Brice Birdsall is a cannabis experiential producer based in New York. Her love of art and journey of healing led her to the cannabis space. In fact, she credits cannabis for transforming her life. Brice had struggled with mental health for years. Cannabis helped her connect inward and create a space for herself. Today she is dedicated to sharing her passion for this plant and eye for design with others. Currently she in the process of launching a retail courier service in Oregon. In addition, Brice also specializes in cannabis event production, cannabis content production, cannabis social media management, cannabis merchandise production, and cannabis brand launches.
What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?
When I think of cannabis, I view it as the connective tissue for all of my interests. From art to music, from food to fashion – cannabis has a place in every circle.
I wanted to work in an industry that allowed me to combine all of these things while connecting deeply with others who have similar interests.
Cannabis for me represents liminal spaces, the moments in-between and when I partake in it, it allows me to operate in those spaces. It enhances my experience when I go to an art gallery to view a new exhibition. It livens my conversations with friends over dinner. It helps me feel the music in a different way than I would if I wasn’t using it.
Overall, it allows me to connect to myself in a deeper and more intimate way and I wanted to bring that experience to others.
What type of services do you offer cannabis companies?
Social media management
Merchandise production (stickers, bags, t shirts, etc)
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Over the past few years I’ve struggled with mental health and while cannabis & mental health can be a controversial topic, it personally allowed me to take a step back and breathe every time I got too close to the edge. Cannabis has taught me how to create space for myself and that space is constantly changing.
What have been your biggest hurdles operating in the cannabis industry so far?
Aside from working as a producer in the industry, I am going through the licensing process for a retail courier service based in Portland, Oregon with a business partner.
That process brought out the uglier side of the cannabis industry. The process is never straightforward and there are a lot of people in the industry for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t always able to see through the writing on the wall in time to not get burned.
I’ve had bank accounts closed, the city of Portland tell me that I am not eligible for a license and then saying we are later on in the process. The constantly changing environment is hard for me as a creature of structure and routine but it’s worth it at the end of the day because I am working in something that is going to change a lot of lives and already has.
How have you been able to overcome these challenges?
Ensuring that you have a team of people who love and support what you’re working on is crucial.
I am beyond blessed to have a family that has stood by me throughout the past year of working in the industry.
Creating space for myself is also key, like I said before this looks different from time to time but self-care is something that allowed me to keep my head on straight.
Some days that self care looks like smoking while I go for a long walk listening to music, other days it looks like a boxing class at 7am.
I’ve learned to listen to myself throughout this process and even when I have lost my mind, which it feels like I have, I always know that I’ll find my way back.
Name the top 3 skills every cannabis entrepreneur needs
The ability to trust your own intuition
What is the best advice you've received recently?
“You are not your work.”
That has really stuck out to me, I heard that in a user experience design workshop and it rings true.
I’ve always put so much emphasis on my work and for a long time it was the only place I truly found my purpose but when I thought I had lost everything, I didn’t really know who I was anymore and had to work my way back to myself.
Understanding that I am so much bigger than what I’m working on allows me to not take things so personally, which in turn just makes me a better producer but at the same time, it also allows me to find meaning in all of the other aspects of my life that are truly powerful – things like friendships, sunrises, and the first puff of a perfectly rolled joint.
Any tips for maintaining a work/life balance?
Get up early and always do the things that your heart asks you to do even if it seems like extra effort, those are the things that keep your tank full.
What are your favorite resources/tools for your business and why?
My favorite resources come in the form of books.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight taught me how to be an entrepreneur and to trust my own vision.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is my creative bible, especially around the topic of fear. She breaks down how to interact with your creativity in a way that makes the ethereal, tangible.
Last but not least, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk because “you are not your khakis” and it keeps my head on straight.
If you could offer an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
Trust your gut. If people seem too nice or things seem too easy, 9 times out of 10 you’re probably right on the money.