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GCT100 2023: Methodology & Scoring




How did we arrive at our first annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis? Here are the steps we took and the scoring formula we used.

How We Identified Candidates for the GCT100

We created a list of more than 500 top leaders, innovators and influencers in 10 main categories (see below) using 5 inputs:

  • A person was the focus of a recent (within a year) article or appearance in our own publication (print, digital, and/or podcast/videocast)
  • A person was named on a major, recent third-party “Influencers” list, e.g. High Times, Forbes, Business Insider, etc. and/or on a specialist, recent third-party “best of” list in a category or sub-category, e.g. Science or Cuisine, etc.
  • A person was frequently cited, quoted or profiled for their cannabis activities in non-cannabis media
  • A person had a high social media following on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook
  • A person was nominated by a member of our Global Cannabis Times Editorial Panel

How We Selected Winners for the GCT100

Next, we created voting ballots for all 10 categories and their sub-categories. We assigned each of the more than 500 candidates for the GCT100 to a sub-category (winners were limited to appearing in just one sub-category but some were listed in more than one sub-category during the voting process).

The Select Voting Panel

We invited a small group of industry insiders to vote for the GCT100. We took care to seek out subject-matter experts (SMEs) to vote in particular categories reflecting their area of knowledge and expertise. Because of the mechanics for voting, members of our Select Voting Panel were able to vote for themselves, but in such cases, we cancelled any self-votes during the vote-tallying process.

Our Select Voting Panel included a diverse selection of industry experts in areas ranging from Activism to Technology and hailing from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czechia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States

How Scoring Was Calculated

After voting closed, vote totals were factored into the final scoring formula1 used to select the GCT100. Here is that scoring formula:

RECOGNITION SCORE2 (700 points max.): 47% of score

VOTING SCORE (500 points max.): 33% of score

SOCIAL SCORE3 (300 points max.): 20% of score


Categories & Sub-Categories in the GCT100

ACTIVISM (9 people selected)

  • Equity & Labor (3)
  • Health (2)
  • Legalization & Clemency (4)


  • CPG & Brands (5)
  • Distribution (2)
  • Pharma (1)
  • Public Companies (5)
  • Retail & Dispensaries (4)
  • Vapes, Accessories & Packaging (2)


  • Equipment & Materials (2)
  • Growing & Genetics (5)
  • Hemp (2)


  • Clothing & Accessories (2)
  • Cuisine (2)
  • Music (4)
  • Performing Arts (3)
  • Sports (2)
  • Visual Arts (2)

  • Financial Services (3)
  • Investing (4)


  • Policy (4)
  • Regulation (3)


  • CBD (4)
  • Medical Marijuana (5)


  • Events (4)
  • Marketing & PR (2)
  • Media & Publishing (3)
  • Podcasting (1)


  • Lab Testing & QA (3)
  • R&D (4)


  • IT Services, Software & Web Services (4)
  • Business Services (4)
  • 1 Final scoring was the determinant factor for a candidate’s inclusion as a winner in a sub-category of the GCT100. However, final scoring was not the sole determinator for making the list as a whole, because in order to fill certain sub-categories, we had to accommodate winners with lower than a Top 100 final score.
  • 2 The Recognition Score was arrived at by calculating points for four things—-appearances in GCT media vehicles; appearances in third-party “influencer” and/or “best of” lists; appearances in non-cannabis media for cannabis activities; and nominations by our GCT Editorial Panel.
  • 3 Our formula for assigning points for Social Followers was 1,000 followers (on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook) = 1 point. However, we set an artificial maximum of 300 points in the Social Followers section of the scoring rubric to prevent celebrities from winning categories based on their outsized social followings alone. Thus, instead of giving Snoop Dogg 144,400 points for his 144.4 million social followers, we gave him a 300-point maximum Social Followers score. For other scoring values, we didn’t need to set an artificial ceiling because all candidates had equitable access to the top possible score in those values.



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In this enlightening interview, Arend Richard, a seasoned entrepreneur from the cannabis industry, shares his journey from starting a YouTube channel to educate on cannabis use, to co-founding WeedTube, and developing a unique cannabis hospitality business. Born and raised in Colorado, Aaron discusses the evolution of his business ventures and his current project—creating a welcoming, educational environment for both seasoned and first-time cannabis users. He delves into the challenges of establishing a cannabis-friendly social space, including regulatory hurdles and community engagement, and highlights his vision for a new kind of social interaction centered around cannabis.

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