Founder & Chief Brand Officer
Raised in New Hampshire, Brian Chaplin exhibited a love for nature and a penchant for entrepreneurialism during his childhood years.
Later on in life, gripped by life-threatening addictions to drugs and alcohol, he turned to both his twin childhood passions and his mastery of craft cannabis to develop a new solution for himself and others. From this, he constructed the foundation of Medicine Box.
Moving to North Lake Tahoe after graduating from college in 2002, 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 excesses 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.
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 took on the nickname “The Mole.”
He also held 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 on the Strawberry Full Moon. Since then, Medicine Box has continued to make beautiful discoveries with him at our side, as promised. Aho.
MEDICINE BOX’S ORIGIN
CREATING THE PERFECT BLEND
Medicine Box began its quest to provide an affordable and superior solution to synthetic wellness remedies in 2016. Seeing the impact they had on our own lives, we dedicated our lives to plant medicines which fortify a mindful, restful and spiritually centered way of life. Whether it was our savory edibles or our carefully-crafted tinctures, we set ourselves apart by blending our cannabis extracts with synergistic herbs, mushrooms and other plant allies. And we ALWAYS went full-spectrum. At Medicine Box, it’s all about the plant, the whole plant, and nothing but the plant.
And it always will be
This approach elevated Medicine Box’s formulations above the fray during the freewheeling early years of California’s medical cannabis market. To date, Medicine Box’s Equanimity formulation has won Second Place for Best Tincture at the 2019 Emerald Cup; in addition, the company has garnered features in Rolling Stone, MG Retailer, PopSugar and Luke Storey's Life Stylist Podcast.
MEDICINE BOX ACROSS THE U.S.: SPREADING OUR WINGS
Despite these early successes, we’ve also survived some devastating set-backs along the way. Prop 64 saw the bottom fall out of the California cannabis industry, leaving many heritage growers with nothing but broken promises and insolvent businesses to tend to. A 2017 robbery, detailed in the Rolling Stone article, also threatened to shutter us for good.
And just as we were preparing the national launch of our hemp-based tincture products, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Yet we persevered, gaining a new tribe of devoted followers eager to escape the pharmaceutical paradigm through our First Cabinet (1CaB, for short) Healing Suite of Botanical Formulations — the prize-winning rest remedy Equanimity, the gut health prebiotic Happy Belly and the plant medicine power booster Vital Recovery.
Finally at the end of 2021, we crossed another milestone: selling out of our original formulation.
We’re now in the midst of 1CaB 2.0: The gelcap era. Encased in a 100% vegan membrane made from tapioca, our gelcaps provide a cruelty-free alternative to bovine capsules.
In addition, we have also branched out with our herbal-mushroom nootropic blend Mind’s Eye. Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive microdosing stack or strengthening your synapses for work or play, Mind’s Eye will open you up to new possibilities.
Medicine AND Mentorship
However, Medicine Box is more than just a few products — It’s a healing lifestyle which informs and optimizes every single product in our Box.
Our company is built upon the Seven Pillars of Wellness — Music, Food, Mindfulness, Collaboration, Community, Recovery and above all, Nature — which lay the foundation for the healing power of our products.
Through our blog and our Facebook and Instagram social media channels, we routinely post on complementary wellness practices, inspirational testimonials and spiritual support for our community.
And through our monthly Shift web series, our founder/CEO Brian Chaplin interviews luminaries such as Dr. Michele Ross, Dr. Ethan Russo and Dr. Richard Louis Miller MA, PhD about new developments in health, spirituality and a new health paradigm which blends the two.
In addition, Medicine Box has inaugurated our Healing of the Nations Initiative, which donates 1% of our monthly sale to a different charitable cause. It also comprises other environmental and social causes we support as a business.
Oh, and newsflash: in 2022, Medicine Box settled with the Nevada County Sheriff's Department for their illegal raid. Score one for the good guys. ✊
So make no mistake: we at Medicine Box are survivors, and we're here to make sure YOU make it through your trying times as well. Together, WE will... naturally
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