In a groundbreaking celebration of excellence, the inaugural Emjays International Cannabis Awards took center stage at Las Vegas’s famous Pearl Theater in the Palms Resort Casino on November 30th, 2023. Produced by innovative events production company Farechild in collaboration with MJBizCon, the world’s largest cannabis business conference, the first-of-its-kind award show exceeded all expectations, honoring outstanding contributions across various sectors of the cannabis industry.

(C) Cristian Calderon

Farechild, MJBizCon And Advanced Vapor Devices Present The First Emjays Award Show

Presented by Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD), the debut Emjays functioned as a “weed prom” of the highest order. Industry pioneers David Tran and James Zachodni, founders of Farechild, had expressed their enthusiasm at seeing everyone in the space get dressed up for a night to honor the ancillary brands, creators, and advocates bringing new dimensions to the plant. From Advocacy Group to Packaging Company of the Year, the Emjays covered a broad spectrum of categories, showcasing the industry's diverse accomplishments. Shining a spotlight on aspects of the sector that also included Podcast of the Year, Content Creator of the Year, and Staffing and Recruiting Agency of the Year, the ceremony truly demonstrated the depth and breadth of talent within the cannabis community - and the collaborative efforts that sustain its growth. 

Emjays models at the Pearl Theater's step-and-repeat (C) Cristian Calderon

Who Sponsored The Emjays?

Honeysuckle was proud to be a media partner for the illustrious event, a role shared with Sensi Magazine, Cannabis Now, Cannabis and Tech Today, and Cronic Magazine. Many outstanding brand partners came together to sponsor the award show, with global juggernaut Cookies sponsoring the after-party at Las Vegas hotspot KAOS. Among them: AE Global, Green Rebates, Advanced Nutrients, STM Canna, Jerome Baker Designs, MJBiz Daily, KushCart, Mello, TSR Grow, Marijuana Packaging, Cannabis Golf League, Allay Consulting, Boveda, Clark Hill, Dutchie, Zenco, Dynavap, Fohse, PufCreativ, Blazy Susan, MJ Unpacked, Kairos Insurance Group, Royal Queen Seeds, Marijuana Industry Trade Association (MITA), ActionPac Scales, Canna Spy Glass, Finished Goods, Grove Bags, True Terpenes, Green Mile High, Entourage Oregon.

Emjays hosts Mary Jane Gibson and Mike Glazer make their SHARK TANK-style pitch (C) Cristian Calderon

The Emjays Hosts, Weed And Grub Creators Mike Glazer And Mary Jane Gibson, Made Us Laugh The Night Away

The Emjays were hosted by Emmy-nominated comedian Mike Glazer and award-winning actress and writer Mary Jane Gibson, creators of the Weed and Grub podcast. This dynamic duo of cannabis culture brought their trademark humor and wit to the ceremony, infusing their deep understanding of the industry with creativity. (They certainly proved why they were nominated in the Podcast of the Year category!) Gibson and Glazer performed various skits throughout the night, leaving the audience in stitches. 

One of the pair’s standout moments onstage featured a hilarious Shark Tank-style pitch for a product called the NapSack, demonstrating the hosts’ ability to merge entertainment with the cannabis industry’s entrepreneurial spirit. Most sketches were accompanied by costume changes that would rival Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the 2011 Oscars - and we bet Franco didn’t even get new jeans for the occasion like Glazer did.

Don't sleep on this great idea! Mike Glazer presents the NapSack. (C) Cristian Calderon
dead prez's Umi (left) and M1 (right) watch Last Prisoner Project's Managing Director Mary Bailey (center) accept her Emjay (C) Cristian Calderon

Notable Presenters At The Emjays: Dead Prez, Tommy Chong, And More

But much like the Academy Awards, the Emjays were particularly star-studded. From celebrities to industry leaders, major figures stepped up to present various awards, with statuettes custom-designed by acclaimed glassmaker Jerome Baker. Notable names included iconic hip hop duo dead prez, NFL champions Jim McMahon and Kyle Turley (who now head cannabis brand Revenant), and pro-footballer-turned-cannabis entrepreneur Chris Ball of Ball Family Farms. Memorably, luminary Tommy Chong made a surprise video appearance to help present the award for Market Research and Data Firm of the Year, which went to Cannabiz Media.

NFL champions Kyle Turley (left) and Jimmy McMahon (right) of Revenant (C) Cristian Calderon
Chris Ball of Ball Family Farms (C) Cristian Calderon
The Jeeter team accepts the Emjay for Apparel / Lifestyle Brand of the Year, presented by Honeysuckle founder Ronit Pinto and Creative Director Sam C. Long (C) Cristian Calderon

Honeysuckle Presents At The Emjays Award For Apparel / Lifestyle Brand Of The Year

Even Team Honeysuckle got in on the action. Founder Ronit Pinto and Creative Director Sam C. Long took the stage to present the award for Apparel / Lifestyle Brand of the Year, won by Jeeter

“Can we just thank the actual plant that brought us all here together?” Long said. “We’re scoundrels and pirates and misfits all brought together by this magical plant… And also shout out to people who shaped the culture before us - [dead prez’s] M1 [and] Umi, [and world-famous genetics master] Sherbinski. You cannot buy this culture. It’s real.”

Emjays co-creator David Tran celebrates a night well done (C) Cristian Calderon

After The Emjays Award Show, KAOS

Farechild’s Tran and Zachodni, with a long legacy of cannabis community events and award shows to their credit, ensured that the fun didn’t stop when the final honor of the night was handed out. The festivities continued well past midnight with the high-wattage official after-party at KAOS, also within the Palms Resort Casino. Attendees had the opportunity to network, celebrate further, and extend the communal spirit that the Emjays had fostered throughout the evening.

The launch of the Emjays award show marked a historic moment commemorating the cannabis industry’s diversity, innovation, and entertainment factor in one unique event. As we at Honeysuckle pride ourselves on keeping steps ahead of the cultural pulse, we couldn’t help feeling elated at seeing so many colleagues among the nominees and award winners. Several are even spotlighted in our latest print edition featuring hip hop legend Havoc of Mobb Deep (click here to get your copy now). Big shout-out to Grasslands (Public Relations Agency of the Year), Dutchie (Retail POS System of the Year), Last Prisoner Project (Advocacy Group of the Year), Puffco (Vaporizer Hardware Brand of the Year), Flower Mill (Consumer Gear / Tech Product of the Year), and many, many more. See the full list of winners below.

Thanks to Farechild, MJBizCon, Mike Glazer, Mary Jane Gibson, Chapter 2 Agency, and the wide array of partners, teams, hearts, and minds that pulled off this first enchanted Emjays. We can’t wait for the next year of artistry, impact, and finding gems at the Pearl. 

Who Are The 2023 Emjays Award Winners?

  • Accounting Firm of the Year: Citrin Cooperman
  • Advocacy Group of the Year: Last Prisoner Project
  • Apparel / Lifestyle Brand of the Year: Jeeter
  • Branding / Marketing Agency of the Year: PufCreativ
  • Business Software of the Year: Jane Technologies
  • Cannabis Business Insurance of the Year: HUB International
  • Cannabis Consulting Firm of the Year: Sapphire Risk Advisory Group
  • Cannabis Friendly Bank of the Year: Dama Financial
  • Cannabis Law Firm of the Year: Clark Hill Law Firm
  • Cannabis Podcast of the Year: MITA Unshackled
  • Cannabis Training / Education Services of the Year: Green Flower
  • Consumer Gear / Tech Product of the Year: Flower Mill Grinder
  • Investment Firm of the Year: Merida Capital Holdings
  • Lighting Company of the Year: Fluence
  • Market Research / Data Firm of the Year: Cannabiz Media
  • Packaging Company of the Year: Grove Bags
  • Public Relations Agency of the Year: Grasslands
  • Retail POS System of the Year: Dutchie
  • Seed Bank of the Year: Royal Queen Seeds
  • Social Content Creator of the Year: Roger Volodarsky @jollyroger
  • Staffing & Recruiting Agency of the Year: Vangst
  • Testing Lab of the Year: SC Labs
  • Trade Association of the Year: Minority Cannabis Business Association
  • Vaporizer Hardware Brand of the Year: Puffco

(Click here for more information on nominees in all categories.)

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Written By:

@jaimelubin (IG)

@jaimelubin (Twitter)


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David Tran

James Zachodni

Advanced Vapor Devices

Mike Glazer

Mary Jane Gibson

Chapter 2 Agency

Kenneth Loo


Chris Ball

Ball Family Farms

Sam C. Long

Ronit Pinto

Jaime Lubin


Featured image: Farechild founders James Zachodni and David Tran present awards at the Emjays (C) Cristian Calderon