Article by High! Canada
High! Canada Magazine had the chance to speak with Canadian Wellness Guru, cannabis advocate and infuser of wellness products – Hannah Rubin from Ontario.
Hannah, tell us how you got involved in the Cannabis community – what led you into a career within the Canadian cannabis industry?
I am an American who originally planned to roll into a tiny home community in California before Jeff Sessions was appointed Attorney General. I spent a weekend in Toronto and fell in love with the city and people and decided to move to Toronto last July as a “Trumpugee”. I found that Canada had a great Cannabis and Artisan community to help me create my brand that embodied “The Hippie In All Of Us.” We only buy and produce local and natural products that are handmade in North America. My website Halbakedbus.com ties together my love of cannabis and the tiny-home and van-lifer movement to create a brand that appeals to everyone from millennial to the aging hippie.
I was a 90’s kid treated with traditional medicine and therapy. After a decade of trying traditional medicine without success I began looking for other alternatives. I needed a lighter therapeutic treatment and found cannabis. Although I used cannabis once in a while in high school, it wasn’t until University that I became part of the cannabis community. In addition, I’ve always loved and been active with crafting. The two came together for me when I started to appreciate a minimalist lifestyle, and some of the ideas expressed by earlier “Hippie” generations.
I started my ganjapreneurial journey with an internship at WomenGrow and witnessed women consuming cannabis differently. They prioritized discretion and ease of use over potency. They stayed health conscious of their bodies and their treatments. I started combining essential oils and cannabis in my nighttime routine and immediately felt the therapeutic beneit. I created my wellness line out of necessity. If I was going to be living a minimalist tiny-home life while needing therapeutic products, I wanted a product that was multi purpose and could be consumed easily and daily in low dosages. This led me to create the Half Baked Bus wellness line.
Did you encounter any challenges or adversity to adopting a full-time role in the expanding Canadian cannabis market and if so, what did you do to overcome them and successfully move forward?
Navigating the Canadian cannabis industry is challenging enough, but even more so being a new immigrant to Canada. I’m constantly concerned that the events and festivals that I vend at, will get raided. I always try to play by the rules, since they are constantly evolving, as an American with an immigration visa this concerns me. I started off my career with corporate sales experience in organic foods and logistics and I was used to structure and having a support team behind marketing and production. I needed to decide whether to continue down the corporate 9-5 life or to join the cannabis community. I ended up leaving the corporate world to create a lifestyle brand and line of products “For The Hippie In All Of Us. . I had challenges when moving to Canada inding local artisans and suppliers for my website halbakedbus.com. Fortunately I was able to ind many local artisans through events and festivals in Canada.
My product line evolved through feedback from my customers. I originally started with paraphernalia but expanded to topicals that began from suiting my own daily needs. My topicals really resonated with people and ended up becoming more popular than the paraphernalia. I am currently in the process of preparing to infuse my topicals with a low dose of thc/cbd within the legal framework. Creating a new wellness line with infused essential oils can be taxing but also really exciting.
What are you working on now. Can you run us through an average day for you?
I’m always busy rolling into the high life. At the moment I am working on updating my Kickstarter video for the Half Baked Bus. I am in the middle of a social media giveaway offering perfume roll-ons for my followers. I learned basic web design to add content and improve my website halbakedbus.com. As busy as I am, I make time to connect with my vanlife community by going to festivals and embarking on crazy road trips. Everyday, I try and embrace a little bit of the hippie lifestyle… and that is what led me to create the Half Baked Bus brand in the irst place.
Three things that everyone needs?
Firstly, I believe everyone needs their own personal brand. Everyone has a unique brand whether they know it or not. Regardless the industry, I would recommend that everyone think about what is important to them, be true to those ideas, and try to identify them to build their own personal brand. I went into my adult life unsure about my future. It was through building my personal brand aligned with my values, that I created my wellness product line. If I had not developed my personal brand, I would probably still be conined to the limits of cannabis paraphernalia.
Secondly, everyone beneits from essential oils in their daily routine! I add a few drops every day in my bath and it makes a world of difference. I use essential oils to handle everything from mental stress to physical pain. After starting this routine I felt better and better each and every day.
Thirdly, everyone needs fun. Embrace your inner hippie and ind opportunities to have fun whether attending festivals, going on road trips or just chilling with friends and cannabis. We all have a hippie inside of us and life is more fun if you embrace it.