Reflection Time In Cannabis: End Of The Decade – Forbes

Your Best Buds

Your Best Buds!

Photo Courtesy: LeafLink

The holiday season is often a time of reflection where we look back on the year and contemplate our accomplishments. The cannabis industry is no different. As 2019 comes to a close, the cannabis award season is in full bloom, with multiple events and organizations taking the time to honor excellence in the industry.

In California, The Emerald Cup (where I am right now!) is gearing up for its annual honoring of the best in sun-grown cannabis, with categories ranging from cannabis flower to innovative packaging design. Likewise, High Times’ Cannabis Cup is aiming to provide an up-close and personal look at some of the best cannabis brands on the market. Then there is MJBiz Daily, which is hosting a star-studded gala and awards ceremony in the midst of its colossal conference, MJBizCon. 

While these awards ceremonies draw massive attention, they also rely on the opinions of judges and experts to pick the winners. Though the use of judges is not necessarily a bad thing, it does make it more difficult to determine which cannabis brand truly stood out amongst its competitors. For those that are looking for a more objective way to evaluate excellence in cannabis, look no further than LeafLink List, sponsored by the cannabis e-commerce platform LeafLink.

“LeafLink List started as a way to recognize the incredible innovations we’ve seen in on the brand and product side of the cannabis space,” said Ryan G. Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of LeafLink. “We’re thrilled by the positive response we’ve seen from the cannabis community celebrating the diverse founders and teams pushing this industry forward.”

LeafLink list is an annual celebration aimed at honoring the best in the cannabis business and their influence on the industry. In addition to awarding the top-selling and fastest-growing brands and products, LeafLink also puts a spotlight on retailers that are leading the way in the dispensary space.

“This year, in addition to featuring top brands and their exemplary products, we‘re excited to celebrate retailers for their invaluable contribution to the growth and professionalism of the cannabis industry,” added Smith.

As the world’s largest cannabis wholesale marketplace, LeafLink works with over 4,000+ retailers and 1,300+ brands across 25 territories in North America, and processes over $1.4 billion in annualized wholesale cannabis orders, making up an estimated 23% of the US wholesale cannabis market.

To determine the winners, LeafLink uses its treasure trove of consumer data and analytics. For example, the Best-Selling categories are selected from the most popular products and brands on the platform, whereas the Fastest Growing categories come those that experience rapid growth over the last year.

Leading the pack for the Best-Selling Brands were companies like Pacific Stone, Platinum Vape, Raw Garden, Terrapin Pennsylvania, and Timeless Vapes. The Fastest Growing Brands in 2019 were Butterfly Effect, Copperstate Farms, Monster Xtracts, Next Gen Pharma, US Cannabis Pharma.

While the Best-Selling and Fastest Growing categories used simple sales figures, other categories have a slightly more complicated methodology to determine its winners. The retailer Market Influencer, Taste Tester, and Best Purchase Variety categories rely on a combination of data points like incorporated order volume, data on products ordered and sample request data.

Even the LeafLink Customer Favorites Category used metrics like order fulfillment and customer service scores. Some of the brands that resonated the most with customers were Babylon Company, Herban Extracts, Mother & Clone. Dr. Zodiak’s Moonrocks, Grow West Cannabis Company, and The Giving Tree Wellness Center were also among LeafLink customer’s favorite brands

However, sales figures and data points aren’t everything. When it comes to issues like diversity, it takes more than a series of numbers on a spreadsheet to figure out which companies are committed to creating a more inclusive cannabis industry.

To honor the brands leading the way with Diversity in Leadership, LeafLink List turned to a nomination and voting process. So which brands made the cut? Those companies were Copia Infusions, Sugar Top Buddery, Sweet Mary Jane, THC Design, and Tropizen.

The cannabis industry is becoming an increasingly crowded market. As we look back on 2019 and think about which cannabis brands truly stood out and excelled, it can be hard to cut through the noise and PR blitz to find the real industry leaders. Awards like the annual LeafLink List provides a place to turn that value excellence and objectivity. 

Click here to view the full list of LeafLink List Winners.  

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