FOUNDER & CHIEF BRAND OFFICER
Before Medicine Box, Brian cultivated a strong love for big mountain skiing. That and strong family connections to the Lake Tahoe region inspired a move out West after Brian graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Environmental Studies in 2002. Later on in the decade, Brian fell into the medical cannabis trade, graduating from underground indoor cultivation techniques to sustainable, permaculture outdoor designs. Brian’s professional growth corresponded with a shift towards sobriety, culminating in his enrollment into the worldwide 12-step community in 2012. Recognizing that cannabis needed to shed its outlaw abuses and rediscover its roots as a regionally produced, open-source/fair-trade agricultural tradition, Brian premiered Medicine Box in 2016. His rustic, homemade creations, have earned Chaplin and his company mentions in Rolling Stone, DOPE Magazine, HIGH TIMES, MG Retailer and Green Entrepreneur for their integration of classical herbalism with whole-plant cannabis extraction techniques.
In addition, Brian frequently speaks and advises clients on plant medicines, sobriety and entrepreneurialism through Full Moon Mentoring. He has participated in the Conscious Company Leadership Forum and served as a featured panelist for Cannabliss Retreats in 2018. When he’s not building out the future foundations of the homegrown, independent cannabis industry, he also skis, sleeps, hikes and meditates by the shores of North Lake Tahoe, CA.
CHIEF SPIRITUAL OFFICER (1945-2018)
From the first moment this man texted the company from his refuge amongst the redwoods (or as he called them, “the ancients”) of Trinidad, CA, Michael Hollister has been a healing light upon the soul of Medicine Box, guiding its mission and direction even from beyond the grave. But if you were to ask him, he’d only say. “I am not a teacher; I am only a student.” Fair enough, but the lessons he taught us about cannabis, plant medicine, and nature are ones Medicine Box will continue to spread as far and wide as we possibly can.
Born in San Diego on August 18tn, 1945, Michael’s family settled in Chula Vista. Michael excelled in sports and physical activity, taking up surfing and making his own skateboards with his older brother Jay. However, tragedy would hit the family later on in Michael’s adolescence when Jay passed away at 18 from a kidney disease. From there, Michael drifted away from his family and towards the burgeoning hippie-smuggler culture, where he was nicknamed “The Mole.” He also took on a series of exotic odd jobs throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s — SCUBA Instructor, woodcutter, Director of Physical Education at a Catholic academy, farrier — before finally gaining training as a psychiatric nurse in Vermont.
Michael’s role with healing started with himself first and foremost. As an alcoholic in recovery, his pledge to humanity was to aid the suffering, which caused him to turn away from the mental health care system and its over-reliance on pharmaceuticals in 2008. Turning towards CBD and cannabis medicine, he taught himself through trial and error the secrets of cannabis and its ability to heal.
In 2016, through several business associates, Medicine Box CEO Brian Chaplin was introduced to Michael, and each month on the new moon, Brian would learn at Michael’s knee about cultivation, the rhizosphere, and how deeply connected our mental health is with the cycles of nature. This led to a fruitful collaboration with Michael Hollister’s medical cannabis firm Mannawell, and Brian’s participation in Michael’s ambitious “gestalt” synthesis of academic and grassroots research into cannabis medicine.
However, this collaboration proved short-lived. Afflicted by colon cancer later in life, Michael finally succumbed to it on June 28th, 2018. One of Michael’s final gifts to Medicine Box, a CBD formulary which aided Brian in his transition away from SSRIs, will be released this year. And we are certain that no matter where he may be, Medicine Box will continue to make beautiful discoveries with him at our side. Aho.