Brandie Boudreau (Leach), known as Mary Jane Poppins to her students, is the Founder of the Portland, Oregon based Cannabis University Sativa Science Club.
We caught up with her to hear about her cannabis journey.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
I’ve had a deep fascination with natural medicine as far back as I can remember. I started formal herbal medicine study in my early teens and that path naturally lead me to the cannabis industry. It unfolded very organically. I was working as a private consultant developing herbal medicine programs for herb shops around the country. After hosting a few workshops about the cannabacaea family, a friend of mine presented the opportunity to spend some time on her farm in Humboldt county. The second I stepped foot in the garden I knew I was never going to leave.
What is your mission with Sativa Science Club?
Sativa Science Club is a leadership accelerator for the cannabis industry. We offer online coaching programs designed to catch incoming entrepreneurs up to speed on the latest in business, science, and advocacy. My singular goal is to provide informative and actionable training that not only serves to correct some of the misinformation out there but inspires true stewardship and creativity. We prefer to be thought of less as a school and more as an intellectual community for true overachievers with big dreams.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
During our recent website launch, we revealed that we’re trying something new and exciting. Most people know us for our advanced cannabis science program Elevated Advocacy. But we’re taking that a step further with a special business course of study. Graduates of our Science & Advocacy series have the opportunity to advance to Elevated Entrepreneur. In this program, I personally coach a small class of very bright business owners as they develop their own serviced based cannabis company. My hope is that in five years' time, I will have played a small part in hundreds (maybe even thousands) of business success stories. I want to cultivate a global network of highly driven students who are out there moving, shaking, and leading their communities.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
I’d be lying if I said that this industry isn’t tricky. Even the most experienced CEO is a babe in the woods to some degree. I would have to say that marketing has been the biggest snag for me. Even as an ancillary company, who does not grow, process, distribute, or sell cannabis, I am barred from promoting our products and services publicly. In fact, my last add for a productivity webinar was flagged as lewd drug dealing... so, there is definitely a downside to cannabis industry marketing.
Fortunately, the rewards far outweigh these things. What keeps me going the most are the stories. I’ve had students come up to me and say that they are now 6-months opioid-free because they learned how to listen to their body and find the right chemovar balance to suit their unique needs. I’ve seen the amazing potential that this plant has for healing. It a truly beautiful and inspiring thing.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
Boatloads! So much that I’ve created a 3-month course. But, I think the most important thing to remember is that if you stay true and focused on your mission, vision, and values, the rest becomes easy. If you’re a new entrepreneur and you’re just cutting your teeth, don’t let all of the little stuff get in the way of your dreams. As long as you can keep that fire in your belly, you have what it takes to succeed.