2 Minutes With ... Drew Henson, Founder of twenty2b & CEO of TOQi

On 'The Dab Gallery,' the Canadian Women's Foundation and smartARM

Drew Henson is an award-winning product designer and cannatech entrepreneur who fuses engineering and industrial design to create innovative lifestyle products. Drew is the founder of twenty2b, a Toronto-based product design studio, and the founder and CEO of TOQi Technologies, a company that designs and sells wireless cannabis merch. Drew previously founded SEAM Technic and has designed numerous products across various industries in positions from London to Shenzhen, China.

He has worked with NASA to clear the award-winning Drift Ghost-S design for the International Space Station, where three Ghost-S cameras were deployed. Drew was the winner of the 2010 AEA Renault F1 Innovation Design North America and a top ten global finalist presenting at Renault F1 headquarters.

We spent two minutes with Drew to learn more about his background, creative inspirations and some recent work he's admired.

Drew, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in the west—Calgary, Alberta—and Banff in the mountains. Now I'm in Toronto, Ontario, after hanging out in the U.K. and Italy for a bit.

How you first got interested in cannabis.

I discovered very early on that cannabis had the magical ability of making me able to sit still,  listen and learn and actually get through calculus class back when I was in school.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on.

Probably the Lotus by Seam Design. It was just such a beautiful piece of tech with such solid purpose. We had partnered with the Canadian Women's Foundation and ultimately, Kanye West was inspired probably from my design for his stem player. Don't at me. Go look at the designs and you can see for yourself.

A recent project you're proud of.

We're on the verge of dropping the TOQi Blunt Box, which I'm excited for. Other than that, the augmented experience "The Dab Gallery" (that we took home a Clio for), is still fresh in my mind because it's just so dope. Shout out Cannabis Amnesty!

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today, and how to approach it.

Regulations. The fact that we can't even use the proper terminology to describe our products on the world's largest platforms is debilitating, so you've got to be clever. You've got to use guerrilla marketing sometimes just to find a way to reach the masses with your messaging. 

One thing about how the cannabis industry is evolving that you're excited about.

Data regulations. Right now, there are challenges in the industry with regards to the data of products and the reporting of this data. I think as that cleans up, they'll be much stronger modeling and much stronger statistical applications of the data.

Someone else's work, in cannabis or beyond, that you admired lately.

There is a startup in Toronto called smartARM that utilizes image recognition through a lens built into a prosthetic arm that allows the user to have an arm that almost has a mind of its own and understands when it should grab and when it should release. I just thought that was such a fantastic application of technology.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I just picked up NFTs Are a Scam by Bobby Hundreds. I'm super excited to start getting through that. I think he always has a unique vision and perspective that he's able to articulate that I tend to have a lot of takeaways from.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I keep shouting out the family, but William Selviz is the truth. Between creating awesome installations and digital art, his work is truly on some rocketship type of thing.  Love it.

Your favorite fictional character.

Easy. Bruce Wayne. Tony Stark is a close second though.

Someone worth following in social media.

@manu.vision. Describing him as a future technologist is an understatement.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

Adapting. Having a vision, but having the flexibility to roll with the punches.

Your biggest weakness.

Remembering things. I've learned I can only put so many things in the "I'll remember that off the top of my head" bucket and need to rely heavily on my trello cards and Google Keep.

Something people would find surprising about you.

I'm a massive introvert.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Formula 1.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Finishing the last bite of chocolate.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

Creating Formula 1 racing technology. 

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.