From the editor: Congratulations, Alexandre!
November 19, 2022 By Haley Nagasaki
Three months after the contest submission deadline, we are excited to finally announce the winner of Grow Opportunity’s Canada’s Top Grower Award. Congratulations to Alexandre Gauthier, director of cultivation at Origine Nature, for stepping up as an exemplary figure of cannabis cultivation excellence.
Two new judges joined the panel this year for a total of five — Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza, David Kjolberg, Jayson Goodale, Stacie Hollingworth, and George Dickinson — whose combined talent and decades pioneering in the industry goes without saying. This year we received 23 nominations in total for a comprehensive representation of Canada’s cannabis growers from coast to coast.
The lengthy evaluation of each submission concluded with virtual facility tours guided by the three contest finalists. Alas, Gauthier was chosen as the face of Canada’s Top Grower upon the basis of innovation, leadership, sustainability, profitability, ethics and work culture.
In addition to the Top Grower cover story and the accompanying podcast with Gauthier (Nov 30), this issue encompasses some other major themes pressing on the industry. As we look back on 2022, the significance this year has had on the cannabis market is paramount, particularly with regards to production costs.
Toronto journalist Jack Burton brings forth three distinct voices on the issue of energy efficiency — Nadia Sabeh, Dr. Greenhouse, Brigitte Simons, CEO, Safari Flower, and Adam Clarke, CEO, Stratus Designs. The topic is further supported by the Q&A with facility designer Clarke where he explains the interdependence between building design and energy cost.
Mitchell Osak offers an expert opinion from his vantage point regarding company resilience and operational excellence that producers must fully embody should they wish to weather the headwinds in the coming months and years. This includes cost management, though it is not only financial books battening down the hatches, but the environmental implications at the hands of the collective that also demands immediate action.
Closely related to the thread of resilience is that of sustainability. Mika Unterman offers potential solutions to single use plastics in cannabis beneath a circular economy model. Unterman urges the repurposing of packaging before ever being sent to landfill.
On the cultivation side of things, Dr. Mirza shares the most notable errors he encountered this year while consulting with growers (you may be surprised by his findings!). And balancing on the point where business meets cultivation, we’d like to welcome Nick Sosiak, CFO of Quebec’s Cannara Biotech and our Business Section columnist this issue, as a new voice in the magazine. Sosiak’s fresh perspective as successful brand builder offers insight into the strategic partnerships between LPs and cannabis breeders.
Finally, as the winds continue to howl through this chilled market, coloured by four years of regulatory gymnastics and the repetitive call on government for reform, Legal Matters columnist Matt Maurer offers a straightforward breakdown of the differences between litigation and arbitration when it comes to settling the legal disputes increasing in frequency.
I’d like to thank each of our contributors, the voices of Grow Opportunity, for assisting in the advancement of this industry and for sharing their valuable intellectual property.
And to those interested in contributing, pitches and prose are always welcome. From our team to yours, we wish you a warm holiday season with loved ones — the beacons of light in our lives and reminder of what matters most.
A toast to the hard slog so far and to the eternal optimism for tomorrow.
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