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Seibo Shen and the Rise of Asian Professionals in the Cannabis Industry

Seibo Shen is one of the most mindfully productive cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs I know. As a former tech executive, serial entrepreneur, and CEO of 3 cannabis hardware companies and now transformational mindset coach, all while raising two daughters, reserving time for his wife, and still able to create space for his own self-care, he’s unstoppable.

I found him from his podcast, Happy Asian Males, which he co-hosts with his good friend, Brandon Chien. The two would talk about topics that were so previously taboo for me – sex, drugs, and dare I say, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. 

I was moved by their courageousness to be so open about their own psychedelic and cannabis use, as well as their challenges with sex and relationships, inner peace, and fulfillment while contemplating their Asian American identity and antiquated ideas of masculinity. They were honestly one of the most important catalysts for exploring these topics for me. If 2020 was a time of discomfort and transformation for many, it most definitely was for me.

I’m proud to call Seibo a good friend, a brother from another mother, and mentor. He left a meaningful impact on the cannabis industry and on my own life. What I love most about him is that whenever he sees a need for change, you can bet he’s going to do something about it.

The Health and Environmental Impact of Cannabis Products

If we first zoom out to look at the industry a few years ago, vape products, specifically the oil pens, were taking a firestorm of hits for the lung issues it was correlated with. Though the issues came mostly from illegal, unapproved pens, this news didn’t bode well for the cannabis industry as a whole.  Sales for THC vape products tanked and people were looking for alternatives.

If there is any benefit to “vape gate,” it’s that consumers are more conscious about the products they ingest. They’re asking more questions about the makeup of the oil, where it’s sourced from, and the quality of the materials they’re contained in. 

“People could tell me all these things, and I could intellectually understand it, but cannabis made me feel it.”

Another issue with the cannabis industry is that most of its products are not sustainable for the environment. Because of regulation, most dispensaries are forced to package in single-use plastics, many times adding an extra layer of plastic for child-proof packaging.

Though we still have a long way to go, consumer spending trends have already shifted towards sustainability, health, and wellness. Seibo was way ahead of it. He saw some changes that needed to happen for the industry so he went ahead and did it.

Focusing On Cannabis Health And Wellness

Seeing the negative health and environmental impacts of poorly made cannabis products, Siebo took it upon himself to change that. He founded VapeXhale and created “a vaporizer that is not only healthy for you, but produces a positive and pleasant experience for the end-user.” 

That vaporizer was called the Cloud EVO, and it went on to win multiple design awards, including the Cannabis Cup.

And he didn’t stop there.

He also founded Hanu Lab and BRNR Lab and created the very unique, Hanu Stone, and the sleek and subtle, Alpha Pen. With health in mind, he created these vaporizers with high-quality metals and technology that moderates the heating elements so it doesn’t overburn, which gives the added bonus of a smoother, more flavorful draw. 

To address the plastics issue with cannabis products and packaging, he created hemp-based products, so distributors can now be both socially responsible and not have to raise their costs.

As much as Seibo was passionate about the physical and environmental health of cannabis products, he was more passionate about the emotional and spiritual benefits of the plant itself. I had him come onto my podcast to talk about these very topics.

When I asked him what made him so passionate about cannabis, he told me one of his first times consuming more consciously. 

“I could be a pretty intense guy when I'm sober, or not under the influence of cannabis. And I used to always try to overpower people with what I believe to be very strong intellectual arguments.

"And I remember smoking cannabis the first time and was expressing my opinion, but I could kind of see myself from the third-person going, huh, what a cocky little dude! Like, this guy thinks he knows everything and mispronounces some of these scientific terms.

"But yeah, you know, it really made me self-reflect for the first time in my life and really get me out of my own headspace of like, ‘I'm always right, my perspectives are always correct.’ I just had this instant love affair with cannabis. So ever since I started utilizing cannabis, I was looking for safer ways to consume cannabis and that is eventually why I started creating vaporizers.”

Helping Others Create Impact Their Own Way

Since early 2021, Siebo has now stepped down as CEO of all 3 companies to be able to give back and help people on a deeper level. 

With over 2 decades of experience running startups, he’s obtained a lot of wisdom about how to be productive, how to prevent burnout, how to be an emotionally intelligent leader, and most importantly, how to maintain happiness through the grind and unknowns of business. 

He now provides executive, mindset, and transformational coaching for entrepreneurs, athletes, and anyone that is looking to make a huge shift in their lives.

He created a 4-step program to inspire and guide this transformation with H.O.P.E. (Heal, Optimize, Prioritize, and Execute), with many powerful case studies in just a few months.

Though I haven’t had the opportunity to be his coaching client yet, I did work with him on a side project to help self-identifying Asian men improve their emotional intelligence for a few months. And I can honestly say I wouldn’t be both who and where I am today without him. 

He showed me the power of leaning into fears, discomfort, and vulnerability, something I was not taught growing up as the eldest in an Asian household. I was so emotionally numb from stigma, skepticism, and distrust and my career and relationships suffered for it. 

He inspired me to commit to working on my mindset and connect to my inner healing intelligence. In just a short year, I’ve developed so much more courage, contentment, and congruence, coming from a shy, overly humble, people-pleasing kid.

Seibo is an inspiration and model for the values we represent here at the Inner Circle and what we want to bring more of into the cannabis industry – empathic, high-integrity leadership. 

I’m honored to have met this fun, charismatic, and wise human. And I’m so glad our paths and spirits have crossed. I can’t wait to see what he builds next!

Consider Joining Inner Circle

Inner Circle is growing quickly and we want to connect with pro-cannabis entrepreneurs, leaders, and anyone looking to break into the industry.

After working with Erai, Matt, and Kyle the last few months, I am convinced the Inner Circle is the rare opportunity to get involved in making a conscious impact with the healing powers of this plant. This is the side of cannabis the world needs to see more of.

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