Oct 25, 2021
Trade Association Names Cannabis, Hemp ‘Captain of Industry’

The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) has named Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita as the “Captain of Industry.” Each year during the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, the association’s Board of Directors selects and awards an executive who has demonstrated extraordinary contributions to promoting ATACH’s mission of expanding, protecting and preserving businesses engaged in the legal trade of cannabis-based products.

“I am humbled and honored to accept the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) annual ‘Captain of Industry’ award. We have made significant strides in a transformed retail experience, innovative tech solutions and strategic growth initiatives,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “I also want to recognize the dedication and passion of our entire Columbia Care team, who collectively make our mission in driving access, innovation and education around high-quality cannabis possible. As perceptions and regulations continue to evolve and shape the cannabis industry, we look forward to continuing the important work of building a company that leads by example, with many exciting projects in the pipeline for 2022 and beyond.”

In the last year, Vita led Columbia Care through a pivotal period of growth and innovation. The company is rebranding its retail arm to ‘Cannabist’, offering a unique, higher experience for the modern recreational and medicinal cannabis user. Since May 2021, Columbia Care has opened eight Cannabist dispensaries across seven states, with more to come by the end of the year.

Focusing on the importance of and need for innovative cannabis technology, Columbia Care launched Forage, the first-ever cannabis discovery tool featuring a proprietary algorithm to help consumers uncover new products based on desired mood and experience. Over the last year, the company expanded its strategic national footprint through some of the largest acquisitions in the industry including gLeaf, The Green Solution, a 34-acre cultivation site in Long Island, New York, and more. Columbia Care has also enhanced its brand portfolio with multiple launches across the country including Classix, Seed & Strain and Triple Seven, all of which were thoughtfully designed and created to serve the intersection of the medical and adult use markets.

“The American Trade Association for Cannabis & Hemp proudly bestows the association’s highest honor, ATACH’s Captain of Industry Award, to Nicholas Vita of Columbia Care in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the legal cannabis marketplace,” said Michael Bronstein, President, American Trade Association for Cannabis & Hemp (ATACH). “Under Nicholas Vita’s leadership, Columbia Care developed many of the critical early-stage, state-level markets, often charting a pathway for an entire industry that was to follow, and for this is recognized as a leader among leaders and one of the most important companies in the country.”

Other ATACH 2021 honorees include:

Cannabis Beverage Executive of the Year: Paul Weaver, director, head of Cannabis, The Boston Beer Company

“ATACH is also proud to name Paul Weaver of Boston Beer Company Cannabis Beverage Executive of the Year in recognition of his contributions to advance the infused cannabis beverage space in a socially and ethically responsible way,” said Bronstein.”

Capital Markets Advocate of the Year: Emily Paxhia, Poseidon Asset Management

“Emily Paxhia of Poseidon has consistently shown leadership and innovative thinking to clear the way for plant-touching cannabis companies to trade on major US stock exchanges,” said Bronstein. “ATACH is honored to recognize Emily’s perseverance and tenacity with the Capital Markets Advocate of the Year.”

Retailer of the Year: Charlie Bachtell, CEO, Cresco Labs

“Charlie Bachtell is and continues to be a major industry trendsetter and advocate for a socially-responsible and just industry while also delivering superior products to the consumer,” said Bronstein. “ATACH is pleased to commend his talents with the Retailer of the Year Award.”

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