Every story starts somewhere, and ours began with a late night cannabis ritual at the end of a typical work week.
Greg - founder of an empowering HR technology platform, soon to be husband, avid sports fan - was inspired to write down his elevated thoughts. He called his notes A Higher Level Of Thought.
Shortened to its playful acronym, AHLOT was born.
At this time, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was beginning to take form, with whispered rumours of recreational legalization. Yet with the exception of some patients, enthusiasts and pioneers, cannabis remained a stigmatized substance. As an educated and successful cannabis consumer himself, Greg was determined to join the revolution to undo decades of prohibition hysteria and help change people's perspective of the plant.
Greg’s mission was to make the consumption of cannabis an undeniably beautiful experience.
From there, the idea of a subscription service emerged, a business model that would cater to the individual needs and curiosities of patients and consumers. It would create an experience akin to a wine tasting - helping consumers make informed choices among a wide variety of strains - while adding the surprise and delight of a monthly unboxing.
In a highly regulated industry that was primarily transactional, this model was ahead of its time and couldn’t be legally implemented at the time. Unwilling to operate in a grey area, Greg looked for alternatives to bring a beautiful cannabis experience to market.
This line of thinking inspired the creation of the Ritual Box. Like many enthusiasts, Greg's cannabis product and accessories were kept hidden and deserving of the term stash. The amalgam of knickknacks thrown together in baggies and then stuffed into a plastic Toronto Raptor's cup was replaced with the idea of a customizable storage space. People had access to cannabis but the processes around consumption were not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
Setting out to change that, AHLOT became an official company.
The first version of the Ritual Box was a handmade affair. Starting with cardboard and wood prototypes, we quickly moved into an all-wood model. Despite the prototypes being 'rugged' at best, there was an immediate sense that the Ritual Box was a useful product.
Building off these prototypes, every detail from the modules to the accessories to the wood species and finish has been driven by one thing: community. Rallying a group of 50 beta-testers consisting of patients, activists, and everyday citizens, we were able to continuously improve the product and refine a customizable experience for all to enjoy.
This led not only to the current iteration of the Ritual Box, but a whole suite of products and experiences that will be coming on line in 2018. With increasing clarity around provincial regulations, a number of these products will include expertly curated cannabis, and AHLOT will be on track to achieving our full vision.
Awards, accolades, publicity, sales, and most importantly customer feedback, have strengthened our resolve to work even harder. The team has grown to include Martin Strazovec as EVP, Chief Creative Officer (formerly of Tweed/Canopy Growth), Josh Brasse as Head of Industrial Design & Development, and Kaitlyn Ho as Marketing Specialist.
Together, with our growing list of partners, we are proud to add our unique brand of inspiration to this changing landscape, and to craft beautiful cannabis experiences for you to enjoy as you shape the ascendance of a new culture.
Greg - now married, still a sports fan - adds to his A Higher level Of Thought notes on a regular basis, and invites everyone to do the same