Brooke Burgstahler's Journey in Creative Cannabis Content

Our chat with the Budding Mind founder and host of World of Weed

Brooke Burgstahler is a writer, producer, host and actress in television, online media and film. A specialist in high-quality educational and entertaining content she calls "edutainment," Brooke is the star of BigMike + Advanced Nutrients' show World of Weed, which she develops, produces and hosts daily. 

An in-demand creator in cannabis, Brooke scours for stories and conceptualizes unique topics to explore, covering everything from pop culture to politics, history, hot new brands, celebrity interviews, and progress in social justice reform.

Brooke's cannabis and wellness startup Budding Mind is designed to expand the mind and heart through the exploration of plant medicine, alternative healing, science and spirituality. The multi-channel online platform features podcasts, video, long-form education content and e-commerce for Brooke's favorite products and brands. 

We spoke with Brooke for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.


Brooke, tell us...

Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.

I'm a cannabis content creator, reporter, comedian and producer—blessed to be based in the City of Angels. 

Your earliest cannabis memory.

The first time I tried cannabis was an all-around rebellious teen moment! I snuck out of my friend's house to hang out with some older boys, who taught us how to take rips from a bong. The setting was hysterical—I kid you not, black lights with trippy neon felt art on the walls, giant bean bag chairs… 

A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

Cannabis is my plant guide. She has steered me on a healthier, more conscious path in life, away from mindlessly drinking booze. She has gifted me with some of the most profound relationships in my life and an empowering sense of community. And she has offered me opportunities to provide for and express myself in ways I couldn't have possibly imagined as a young Brooke. Can you tell I love her?

A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.

I love my The Root of It All tinctures, which blend CBD + THC with Ayurvedic medicine for a truly delicious and effective experience every time I dabble in a dose. For flower, I grew my own cannabis this year and am still enjoying home rolled j's from my homegrown bounty. But when that runs dry, my go-to flower is Lake Grade all the way—sungrown, craft cannabis that always delivers.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

As a cannabis content creator, I often get videos taken down from platforms like Instagram and TikTok (TikTok being the stricter of the two). Censorship is real, y'all! It's a delicate dance figuring out what is "OK" and what will get me a slap on the wrist, but so it goes.

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

With a new administration in the White House, I can't help but be extremely hopeful that federal legalization will come our way in the next year or two, and it will be fascinating to see what marketing restrictions are lifted once that happens. Will these social media platforms stop policing my photos of fresh cannabis leaves once and for all? Fingers crossed...

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

To me, CANDO Clemency, run by Amy Povah, is one of the foundational social justice organizations in the cannabis industry. A few years ago, when I was creating the docu-series Prisoners of Prohibition with Merry Jane about people serving life sentences for weed, CANDO was one of the few established orgs that was on the front lines fighting for clemency and commutations. To me, Amy and CANDO are the real deal OGs and I will support her incredibly compassionate and selfless work until the end of time.

A recent project you're proud of.

I write, produce and host a daily cannabis news show called World of Weed [formerly Marijuana Morning News] for BigMike/Advanced Nutrients. So far, we've made over 150 episodes totaling over 3 million views. We started this show two weeks before our first Covid lockdown but haven't skipped a beat. MMN is constantly evolving while enlightening our audience about the delightful complexities of cannabis. 

Someone else's project you admired recently.

My ever-inspiring friend Ariel Clark, partner of Clark Howell LLP, has been working on forming the Psychedelic Bar Association, a coalition of attorneys dedicated to solving the novel legal and policy issues impacting the emerging psychedelics sector. Their intention is to help steer the developing psychedelic industry onto an ethical path of antiracism and inclusivity—including Indigenous peoples who are largely to thank for introducing these plant medicines to the world. It's an altogether wildly beautiful mission, one that gently humbles those who may be bursting onto the psychedelic scene with solely self-serving interests.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.

Hannah Mason of Lit Yoga is an absolute blessing to the world. She has perfectly infused cannabis into yoga classes in the most authentic and accessible of ways. Unfortunately, in-person classes have been put on pause, but Lit Yoga does offer a virtual 50-hour teacher training for those looking to explore the mystical relationship between yoga and cannabis.   

A movie, TV show, music or or food you most enjoy pairing with cannabis.

It's always tea time at my house, baby! I like to drink my herbs AND smoke my herbs. Hot, soothing, nourishing, fresh-brewed tea with a home rolled joint is my personal pinnacle of joy. Right now, I'm obsessed with the handcrafted teas of Magic Hour, made in Ojai, California! 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

Outside of the creative cannabis space, I am a comedian, actress and yogi. However, most of these different aspects of my interests have somewhat intertwined with cannabis at this point! I imagine if I were a total square and hadn't followed the path of pot, I would be sitting in a corner somewhere staring at the wall. 

Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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