Bruno Worldwide

The West Coast’s favorite bowtied roller hits Europe.
Bruno
Photos courtesy Bruno

Over the last few years, the world of professional joint rollers has exploded with Bruno Van Holland right amongst the front of the pack.

Best known as simply Bruno, Van Holland’s attempt to elevate the live rolling experience with his always dapper haircut, tuxedo vest, and giant smile has endeared him to the cannabis world. And I mean that in the most literal sense as I’ve personally accompanied him to the Canary Islands and Denmark, not to mention all of our domestic adventures. Everywhere we’ve been, folks were quick to pull out their phones to catch a shot of Bruno in action.

And it’s not just a personality thing. Bruno’s rolls are top-class, be it regular joints or hash holes. He’s also pulled the whole rolling team he’s assembled up to a high level. As we jumped on a call with Bruno to chat about his adventures, he immediately noted that he and the team were in prep mode for two events that night.

High Times Magazine, March 2024

Things have gotten action-packed since his return to his home in California from South Korea in 2020. While overseas he used his Cali growing experience to help some friends get set up. Just after that South Korea trip, he spent a month in Cuba touring tobacco plantations. There he watched how the experts roll.

“And then right before that, I had just spent six months in Korea growing basically like the largest indoor facility in Seoul, Korea,” Bruno told High Times. “I was growing for six months in Korea before I came back to the states. And that’s how I got my story. That’s where I met my wife. I was showing the people in Korea how to grow California weed and smoke like we do. It was definitely an experience that got me started on thinking international because Korea was my first time out of the country.”

Bruno points to a gig he got with Hash and Flowers in the summer of 2021 as the moment everything changed for him. He argues that the full-ounce hash hole stuffed with 8 grams of rosin put him on the map in the first place. That was also when he knew he had to figure out how to do this full-time.

“The Delta Boys hit me up and said we would like to do a roll. We’d like to have your roll in our stores. They need a roller and they would like to do a collab with me,” Bruno said. “They had me roll 2,000 joints by myself.”

The ball kept rolling as more and more people got wind of what Bruno was up to. He quickly became a regular on the California scene. Whether it was a sesh, party, or big industry event like Hall of Flowers, you could expect to see that staple bow tie and vest. Eventually, he would pair up with one of his favorite rollers, Grasshoppa, and the duo would turn the live experience into Luxe Roll Bar. Bruno called Grasshoppa a major inspiration for his live rolling events.

Bruno’s first dabblings into international rolling activities were pretty basic as he coached his fans worldwide on how to do a better job with their rolls.

Going Abroad

Bruno would get the call to travel to the Canary Islands to judge the Canary Champions Cup in the spring of 2023. He was a hit with the locals and those who had made the short trip from Europe to enjoy the sun, hash, and flowers.

“We absolutely loved having Bruno come through to the islands, one of the most charming and calm individuals to ever grace the industry,” the Champion’s Cup founder Lawrence told High Times. “He’s always on deck to roll up something special! The fact that his rolls are so well presented and he wears a tuxedo when in this flow state of paper wizardry just reconfirms we made an excellent choice to invite him out for the cup. We are so happy to see someone with talent like Bruno taking huge leaps towards their goals and still finding time to spend with the little guys.”

I was sitting next to Bruno at the judges table for two days as I watched a carousel of European hitters come up to watch him roll or chat it up. Bruno emphasized he was in shock that people knew who he was.

“That was amazing that anybody outside of my group of friends knew who I was, and that there were people that wanted to meet me and take a picture with me. That blew my mind,” Bruno said. “That just doesn’t happen to somebody that just rolls joints. I don’t know. But I feel like in that community, they were very welcoming. And they liked me. They liked what we’re doing here in California as far as rolling joints.”

But Bruno noted that people are looking for the upgraded experience that he’s offering.

“The bow tie and the whole classy look and bringing it into a wider audience like, this is fancy, this is really nice. It’s not just we’re just smoking pre-rolls, it’s something fancier,” Bruno explained.

Backstraps vs. Cali Cannons 

We asked Bruno what it’s been like comparing elite rolls around the world.

“Different areas in the world have different styles of rolling? Even here in America, I noticed that they’ll roll differently in different parts but the biggest difference, in California versus everywhere else in Europe, was the backstrap,” he said.

Bruno explained the backstrap is where, instead of sticking the gum line at the very end, you are rolling it with the paper upside down so that tuck is with the gum line and then there’s going to be an excess paper that’s folding off and you would have to rip that off or burn it off. This common European method creates less paper that you’re burning and smoking.

Bruno went on to note, “Back here in California, we roll joints so big that we use all that paper and so it’s that. There’s a bit of a difference there.”

Another obvious giant difference for Bruno between the two sides of the Atlantic is that practically everyone in Europe is smoking spliffs, such as old-school Moroccan hash or flower paired with tobacco. A fun reaction you’ll see when traveling with Bruno is people seeing how big his joints are. He laughs at how shocked they are to discover it’s all flowers inside.

“Whenever they see one of my joints, their eyes get so big because they don’t smoke like that,” Bruno said. “They don’t have the amount and access to the flower.”

As for his favorite places to roll so far? Bruno has a deep love of sitting in front of Amsterdam coffeeshops and rolling up as he looks at the canals.

Other Rolling Scenes Catching Up to West Coast

Currently, California is the epicenter of the elite rolling scene. A lot of the biggest rollers in the game call the Golden State home just like Bruno. We asked if any other locations seemed to be catching up in his travels.

“I knew that Michigan has a lot of really good rollers,” Bruno replied. “If not for California, Michigan has the best rollers in the United States.”

Bruno noted next when it came to speed, Amsterdam had some of the fastest rollers he’d seen. He further argued Amsterdam is where there should be more famous rollers.

“I’m surprised that in Amsterdam, they don’t have the live rolling like we do here,” he said.

He feels that everybody there rolls their joints, so they don’t see it as needing somebody to roll for them.

“But I think that they’re going to have live rolling and it’s going to be more centered around somebody like a chef that makes these joints or that’s the roller there in that coffeeshop,” Bruno predicted. “[People will say] ‘Oh, you have to get his rolls, they’re the best.’ I think that that’s the spot where people are going to start finding legendary rollers.”

Normalization and Subpar Rolls

When asked about his favorite rollers of the moment, he quickly pointed to Weavers, June Da Goon, and his good friend Grasshoppa.

Bruno sees himself and his peers as rollers and the top tier rollers being the bartenders of parties from now on instead of having bartenders be there. He argued that live rolling should be a part of more normalized aspects of society like movie theaters and sporting events.

But Bruno warned that it’s not all sunshine and perfect rolls. Every week he hears about a new professional roller.

“I’ve seen them come and go over the years,” Bruno said. “The ones that can stick around are the ones that have put in 10,000 rolls. The guys that have been here since the beginning. There’s a rolling community that will point out when it’s not good. And we know what the not good rolls look like.”

Bruno emphasized that everyone knows what’s going on and if a person is putting out subpar rolls and calling themselves a professional, they make all professional rollers look bad.

“And being an active member of the community, you have to point that out. It’s like hey, [you] can’t call that a professional roll when it’s not a professional roll,” Bruno said. “There should be some guidelines or some approval like who said it? I don’t know I sometimes…I just get upset when I see that.”

The Hash Hole’s Impact

The conversation turned to how critical the hash hole has been in the international rise of the professional roller. Bruno said that the rise of Fidel’s Hash Holes changed everything, and that wave of popularity has been paying his rent for the last three years plus all the other niche jobs it created for the community.

As for where Bruno is heading next, he is setting his sights on rolling in Thailand and New York.

This article was originally published in the March 2024 issue of High Times Magazine.

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