Trimmer was nominated for the best trimming equipment. To have the majority of commercial producers put their trust in our trimming solutions is something we’re grateful for.  We were once again very honored to be recognized as the leaders in the industry and officially now back to back winners!

Ryan: What brought you to the CCA’s this year?

Jocelyn: It’s a fun night of celebration that highlights the hard work that everyone has accomplished this year.  It’s the Grammys of Cannabis. We show up to support the nominees, our customers, and friends.

Ryan: What are you most excited about in Cannabis Legalization 2.0?

Jocelyn: While smoking flower will still be a big part of the industry.  We foresee a large increase in acceptance and reduced stigma as Cannabis will be widely available in more convenient and discreet forms.

Ryan: Any additional Closing thoughts?

Jocelyn: Our core purpose is helping people grow.  Success doesn’t come in a box and we pride ourselves on not just being a product. Sitting in the room at the gala and watching our partners receive their awards, there was a sense of pride knowing that we shared a small piece in their success.

Jonathan Hirsh
Cannabis Educator
Instagram: @weedstagram416

Ryan: Jon, It’s a pleasure to run into you here at the Canadian Cannabis Awards Ceremony.

First off, Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us here today.
We hear this is your 3rd consecutive year in attendance, what brought you out to the CCA’S this year

Jon: Always down to go to the CCA’s and see what amazing people have come to work in our industry and to bring a little cannabis culture to a highly corporate alcohol-driven event.

Ryan: Any nominations this evening at the CCA’s?

Jon: Nope not for me. Last year I had two. They eliminated all the category that were for the little guy. It seems if you can’t afford to buy a table lift doesn’t think your award category is worthy. They eliminated the influencer, cannabis crusader awards amongst others. They did not add in things like educator awards. It was more about the LPs and the retailers this year.

Ryan: What was the name of the artistic joint piece you rolled this year?

Jon: The Non-gendered hand 2.0 cause it’s 2019 yo.

Ryan:  What does it mean to be a cannabis influencer moving into 2020?

Jon: Cannabis educator. Influencer is a dead term due to the cannabis act. It’s exciting. I am now a professor at Ontario’s oldest college teaching a cannabis general education course. How great is that! As well as facilitating one on one grow, extract making and other cannabis-related classes through my company Education Station.

Ryan: What are you most excited about in Cannabis Legalization 2.0?

Jon:  Fixing all the errors of the regulators.

Ryan: Any additional Closing thoughts?

Jon: Ryan has fabulous hair!

Ryan: Truly flattered my friend, truly flattered, we will see you at the next show!

Taylor Carr


Horticulture Manager

Ryan: Taylor Carr, you are looking fresh as ever here at the Canadian Cannabis awards 2019! It’s great to see you, my friend, can you tell us a little about the recent outdoor harvest completed with Weedmd? We hear that the yields were monumental with some plants standing well over 6Ft Tall!?

Taylor:  Thanks Ryan. Our 27 acres of outdoor crop is finally taken down and inside our new fully licensed 50,000 sqft processing facility. With not a moment to spare. It was an amazing feeling taking down the last of our plants that were pushing over 6 feet tall at that point.  It was an amazing feeling hearing the entire facility cheering and clapping when we announce that the last plants were hung into the dry rooms.

Ryan: What’s it like managing a crop this size?

Taylor: Large plants require a large team. It was not easy. Many long days and late nights, our whole team stepped up to make our harvest was possible. We all had to be patient and willing to change gears on the fly. This harvest was something we had never done on this big scale before.

Ryan:  That is very impressive my friend. Any nominations this evening at the CCA’s this year?

Taylor:  Non-unfortunately this year but keep an eye out for next year!

Ryan:  What brought you to the CCA’s this year?

Taylor: I was invited by some very generous industry professionals.  As well, I am always interested in learning about new and upcoming companies and projects, so it was a great fit for me to come out tonight.

Ryan: What are you most excited about in Cannabis Legalization 2.0?

Taylor: I cannot wait to see how the legalization affects the workflow of the big producers. With changing regulations we have to adapt and workflows changed to apply with them.

Ryan:  Any additional Closing thoughts?

Taylor: I cannot wait to see what is next for the Canadian cannabis industry in 2020 and the projects I will be accomplishing in the new year.

Ryan: Awesome my friend, well I wish you all the best tonight and congratulations on all your recent successes.

Timothy Lum

Canmar Recruitment

Business Development Partner

Ryan: Tim it’s great to meet you tonight and again thank you for taking the time out of your evening to come over here to introduce yourself to our team. I think we can all feel the great vibration in the room, but the people at home want to know how it felt to be in the spotlight this evening at the Canadian Cannabis Awards.

Tim:  Quite frankly, I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger. It’s honestly a hard feeling to describe. We are just an auxiliary service focused on staffing within the cannabis industry but we are here at the CCA’s. It feels like we are an integral part of the industry and look forward to also being so in the future. That’s how it felt for me. Actually being a part of the speech inside the awards it was… TERRIFYING.

Ryan: Well we never would have known if you didn’t tell us! The crowd had a great response to your energy and I must say you had some loud applause. Keep up the good work, the people love you.
I also heard that you have been personally inviting a lot of your contacts to come out tonight? How was the response?

Tim: We want to publicize this event, it’s a great event. What, there were 850+ people in attendance? We want to max out the capacity as much as possible.

Ryan: What are you most excited about in 2020 in regard to Canmar Recruiting?

Tim: We are expanding into the US as aggressively as possible in 2020, we want to have some part to play in the European market right, It’s a fast-moving market and it’s all about expansion. At the end of the day and we want to take Canmar Recruitment to a global market.

Ryan: What would you tell a young entrepreneur who wants to get started on her/his dream business, they just want to be successful. What’s one thing you would want to tell them?

Tim: There’s a couple of things I would want to tell them to do. First, if you have you work tremendous hours. There is your 9-5 which is your job, then anything you are working on outside of those hours is your career. If you want to make it big you have to be able to dedicate that time commit to it for the long run if you want big sustainable business in the future.

Ryan: Tim thank you so much we are grateful to have you featured in this article. Have a wonderful night!

Greg Stromotich


Rum Rai MBA

Relationship Manager


Ryan:   Good evening, I’m here with Rum Rai and Greg the CEO from Dhydra Tech. What brings you here this evening?

Greg: We were happily invited by one of the recruiting companies we work with, Cannmar.

Rum: It is also a great time to come out and let people and other companies know we are out there and in full scale. These recent events have been a soft launch for our company, we are able to meet people in person and begin to create relationships.

Ryan: Midas sounds like it is happening for you, can you tell us what this will mean for your company?

Greg: As Rum mentioned, we are doing more of a soft launch and letting people know what we are about and in full production. We are now able to start rolling out our machines to more markets. We have been selling our machines for over a year now, but actually coming on Midas letter and finally getting out there is exciting and very scary at the same time.

Ryan: Definitely pretty exciting. Was it hard to get to that point?

Rum: Definitely. There were quite a few factors before we actually decided to press and hold the trigger. We wanted to make sure we were at a certain point before we got our name out there. We wanted to make sure we had some clients, finalized production, our SOPs, and the overall manufacturing of our machine accomplished. We wanted to make sure everything was perfect. We not only wanted a good production cycle, but we wanted good quality customer service. It has been scary the amount of phone calls we have been getting.

Ryan: Great approach, it sounds like it will be slow and steady, knowing your deliverables, without over-promising. One more question, what are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Rum: Loaded question, there is a lot. We have a deal secured with someone in Israel, which is very exciting. They are a GMP facility that is going to be used for medicinal use. The customer actually liked us so much that he flew down within about a week to see our machine. Hopefully, we will grow our oversea reach and tread more waters in the United States. This has been a shaky start, but we now feel we have a fool plan. Going into 2020, we would like to build lasting relationships that benefit both businesses involved. The last thing we want to do is sell our machine and say “good luck”. In 2020, we are looking at building a new facility for our company.

Ryan: Very exciting. It seems like building lasting relationships with clients both nationally and internationally are big plans for 2020. Thank you for your time this evening and I am looking forward to seeing your big plans come into fruition in the new year.

Jodi Zellas
Relationship Management

Kolossus Hemp Co.

Ryan: Jodi, thanks again for coming out to assist the ErieRest and RxLeaf media team this evening. How have you been enjoying the event so far?

Jodi: My night has been surreal so far, I have met so many inspiring individuals from empowering Cannabis Companies that I look up to as a young entrepreneur. Being surrounded by so many successful and like-minded people makes me excited for the future of the Cannabis industry. After hearing about so many accomplishments thus far and about future plans, 2020 is going to be a huge thriving year.

Ryan: As newcomers to the Canadian Hemp Industry what is your team at Kolossus looking to accomplish?

Jodi: Our team at Kolossus has noticed a need in the hemp industry for farmers to properly dry and process their hemp for many future uses. We at Kolossus, plan to open a facility to meet this need in the industry. We are determined to build and establish a company that is ready to take on the hemp market both nationally and internationally.

Ryan: What does it feel like to be surrounded by so many empowering woman this evening?

Jodi: Ever since I attended Business school, I knew that I wanted to use my knowledge and expertise in cannabis or a similar industry. After meeting so many empowering women here tonight, I truly believe that these dreams can become a reality. The Cannabis industry has many women accomplishing so many great achievements that deserve to be rewarded.

Ryan: Do you think there should be Canadian hemp awards?

Jodi: Totally, and if not a Canadian hemp awards but combining certain aspects of the hemp process that relates to the Cannabis industry. Many individuals are working hard in a related sister industry that deserves the same acknowledgment as many did tonight.

Ryan:  If you had one thing to tell your 16-year-old self what would you tell her?

Tim: Never give up on your aspirations, no matter what hurdles and leaps you go through in life, if you believe in yourself and go for what you want, your dream will slowly become your reality.

Ryan: Thanks again for answering our questions, keep on rocking and we will catch you later on!

After the red carpet walk, we all headed into the show. It was a packed house with some people choosing to stand to try and get a better view. Thank you Lift&Co for the Media Pass as having the ability to pass freely around the event allowed us to fully experience how magical each moment was the guests in the fullest capacity.

Sarah Conlon Big Brother Canada Winner was a very well received by the crowd. Her bubbly and intelligent demeanor kept the attention focused and the audience tuned to her every word. Lift&Co Quoted one of Sarah’s memorable quips “Your buds, my buds — we’re here to celebrate them all,” – Her cheer was a golden glow and when approached by fans we saw many times where she made the time to take pictures to make personal interactions and had a great overall sense of humor throughout the evening.

Lift & Co. CEO Matei Olaru was sharply dressed and welcomed the crowd with an exciting presence. He set the stage for a memorable evening. The crowd hung off his every word whilst kicking off the show.

Later we had our friend Timothy Lum introduce take the stage the crowd. He introduced the award for Top THC oil. Tim had an infectious and inspirational presence on stage.

Woman in Weed – Trailblazer Mimi Lam, CEO & Co-Founder, Superette took the stage to accept her CCA.

MNP Representative thanks the crowd.

Gala Room – The food and staff were both amazing at the Royal York. Menu options included prime rib, salmon and chicken with a variety of different equally delish side options.

Official food rating: 4/5 Cannabis Leafs.

The After-Party was again open to a rush of red carpet photos of winner’s eager with pride to show off their winnings. The room was bumping so we decided to go finish our photos then head out to the street where we could smell a situation going down outside.

We ran into Jon Hirsh a second time with his 3oz Gender Neutral Hand Joint he rolled specially for the after-party guests. He generated tons of attention and went live to his fans.

Final thoughts, the stage was beautifully designed by the Lift&Co team. The design was simple and elegant and everyone we asked truly thought the night went off without a hitch. Thanks for everything Lift&Co, you make a major impact on our industry and on behalf of the cannabis community, we thank you for the very successful 6th Annual Canadian Cannabis Awards.

Thank you again to the Fairmont Royal York for being hosts to the gala it was an exciting and well-received event.

As released by Lift&Co here is the Full List of 2019 Canadian Cannabis Award Winners:

“Full List of 2019 Canadian Cannabis Award Winners


The top cannabis products—dried flower, oil, capsules, sprays and pre-rolls—are determined by Canadian consumers. Votes were submitted via consumer cannabis reviews and uploaded purchase receipts to Lift.co between August 23 to October 25, 2019. Winners were determined by an algorithm that weighs the volume of submitted reviews and receipts against the overall product rating.

Cannabis Products:

Top Flower

Top Indica Flower
Pink Kush by San Rafael ’71

Top Sativa Flower
Tangerine Dream by San Rafael ’71

Top Hybrid Flower
Ruxton (Sour OG) by Broken Coast Cannabis

Top Oil:

Top High CBD Bottled Oil
CBD 25:1 Oil by Aphria

Top High THC Bottled Oil
Rossignol by Organigram

Top Balanced Bottled Oil
Midnight Oil by MedReleaf

Top Cannabis Spray *NEW*
Sativa Oral Spray by Aurora Cannabis

Top Cannabis Capsules *NEW*
Argyle Softgels by Tweed

Top Pre-roll *NEW*

Top Sativa Dominant Preroll
Jean Guy Preroll by Good Supply

Top Indica Dominant Preroll
Subway Scientist Preroll by RIFF

Top Hybrid Preroll
Sense Preroll by Solei


Nominees in categories for people, organizations, retail, cultivation, and accessories were collected via nomination submission to CanadianCannabisAwards.com between August 23 and September 20, 2019. Expert judging panels deliberated on the top nominees between September 20 and October 25, 2019. The top accessories of the year were determined by a first-ever budtender judging panel.

Organizations & People:

Entrepreneur of the Year *NEW*
Pat McCutcheon, CEO & Chairman of the Board & Keith Strachan, President & Director, MediPharm Labs

Startup of the Year

Woman in Weed – Trailblazer
Mimi Lam, CEO & Co-Founder, Superette

Innovation of the Year
Solei Renew CBN Oil by Aphria

Top Non-Profit/Charity/Community Initiative
Tweed x TerraCycle national cannabis recycling program

Brand of the Year
7ACRES – The Supreme Cannabis Company

Employer of the Year
TREC Brands


Top Vaporizer
PAX 3, PAX Labs

Top Rolling Papers & Cones
Konehedz Pre-Rolled Cones by Konehedz

Top Pipe/Bong
Scorpion by Wolf Grinders

Top Home Growing Kit
Grobo Premium Grow Box by Grobo Premium


Top Retail Store—Single Location *NEW*
Superette, 1306 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ontario

Top Budtender *NEW*
Ellen McKay from Superette, Ottawa, Ontario


Top Testing Lab
Keystone Labs

Top Trimmer
Twister Trimmer by Keirton

Top Extraction Company
Valens GroWorks

Top Nutrients Company
BlueSky Organics

Top Lighting Company

Top Master Grower *NEW*
Kevin Anderson, Head Grower, Broken Coast Cannabis


These award winners are selected by Lift & Co. staff to recognize contributors who positively impact the quality of the website’s information and who help other consumers find the best products.

Top Lift & Co. Reviewer
Shane Sparks, @VapeTheBud

Top Lift & Co. Budtender Reviewer *NEW*
Sean O’Reilly, HighlyBearded

Lift&Co also adds a kind word in regards to thanking all involved. “Thank you to our CCA Gala Partners: Aurora, CanMar Recruitment, the Cronos Group, Flowr, Integra, MNP, ND Supplies, Organigram, Quality Green, and Valens”