Grow Opportunity

Features Opinion Cultivation
From the Editor: Congratulations Brian and Genevieve!

December 7, 2023  By Haley Nagasaki

Genevieve Newton, 2023 TGA winner, standard LP category. Photo: Mike Schuman

Here it is, the much-anticipated Top Grower Award (TGA) issue and final magazine of 2023 for Grow Opportunity. This year our TGA judges — Av Singh, David Kjolberg, Stacie Hollingworth and Mohyuddin Mirza — reviewed dozens of nominations in the standard LP and micro cultivation categories. The latter being new this year. Scores were calculated upon cultivation skill and knowledge, innovation, sustainability and leadership, followed by a round two virtual tour of our finalists’ facilities. 

The award, now in its fifth year, recognizes talent dedicated to growing excellent cannabis with outstanding merit just as it highlights those cultivation leaders who operate with humility and a distinct team spirit. All of these positive attributes are defined by our winners this year.

A hearty thank you is also in order to our TGA 2023 sponsors, CANNA and Grodan101, whose esteemed products and services offer invaluable support to the global cannabis enterprise. Thank you to our judges, sponsors and honourable nominees, and congratulations to our winners, Brian and Chanttelle Rusk crowned top growers in the micro cultivation category for  Into the Weeds, and to Stewart Farms’ Queen Genevieve Newton, winner of the standard LP category. 

Brian Rusk, 2023 TGA winner, micro LP category. Photo: Into the Weeds

From Genevieve we learn patience and perseverance over the long haul. She exemplifies how to go with the flow while focusing on the task at hand, no matter the strength of the raging current. Brian teaches not to shy away from one’s instinct and to strike without hesitation when it comes to filling gaps and meeting needs. And from them both we see truth and dedication to ourselves and to our loved ones when being proactive about mental health and wellbeing, folded in with a positive, self-starting attitude that sets the dreamers apart from the achievers.  


There is no doubt that 2023 has been an utter whirlwind for the Canadian cannabis industry.

Aside from the nuances that occurred spanning regulatory updates, international expansion, the integration of AI/new tech, and the development of new product offerings, perhaps some of the most important advances this year stemmed from the need for cannabis businesses to continue building trust through transparency and continued education.

Cannabis businesses engage with industry peers, shareholders and with the public through increased means of transparency proving efficacy of operations, services and products alike, with an uptick in third-party testing and intimate in-person events. Companies are also increasing proactivity using scientific study and research in the development of brand loyalty and team building. These and other triumphs instill a sense of optimism for 2024 and beyond. 

In light of recent shifts at home and abroad, we at Grow Opportunity are also welcoming new columns and voices to the platform next year, including a regular column on international market trends, new voices in cultivation, as well as a higher altitude Drug Laws column penned by cannabis attorney Rob Laurie of Ad Lucem Law Corporation. Laurie’s writings will look to equip producers with insights into laws whose influences will assist business decisions through the decriminalization of certain substances occurring on a global level and an influx of controlled substances dealer’s licenses on home soil. 

As the industry continues to expand and contract like the living organism that it is, we see innovation and strong interpersonal relationships at its core, which carries over into the theme we celebrate with this award. Put your hands together for Brian and Genevieve, our 2023 Top Grower winners.  

Happy holidays from everyone at Grow Opportunity, and we’ll see you back here in 2024 with fresh perspectives on the growing opportunities in cannabis. 

Print this page


Stories continue below