Brett Evans is the inventor of the DoobTool, a multi-tool and cannabis case, which he says is the first of its kind. Among the DoobTool's 10 tools with 20 different uses are a scent-proof case, a roach clip and a grinder card. The sleek $39.99 gizmo launched in September 2018, about a month before legalization, and you can buy it at head shops around Halifax and through doobtool.com. But Evans and his business partner, Chris Lewis, had to overcome many legal hurdles to get to this point.
The Coast first reported on DoobTool in 2017, back when its Indiegogo campaign started and it only had nine tools. "The crowdfunding campaign was a disaster from start to finish," Evans says. "We didn't reach our goal but we did learn a valuable lesson that would replay itself many times"—namely that America's anti-weed laws ban DoobTool promotion on platforms that are based in the United States (like Facebook and Instagram), because it's considered drug paraphernalia. This makes marketing difficult, but Evans says these kinds of difficulties have only made him more eager to promote his brand, which works to combat the "lazy stoner" stigma.
The Coast: What made you decide to create this tool?
Brett Evans: I created the DoobTool out of pure necessity: I was a cannabis consumer with an active lifestyle and needed something that was compact and versatile while I was on a hike, camping or riding my bike around town. When I went online to find what was out there, I realized there was nothing of the sort so I thought, 'If I was going to do this, how would I design it?' I built our first prototype from a shoebox and duct tape!
There are so many features on the tool. Did the invention involve a lot of trial and error? Most certainly! We worked on the design and functionality for around two years before we were satisfied. This equaled around seven prototypes before we went forward with manufacturing. We wanted to build a tool that would be an essential part of anyone's adventure kit, just like a Swiss Army Knife or flashlight. We are still not finished with the design, we have a few tools to add and hope to launch the DoobTool deluxe soon!
Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with cannabis?
I've had a pretty strong relationship with cannabis since 2014, when I started using cannabis to treat the symptoms of my arthritis. Once I realized it was very difficult to access information from local physicians, I started an organization called the Canadian Pro Cannabis Group, where we connected patients to cannabis-educated physicians around Canada. As a result of many setbacks due to government regulations, CPCG dissolved in 2016. That same year I started work on designing the DoobTool, and I haven't looked back since.
Can you elaborate on your company's mandate a bit?
Our company has always been strongly based around our "what" (the actual product) but most importantly, our "why," which is to end the stigma around cannabis use and the cannabis consumer being lazy and unmotivated. The DoobTool brand promotes activity and a balanced lifestyle, and chips away at the misconception that all cannabis consumers are lazy. We take our "why" very seriously and believe it is the driving force behind the momentum we have gained since the launch of the our product.
Who is your target market?
Our target market is the cannabis consumer that likes to consume on the go, whether that's running around town, hiking an awesome trail or camping. The DoobTool's 10 different tools allow you to consume anywhere and everywhere.