The coronavirus pandemic has robbed us of events and celebrations we look forward to each year, as well as the significant milestones many only experience once, such as weddings and graduations. 2020 has been trying for a lot of us both personally and professionally, yet we all know family, colleagues and friends who have not only overcome the challenges, but innovated.

We’ve seen this in the cannabis industry, as cultivation facilities continue to expand and new dispensaries continue to open, in addition to ”smaller” successes, such as leaders motivating their teams, staff serving patients and customers with compassion, and both being positive forces in their communities during these challenging times. It can be easy to forget to recognize these accomplishments when trying to meet daily needs of the demanding cannabis industry and solve problems on the fly.

Now is the perfect time to reflect on and recognize that work, to celebrate the incredible companies you have built.

In 2020, Cannabis Business Times and sister publication Cannabis Dispensary launched the “Best Cannabis Companies to Work For” ranking to recognize both cultivation companies and retailers (medical or adult use) that have created supportive, engaging, safe and generous places to work. The list, which again will be compiled in partnership with the research company Best Companies Group, acknowledges cannabis businesses with exceptional benefits and working environments.

And, because the program surveys employees (anonymously), the ranking truly showcases those companies that employees say are great places to work.

According to research results from the 2020 program, cannabis companies that participated received, on average, high marks on questions about supervisor/employee relationships and those about workplace safety. However, averages were not as high when assessing pay and benefits, suggesting this is an area the industry could improve.

Results from this incredibly unusual year will likely prove to be interesting. Entering is free, and to qualify, companies must have 15 or more full-time or part-time employees and operate a licensed cannabis cultivation and/or dispensary business in the U.S. or Canada. Learn more at BestCompaniesCannabis.com and be sure to register by the Oct. 9 deadline.

You can also learn more about what makes the No. 1-ranking companies great in a panel discussion during Cannabis Conference, which will now take place virtually this fall, with more details to be announced soon. Darren Brisebois of OGEN by Bloom Cultivation, as well as Gina Dubbé and Dr. Leslie Apgar of Greenhouse Wellness dispensary, will discuss how they approach company culture, hiring and more.

These leaders will join the incredible lineup of more than 70 speakers who will share their time and expertise with us at Cannabis Conference. You can learn more about the sessions and how the user-friendly platform will work at CannabisConference.com.

Just because we are robbed of in-person events doesn’t mean we can’t still get together to learn, network and grow. And I look forward to chatting with you during the live, interactive virtual Cannabis Conference in September!