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Grow Opportunity’s 2023 top stories of the year

As we wrap another fast-paced year of industry wide effort and achievements, here are Grow Opportunity's top 10 most read articles in 2023

December 22, 2023  By Grow Opportunity Staff

Waffle Bites. Photo: Habitat


  1. Q&A with Taylor Giovannini: Changing lives within the community


Oceanic Releaf CEO Taylor Giovannini details ownership of 25 per cent of the Newfoundland retail market and the commitment and inspiration behind the LP’s inception. The company’s significant growth is in alignment with the impact of cannabis on Giovannini’s life, having experienced a personal journey of aiding a family member’s medical cannabis use and the pivotal ‘aha’ moment that ensued.


  1. The key to incredible weed lies in effective post-harvest technique


James Strain, director of cultivation and master grower at Dycar Pharmaceuticals, brings legacy market knowledge to his post-harvest technique. Here, Strain provides seven steps for perfecting the final product, starting with flushing the plants and ending with a slow cure, to achieve a smooth, tasty and potent product. Strain’s cultivation column ranked No. 9 in Grow Opportunity‘s most-read articles of 2023.


  1. Mark Haden and Gabor Maté talk the bright side of psychedelics


From UBC Vancouver’s Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, this article serves as a recap of two presentations about best practices when facilitating psychedelic therapy, and an overview of psychedelics: the good, the bad, the ugly. These leaders in psychedelics make room for people to express and to better understand themselves, using impactful quotes such as, “plants can teach you who you really are and why you haven’t been yourself.”


  1. Genevieve Newton: The rise of Canada’s 2023 Top Grower


The 2023 Top Grower Award for the standard LP category went to Genevieve Newton, director of cultivation at Stewart Farms. Newton describes her journey into corporate cannabis and how it eventually lead to the east coast and to her current role in cultivation, overseeing micro-cultivators and export logistics, research, development and more.


  1. Torkin Manes’ Reflections on the Cannabis Act review final report


Cannabis attorney Matt Maurer shares his findings from the final report and its implications in preparation for the March 2024 when a second phase of new information will be made public regarding amendments to the Cannabis Act review by the government-appointed expert panel. The panel will specifically addressing the health and consumption habits of young persons and the use of cannabis on Indigenous persons and communities, in addition to home growing regulations.


  1. Brian Rusk wins Top Grower Award for the micro category


New this year, the Top Grower Award winner for the micro-cultivation category goes to Brian and Chanttelle Rusk of Into the Weeds located in Rocky Mountain House, Alta. The couple began their journey into cannabis cultivation by medical necessity as well as interest in the various cultivars and plant properties. Now with three full-time employees, the team seeks to continue national and international expansion along with multiple other ancillary businesses operating out of their homebase.


  1. Q&A with Pure Sunfarms: Product trend insights and 2024 predictions


Pure Sunfarms VP of brand Maria Guest provides insight into the current top-performing product format as well as predictions for 2024, including the continuation of flower, pre-rolls and infused pre-rolls as leading categories. Guest relays the importance of staying fresh and relevant, especially when it comes to consistent cannabis quality, while continuously monitoring industry trends.


  1. From the Editor: Congratulations Brian and Genevieve!


Grow Opportunity editor Haley Nagasaki shares a brief recap of the year and of the Top Grower awards program from the editorial in the November/December issue of the magazine. “From Genevieve we learn patience and perseverance over the long haul… Brian teaches not to shy away from one’s instinct and to strike without hesitation when it comes to filling gaps and meeting needs.”


  1. Aqualitas International: Our vision of global cannabis distribution is coming into focus


In the inaugural International column, Aqualitas COO Josh Adler describes the company’s recent achievement as the first organic producer of cannabis in the country to be greenlit for international export. The news serves as a reflection on European market’s emphasis on high quality, organic medical cannabis, as well as recognition to the company’s triumph this year in receiving their drug establishment license.

    1. Adapting to the haze of wildfires and a changing climate


Freelance writer Jake Hribljan spoke to Carmel Cannabis along with three American organizations and cannabis companies about the detriment of the 2023 wildfire season and its effect on outdoor cannabis cultivation. While some advocate for the continued cultivation of outdoor cannabis for preferred terpene expression and overall sustainability, the reality is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so. Ontario’s Carmel has developed a hybrid greenhouse model for plant production that works with the shifting climate and can still save on energy consumption. Hribljan’s piece ranked No. 1 most read digital article on the Grow Opportunity platform in 2023.

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