CORNER BROOK, N.L. —
When Rita Hall started BeeHighVE in 2018, she wanted to be on the leading edge of cannabis production in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“This being a new industry, it was something I was interested in trying,” said Hall, president and CEO of BeeHighVe
Hall, an Aboriginal status businesswoman, has been able to take advantage of about 20 years of experience in business in this new endeavour.
Prior to entering the industry, she graduated with honours in business administration and, in 2004, entered the business of information technology (IT). She founded her company Turtle Technologies Inc. and remains its president and CEO today.
When she started BeeHighVE in Corner Brook, Hall’s background helped her through the transition.
Her work in IT gave her extensive experience dealing with government and regulations.
“This helped me tremendously in getting a cannabis license for BeeHighVe and in moving the company forward,” she said.
Nevertheless, she still calls it the most difficult industry she has worked in.
Despite the great deal of paperwork it produces, Hall believes government regulations in the industry are ultimately for the best.
“We’re protecting people,” she said. “Everything that goes out to the retail market is medical grade.”
Personal interest and research
Hall’s interest in cannabis was sparked by something that impacted her on a more personal level.
When her daughter was 16, Hall says, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called punctate inner choroiditis.
According to Hall, when something impacts her health, her body fends it off by attacking her retinas.
“It’s a very serious disease that can make you go blind,” said Hall.
She started researching, looking into things that could help improve her daughter’s condition and cannabis was something that came up.
Hall stresses there has not been enough studies on the health benefits of cannabis, but doing more research continues to interest her.
BeeHighVE, in fact, will be partnering with the Grenfell Campus to conduct future research; though Hall would not specify what type of research they will be doing at this time.
As a craft producer, Hall says she, her husband and their eight employees do everything by hand.
“It’s like going to a tailor and having something made versus going to a store and buying something,” she said.
With this approach, they can grow whatever strains they want, no matter the size, how difficult it is to grow, or how long it takes them to grow.
“We’re not trying to push them out the door quickly; we chose to grow this way,” Hall said. “We’re looking at the end product, how it tastes and what the consumer is getting. We’re trying to give them something different.”
BeeHighVE has several unique blends and Hall has added two new brands that are now available: Wild Cove Smoke and BH! Bang.
A CBD oil will also soon be available.
“I have a special place in my heart for bees and I really believe they’re one of the most important animals on this earth.” — Rita Hall
Other significant and unique parts of the operation are the beehives.
“The whole idea of BeeHighVE was to deal with the bees,” Hall said. “I have a special place in my heart for bees and I really believe they’re one of the most important animals on this earth. I wanted to go down the road of combining both – doing something helping bees and promoting healthy bees to Newfoundland.”
Hall is hoping to produce cannabis-infused and non-infused honey products as early as this summer.
BeeHighVE products can be found across Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in New Brunswick and Manitoba. They are hoping to expand into other provinces.
You can learn more about BeeHighVE and its products at beehighve.ca
Behind the Business is a regular feature that introduces you to local businesspeople.
Want to suggest someone that should be featured? Email your idea to [email protected]