Nicole Brown is the chief innovation officer for Open Book Extracts, a company that specializes in product development for the CBD and cannabinoid industry.
She has been developing products for people’s needs and to provide them with new experience for most of her career — from wine, to cosmetics and software.
Now she is on a new journey to help people improve their health and wellbeing through plant based alternatives.
I enjoyed this interview with Nicole, it was such an eye opener on my views on cannabis and its derivatives.
Also, I enjoyed hearing Nicole’s journey, how she went from wine, cosmetics, software to ultimately joining the Cannabis Industry. And bringing those experiences to what she is doing now.
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In this episode you’ll learn:
- Work that Nicole does
- Nicole’s career
- How Nicole started in the Cannabis Industry
- Why Nicole joined the Cannabis Industry
- The through lines in Nicole’s work
- How Nicole’s experience crossed over to what she is doing now
- Nicole’s process and expertise
- What are cannabinoids and their uses and benefits
- The uniqueness of cannabis vs other plants
- The biggest impact of cannabinoid products
- What people should know about cannabis
- Removing the stigma around cannabis
- How Nicole joined her company, Open Book Extracts
- Why Nicole enjoys working in the cannabis industry
- How Nicole wants to be remembered in the cannabis industry
- Nicole’s predictions for the future of cannabis industry
Software Generated Transcription:
Dan: Nicole. Welcome to the Meaning Movement Podcast. I’m so excited to have you here with us. Welcome to the show.
Nicole: Thank you so much for having me, Dan.
Dan: The question I always like to begin with is how do you begin to talk about the work that you do?
Nicole: It’s a great question for everyone and for myself, uh, in my current role as chief innovation officer for open book extracts, which is a company that specializes in product development for the CBD and cannabinoid industry. That question can take you in so many directions, but the place I like to start is, um, we’re in the business of making people feel better and making people have better quality of life outcomes on a number of different dimensions.
So being able to create products that work that support people’s health is my, my primary reason for getting outta bed every.
Dan: I love it so much. I, you know, I, I don’t really know anything about your industry. Um, not, you know, I’m not experienced in, in this world at all. And so I it’s easy for me to make a lot of assumptions about like, I don’t know the kind of person that like is working, you know, working with weed, right? Like Um, so I’m really excited to hear some of your story, some of your journey that’s, that’s brought you here and then also to learn more about the industry, cuz I’m sure I have a lot of, um, false beliefs, um, about it that, um, I’m excited to maybe stand in for the listeners and, and get a bit of an education.
So let’s just rewind by, uh, you know, just asking the question of like, where did your career begin? Um, yeah, let’s just start there. Like where, where did you start your career? What, what, what was your focus at that point?
Nicole: So I began my career working in the wine and spirits industry. So I worked for a company called LVMH. Um, Mo Hennessy is their wine and spirits division. And so in that role, Was looking at their portfolio of various luxury spirit products, whether that’s champagnes, wines, uh, specialty vodkas and things, and, um, working closely with different product development teams to design new products, things like flavored vodkas or AIFS or different experiences for.
The alcohol industry, which is, uh, certainly a fascinating industry unto itself. And so began my journey there. And it’s really where I fell in love with, um, making products that people love, making products that, uh, add something to your life and certainly in the wine and spirits world, it’s much more recreational.
It’s much more enjoyable, but you’re, it’s an experience. Something people look forward to and, and socialize around. So there was so much meaning there. Um, after my time there, I moved on into the beauty industry. Um, another industry I love and again, with a similar focus around. Again, creating these beautiful product experiences, whether it’s skincare products, fragrances, which is another passion of mine.
and again, all centered around really understanding what is gonna resonate with people. What’s going to add something to your routine, you know, in the case of skincare, what’s gonna potentially support feeling better about yourself, feeling more confident, feeling good about how you look. And so that was a, a wonderful industry to spend time in and to learn more and more about, and did have certain analogs to, you know, developing a beverage or, you know, at that time it’s like putting alcohol in a bottle to drink or putting alcohol in a bottle to wear. Um, so it was kinda similar, but certainly different. Right. And. You know, my kind of third journey, um, took me in an entirely different direction into the technology world. I had an opportunity with a very dear friend of mine.
I went to college with, to start a technology startup company. Um, and that was all based around mapping technology, creating experiences, in a software setting to support better travel. Uh, So entirely different than anything I’d ever done before. And remember sitting down with my friend and he’s like, I want you to come on this journey with me.
And I was like, you, you know that I do, you know, marketing and growth marketing and sales for like, Things like alcohol and, and this, I don’t know anything about tech. I don’t know what an API is at the time. I still, it a Blackberry. I was like, I don’t think I’m, I’m the person it’s like, no, you’re, you’re gonna love this industry.
You’re gonna learn it. And so kind of took that leap and had. Uh, an experience, you know, at the time this was the early, you know, 2010s kind of the, I would say kind of like high velocity of all the, you know, this was before even, you know, Facebook took its course or Instagram, Snapchat didn’t exist yet. So being inside watching that development was, was fascinating.
Um, and so spent a great deal of time in the tech world, uh, eventually sold that company to TripAdvisor in 2016. Um, so. Technology, we built now lives on, uh, in that larger platform. And that was during my time working, uh, at TripAdvisor and kinda leading some of their initiatives that. Made the intentional decision to wanna be part of the cannabis industry.
And I’m sure we’ll have time here to talk more about why that is and, and what drew me to that. But it certainly was about being able to have an impact on people’s lives and their quality of life, and personally being, uh, a, you know, supporter of plant-based medicine and plant-based alternatives and seeing that opportunity to be a part of that, and especially an industry that is so nascent and so new, you know, when I talk to people and they ask why, why cannabis, or why, why do this with all the things you’ve done? It’s like, if you could go back in time and have worked in the alcohol industry at the time of prohibition and found an entirely new industry and watch it flourish and grow. Wouldn’t you want to do that? And that is absolutely what we’re a part of here is laying the foundation for what I think is gonna be a critical element and a critical set of products and solutions for decades and, and years and years to come. And it’s just getting started now.
Dan: I love it. What a great, um, yeah, high level summary. Thank you. Thank you for that. And what a journey you’ve, you’ve been on with some fun twists and turns along the way. I’m curious, as you think back on, on your career, like, what are the kind of the through lines or themes that you see, you know, through, through your work?
Nicole: So, you know, first and foremost, I’ve been so fortunate to work with outstanding people, and outstanding teams. And I would say that is not only something I look for when embarking on a new opportunity is who are the people that are gonna be standing shoulder to shoulder with you doing the work, solving the problems, facing challenges, because that’s gonna happen everywhere and anywhere.
And I think people, are your most important asset in developing companies that are gonna last and companies that are gonna endure. And so that’s been quite consistent throughout is I’ve worked alongside, I’ve had great leadership, great CEOs that and great people across the teams that is, is quite consistent.
As, as I mentioned as well, you know, the themes around having an impact on someone’s life. Being able to add some benefit, some value, and it could be as simple as, you know, a wonderful cocktail at the end of the day, that adds a little something special to you, creates a new tradition, a beauty product, um, an app or a piece of software, or now with, you know, the products we develop, um, to help support people’s health and wellness, um, with a, a, a plant based solution that can work and can be an alternative to whether it’s pharmaceutical products, alcohol itself, or anything else, people are making those decisions. And so that theme around just being able to see that tangible tactical impact that you have with someone with individuals is so I think satisfying.
Dan: Yes, I love it. I love it. And then just have you been, I, I think you you’ve said this, but just so I’m, I’m recalling correctly in product development or product innovation at every step of your, your, um, journey or where, where did that emerge? That aspect of your work, your current work?
Nicole: Yeah. So, you know, you know, I, you know, kind of founded my career, you know, in kind of marketing and in sales and through that, you know, when you’re working, particularly in those functions, also understanding consumer insights, consumer trends, so that you can be working closely. Your product development team to create products that are going to resonate and sell to consumers that you’re gonna be able to speak about well, so those functions like very naturally started to coalesce together and cross over. And, you know, that’s really where I started to make my mark in you doing some of that work in the alcohol industry, translated that into the beauty industry. Um, and. Certainly it was not direct translation, but very similar understandings of, you know, what, how people interact with, with technology.
Um, especially around that time, 2010, 2011, where, you know, you were starting to see that juncture of how meaningful technology was becoming in people’s lives. And how do you create those connections was fascinating to me. Totally enjoyed that. And, and now coming full circle here, um, where it does, you know, the experience, whether it’s in the beverage world, the beauty world, we make all those types of products. Right? So there is, and more so there’s such a wider opportunity to understand all these different segments and how you fit into someone’s life.
Dan: I love it. I love it. It’s, it’s really fascinating for me from my experience. So outside of the podcast, um, I have a software, um, software company, software incubator guess you’d call it, but our, our most recent product and the one that I’m focused on is, um, called video snap. Um, But like always thinking about product when I hear the word product, I think about, I think about software primarily.
That’s my, that’s my lens. Um, and it’s just interesting to hear, hear you come at it from the other side where you think about like tangible, you know, physical things that people are interacting at the world, and then translating that to, uh, to software I’m, I’m, I’m doing, I’m doing the opposite in this conversation, which is just, um, fun, fun to take note of how, how product, how that word, you know, can have different, different meanings. But at the end of the day, it all comes back to creating something that’s impacting someone’s life and hopefully, for the better, which is, yeah, just a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Nicole: Yeah, no. And, and I, I certainly have that, uh, connection, you know, like one of, you know, I read all the different kind of business books out there and you, you talk about product market fit. Um, we talked about that a lot at, at Citi maps. That was my technology company, uh, finding that product market fit in tech. Um, but that applies to everything, right. It’s like, and when you are developing a new product and talk to our partners and clients about this all the time is like really understanding, like what is a problem that is unaddressed that needs a solution or needs a different solution. And that’s applicable to anything, whether you’re building technology solution or a tangible product solution, it’s the same.
Dan: Yes. I love it. I love it. It’s so good. That’s probably a great, a great segue into, um, well into the, the, the world of, of cannabis and, um, the word that you’ve used, which is new to me, uh, is it cannaboid cannaboid, which I assume is like products made from cannabis. Um, but maybe just to start, like, where are the high level.
Benefits, because I know that you’re, you’re, you’re talking about. And again, this is me just being totally naive to the whole, the whole industry. I know that, um, that CBD can, you know, that it helps people relax, that it can be used for, you know, treatment of, of chronic pain and things along those lines.
But I would love to hear just kind of like the rundown of like, maybe whether it’s just specific use cases, specific products. I’m not sure, but like, I, I’m just looking for like the high level, so we can kind of know where to, where to dive into your expertise here.
Nicole: Oh, yes. So much. So, um, high level, um, when you use the word, you know, cannabinoid, so a cannabinoid is referring to, I know it’s like kinda a tongue twister. Don’t, don’t worry. I
Dan: it is. It’s fun to
Nicole: Um, cannabinoids. So a cannabinoid is describing, um, a molecule that is derived from a cannabis plant. And there is certain molecules, certain cannabinoids that are very well known.
THC is one of them, Tetrahydrocannabinol. Um, THC is we’re familiar with that is the active ingredient, if you’re going to a dispensary or another medical marijuana channel, that is going to be a, it’s a psychoactive molecule. So we’re all familiar with that kind of, um, psychoactivity that intoxication you get from th.
CBD cannabidiol is another cannabinoid. It also comes from the cannabis plant and CBD is not psychoactive is not going to have any intoxicating effects, but what it will do, and you called out some of those benefits or use cases, um, when you are taking CBD, it can support feeling overall more relaxed, um, relieving anxiety.
Um, it can help people sleep better. Um, it can relieve pain. And so it has this multifaceted use case. And when the industry first began, that was somewhat overwhelming to understand that you could have this single molecule it’s like, was it this magic molecule that cures everything and does everything well, it’s not magic and it doesn’t cure absolutely everything.
But when incorporated into your routine, When taken regularly. Um, and when you’re taking a product that is, you know, of a high quality standard, you can see all of those benefits. Now, when we step even beyond THC and CBD there is a whole range of other cannabinoids, and that list could go on. There’s about 140 that scientists have identified right now.
There’s about 20 of those that we work with, that we’ve isolated. Um, and some of them that might be familiar to listeners out there would be CBN, um, or CBG, um, so again, these are all different cannabinoids. They’re all found in the plant and each one of these different ones has some unique properties and unique benefits.
CBN, for example, you’ll find in most of the sleep products on the market, because CBN can support very much better sleep outcomes, even more pronounced than how CBD would just based on how it acts. So you now have this range of different molecules to work with, to formulate and create different products. So now, The lens and like the areas of territories that you can focus on can now look at CBN for sleep.
Um, you’re looking at products that are utilized, you know, either before or after exercise to help with muscle recovery, to help with muscle conditioning. You’re seeing lots of athletes start to step into the space because they’re incorporating these products into their kind of sports regimens. Um, you’re even seeing products now to support, um, stimulating energy, providing greater focus, similar to the neutropics category that’s growing, um, and even help people, um, curb their appetite, lose weight, you know, everyone associates THC with the munchies or getting hungry there’s cannabinoid have right now that help you do the opposite.
And so now we can be incredibly targeted, in how we develop products and how we can deliver those products to help people with all of those different solutions that they’re looking for.
Dan: Wow. Uh, I, this is, yeah, so, so, so much more. And it’s where I expected this conversation to go. And like, you know, since my, I feel like my knowledge of, of the cannabis industry is so flat, like so much more dimensional than I, than I, um, expected, which is just really fascinating. Why is it that cannabis has so many, use cases. What is so special about that plant versus other plants?
Nicole: Well, and I think we’re, you know, plant-based medicine has been around for a very, very long time. And, you know, there are, uh, many plants that are also multifaceted and, and multifunctional like cannabis. Um, but really there is nothing quite as prolific, I would say. Um, just based on, it’s composition. Um, when you are understanding that you’re not only talking about these cannabinoids, that we’re focused on here, but plants also contain terpenes, um, terpenes a word you might hear utilized, and it’s very often associated with scent.
So, you know, the smell of lavender is coming from a terpene called Linalool, um, the smell of an orange peel, is coming from Valencia, which is the terpene that smells like a Valencia orange, it’s beautiful and bright. And so the cannabis plant, whether we’re talking marijuana or hemp, which are kind of sisters in the, you know, kingdom phylum class order, they’re in that, that genus category, um, have those properties of not only including cannabinoids, you’ve got terpenes, you’ve got all of your phytonutrients. And so being able to leverage and, and celebrate all those parts of the plant as well as isolate different parts to create those specialized products is very unique. And you know, the opportunities in health and wellness with cannabis that were slowly starting to uncover through both the regulated channels here in the us, in the CBD industry, globally is people are understanding that this is a solution. Ha like has been out there and, and that now they can take advantage of now, too.
Dan: I love it. I love it. What are the most, uh, if we we’ve already named some of them, but the most common, um, yeah. Uh, or maybe let me, let me frame this differently. Where do you see the biggest opportunity for life changing benefit from the products that, um, you and your team are creating?
Nicole: That’s a big question. I think there’s. A few kind of big areas of focus for us. Uh, I think number one right now is mental health. And I think over the course, um, not only of, you know, decades here with technology advancements and how that has kind of changed how we interact and our brain chemistry and everything that goes along with it.
And then of course, the past several years within the pandemic we have now, you. Like the highest reported levels of anxiety, sufferers of depression, um, especially amongst our younger generations as well. And so seeing the products that can be produced from cannabinoids are ideally suited to help support better mental health outcomes. And to do that without necessarily being prescribed a pharmaceutical drug or some other alternatives. So it gives people a solution that works. There was a, a study published, uh, actually yesterday, um, specifically looking at the younger generation with, um, a certain dose of CBD was reducing, um, reported levels of anxiety over 50% over a 30 day timeframe.
So the fact that this can support better mental health, um, our mental health is so important. Um, it, it drives everything physically and otherwise. And so being able to focus on that dimension and create products that can support our overall mental health is a large priority for sure.
Dan: I love that. And that’s, you know, really, really incredible outcome. Um, you know, 50% increase is, um, I mean, that’s, that’s, you know, revolutionary, which is yeah. Really, really exciting. Um, I know that so much, you know, and even coming into this conversation, I, I told, I told you this, like, I feel like my, my naivete about, uh, about the industry I feel like is, is kind of jaded by, or, uh, yeah, by the, by the lens of, of, you know, the.
Of cannabis being in a legal, illegal drug. And, you know, maybe in the less maybe nuanced or scientific approach to, to use of, of cannabis. I’m curious just to ask, I’m not sure exactly what the question is here, but I, I think I want to just hear you hear your thoughts about. Overcoming the stigma and like what, yeah.
What people who might be afraid of cannabis products should, should know about maybe about the, that history, about where that comes from and about maybe the, the fear or concerns that people have about it.
Nicole: Absolutely. And you know, the. You know, I mean, this takes you back to the war on drugs and kind of the heavy propaganda campaign against cannabis in particular. Um, it was vilified beyond recognition, um, as far as just how, you know, we as a country here in the us, as well as even globally were looking at that plant, um, and holding that plant to, um, just a level of responsibility.
It, it didn’t necessarily warrant, um, as far as what it did. And so we’re still overcoming that stigma and you know, and there’s still much work to be done. To help people understand, um, you know, how this plant operates, how it is, and always has been kind of utilized as a form of medicine and, you know, kind of all started there.
You know, certainly with the, um, you know, you know, marijuana program, state by state, you know, that have now proliferated, you know, you’re looking at, you know, programs. You know, over 32 states, whether it’s a medical program or a recreational program. And that that list continues to grow month after month, year after year, where, you know, we are now at a point in our society where there is over 80%, um, awareness and acceptance.
Around cannabis and that’s inclusive of marijuana as well as CBD and hemp products. Um, as well as, you know, kind of levels of, of usage that are growing, where it’s like over, you know, 50% of the population have reported having tried a product at some point. So that stigma starting to come down. I think based upon the fact that there is wider access and there is, you know, what I would call kind of safe access of, like, if you’re going to, whether it’s a dispensary in a state that you live in, or you’re going into the vitamin shop and purchasing products from their CBD collection, um, it feels more validated.
It feels more comfortable as a consumer, and consumers are starting to better educate themselves. They’re taking a very proactive stance on their overall health and wellness to be able to make some of their own personal healthcare decisions. Um, of course always under the guidance of a physician when needed, but they’re asking questions, they’re looking out there and saying, Hey, do I really need to be taking melatonin on a daily basis? Or could I take a CBD or CBN product instead? , and would that have the same or a better outcome potentially. So I think we’re all doing our part and, and certainly, um, you know, myself and, and the team I work with are part of that education and that movement to remove that stigma and, and help people like find these products and these solutions that are gonna support.
Dan: I love it. Thank you for that. That’s that’s really, really, um, yeah, helpful just to kind of view it through that lens of where, where we’ve been and, and where we, where we are now with it, as far as, um, open source or, I mean, op not open source, open book extracts. Um, When I go to the website, I, it seems like there’s a lot of focus on the manufacturing.
It feels very scientific, feels agricultural. Uh, but I see that there’s both, uh, ingredients as well, like ingredient sourcing as well as finished products. Is that maybe just like to hear just a little bit more about the company and the things that you’re making with the team.
Nicole: Absolutely. So, you know, uh, we’re based in North Carolina, um, North Carolina has a number of beautiful qualities to it. Number one, being it’s rich, agricultural heritage, um, as well as, um, it’s research triangle park, um, where you have one of the greatest densities of you, research and focus around, you know, both pharmaceutical companies, nutraceutical companies, um, you know, consumer products, goods companies.
So it was a perfect place for us to build our team as, as well as establish ourselves. So down in North Carolina is where we produce all of the different cannabinoids that we’ve been referencing here. So starting with, you know, producing those ingredients, you know, in. You know, pure form, we have incredibly high quality standards.
Um, all of the kind of certifications you would expect of a pharmaceutical lab, really? You know, we talked earlier in the show here around, you know, what your perception might be of going to, you know, a weed company or a cannabis company. And when people cross our thresholds, uh, they are very much pleasantly surprised and sometimes shocked cuz what they see looks like a pharmaceutical.
You know, we have members of our team who hold PhDs and used to work at pharmaceutical companies used to work in scientific laboratories, used to work as food scientists, cosmetic chemists. So it is a very scientifically focused and driven and experienced team. To be able to produce all of these various ingredients and then a team that’s also able to do all of the product development and R and D to create all of those formulas and finish products, whether that’s going into something that’s a beverage or
there’s lots of gummies in the market. We do lots and lots of gummy products, soft gel products, tablets, um, products for skincare and topical support. So, you know, under our roof in North Carolina, you know, there’s a lot of activity, both on manufacturing, the raw ingredients themselves to go into those products, as well as the manufacturer
of those finished products. Those are products that you would see sitting on shelf that, you know, we produce, you know, on behalf of our clients. So we serve, you know, hundreds of clients in the global market today to provide them with ingredients, provide them with sophisticated formulations and those finished products that, that work and that support the outcomes they’re going.
Dan: I love it. That’s really, really fantastic. It seems like great, great work. And, and, you know, just like you said, when I, I go to the website, um, it, it doesn’t feel like the stereotype right. Of, of, you know, of a weed company, quote unquote, um, or, or anything along those lines. And it is, does feel yeah,
scientific, agricultural. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s really neat. I just wanna maybe just, you know, zoom out again a little bit to some of your, the transitions that, that you’ve made. You know, many people who are, who are listening to the podcast are thinking about their life, their work, thinking about how to find more fulfillment, whether you talk about that in terms of calling location, purpose, passion, I’m not too concerned.
With the words, um, you know, that, that we use. But, but with, with that idea of how do you find the most fulfillment in what you do and how have you, uh, how do you orient your life towards, towards, you know, putting your, your work, pointing your work in that direction? Um, and maybe just. Contextualize this question a little bit.
I’m curious specifically about your transition into this role, and you said, you know, something about, uh, wanting to be a part of like the major shift that’s happening and, and similar to the prohibition, um, years, but I’m curious, you even just. If you have story or stories of, of like, why, why cannabis?
Like, yeah. Why, why this transition? And then, um, you know, I wanna dig further into, you know, more of, of your thoughts on meaning and purpose and, and you know, how, how you think about that moving forward in your work. But let’s start just on that transition again. And, and why, why cannabis, why now, and why you personally, why this.
Nicole: So, um, you know, and there, and there’s two primary components for me. Um, you know, the first one, you know, comes from, you know, my background from the technology world and as I shared earlier when I was, you know, approached by my friend to, to join his team um, you know, I, I didn’t join at the seed round. Um, I, I came on as an advisor.
I kind of said like, look like I don’t, there’s nothing for me to like, do what I do with it yet. I need a thing to do something with, like, I think you need someone to build the thing. Um, and so. You know, so I joined after, you know, that company had been underway for about a year, year and a half. Um, and then was with the, with the city maps team, um, through our, you know, acquisition and kind of culmination in that transition to TripAdvisor.
And it was one of the most fulfilling, rewarding and challenging parts of my career to go on that journey. The one regret I had, was not being there from the start. And so kind of made it a, a mission for myself that the next leap I took, the next adventure I went on, I wanted to be there from the beginning.
Um, I wanted to have that kind of like gritty moments of figuring things out, not knowing the answers, but finding the way I love all of it. Uh, it’s very much part of my personality. So combining that the cannabis industry itself, which as I mentioned, just from a, a personal, as well as professional standpoint, professionally understanding product development, understanding how to introduce new products and routines to people’s lives and do that, and felt like there would be some translation of that and a sophistication to bring to the cannabis industry from my background, combined with the fact that, you know, personally, I believe in, in plant healing and wellness and felt like that’s something that would give me a lot of purpose and joy to do every single day. So kind of those two factors converged, uh, right around this opportunity. Um, you know, I did start to get to know different, you know, companies in this space, different brands that I was familiar with and cross paths with the founders of open book extracts, right at the time when they were building the team and starting the company and said, yeah, this, this is, this is the opportunity. This is what, this is the one I’ve been looking for. And already had a very strong, foundational team of people that I respected, that I felt like I had value to add different qualities, different experiences to compliment what they were doing in a strong way.
Nicole: you know, what led me here and, you know, that’s, this has been my, my one and only journey into cannabis. I’ve been here for over three years and, uh, it’s every day is exciting. It’s fulfilling. Um, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a non it’s a nonstop, you know, Puzzle problem solving, uh, exercise. I would say anyone out there thinking about the cannabis industry, I, 100% support it.
I would not support it, if you do not enjoy ambiguity. Um, if you do not enjoy someone changing the rules to the game on a daily or hourly basis, and that you have to be agile, um, you have to love that, but people who are in it, in the community, not just of our company, but of the industry is very much like that.
Um, you have people who. Uh, embrace the ambiguity, embrace the challenge because we’re the ones that are going to carve that path out for this to emerge into the full mainstream opportunity that we all know it’s going to be and, and is already really becoming awesome.
Dan: Yes, I love that. That’s such a great story. And just so great to hear, you know, just some of your, your values at play there that you really wanted to be a part of that founding, that founding team. And that was some of what, you know, maybe this intersection of, of the cannabis, um, cannabis industry, as well as this.
Specific opportunity for people who are in similar places where they might have an idea of, I want to be a, I wanna do this kind of thing, but I don’t know what it’s gonna look like. You know, you, you, so you, you cross paths with the founders, but I’m curious if there’s any other, um, or any more that you would.
Say to people who are looking for that next thing, but don’t really know where to, where to go to find it. Um, and just from your own experience, like how, how did you, how, what made that transition so successful for you or if you were to look back and do it again, um, you know, what advice would you give yourself as about, you know, how to, how to make that transition, to find the right, the right team to be a part of.
Nicole: Uh, well, I’ll share like my, my personal journey. Um, you know, the opportunity here with open book extracts, you know, did start through friendships and relationships that I had. And I’d say the best place to start is start talking about it. Like a lot of times, like we’ll just be sitting on our couch, talking to ourselves, like I wanna do it.
You don’t wanna vocalize it. You don’t wanna tell your friend, Hey, I’m thinking about joining this industry. And once I started doing that, you know, it. Very, especially with cannabis I was like, there’s no one I’m gonna know who’s doing anything or this I’m not gonna have it. Once you tell one person they’re like, oh, I think I know someone who you should talk to.
And then you talk to that person and they’ll open doors to someone else. And so I think the best place to start is even within your network and your circle of friends, like where there’s comfort there, like you feel safe there and you’d be surprised at what you can find. And beyond that, and, and on my journey, many of the folks I did talk to encouraged me to join different groups on LinkedIn or groups on Facebook that are bringing together like-minded individuals, you know, on the cannabis side.
There’s. Just a wealth of different groups to join for women in cannabis, um, for individuals coming into the space. But every industry has that too. And so finding those communities where you can start to build those relationships and, you know, it can be as simple as, sending a message like, you know, just, it starts with the ask, just reach out to someone that you might seeing on LinkedIn that has a job that you think you might want to do or is interesting. And just ask them, can you take them to a virtual coffee and chat, or if you’re in city, we can be in person now go out. Um, you’d be surprised how many people want to say yes and want to support.
Dan: Mm, that is such a good recommendation and just the power, the power of, of network, the power of people that often the answer is not, you know, not how to do it, but, but who, who should you be talking to? Who could you be talking to? Um, and I love just, you know what you said, just, just putting it out there, just starting the conversation, even though you don’t know where it’s gonna lead just by starting opens open doors, which is yeah, really fantastic.
Think about your, you know, looking forward into, into the future of your career? Uh, what do you, um, what’s the question here, I guess I wanna just hear you talk about like legacy, like how do you think about legacy? You know, think about like, what, what do you want your work to be remembered as you know, when you’re your later years in life, looking back on a, on a full, a full career of doing really in interesting and innovative things.
Like what’s the story that you wanted to tell.
Nicole: I think that it’s about making a difference. And that means a couple things to me. I think I derive a lot of value from, building and supporting great teams of people. And so one legacy I would hope to continue to work on and put forth is having had a great impact on the people I’ve had the fortune to work with.
Um, and whether that’s as someone who can deliver value and success to a company, um, but even on the more personal level of like helping to develop talent, helping to kind of teach and show the way. Um, and you know, I would hope that, you know, in years to come, I would be remembered in those ways, the same way I look fondly on those pillars throughout my career, that were transformative in helping to shape who I am, personally, who I am and how I show up in my career and as a professional.
And I think that legacy is extremely important. And I’ve been able to do it in a few different industries so far, and, and this is the one that I, I think is gonna be my, my long term home. So hope to continue to do that. And beyond, you know, the people element. I think it comes down to, you know, especially with cannabis we do talk about this a lot of time at work where, you know, we know this industry’s gonna look wildly different 10 years from now or 20 years from now. even in the moments today, we’ll be like, we know we’re gonna look back on this exact moment.
We’re gonna think about, remember when it was this hard, like, and now. So open, people are experiencing so many benefits. It’s I think we will see a transformation in our, hopefully our, our overall kind of general population, health and wellness as a result of it. And to even feel that our company and what we do played a role, however, large or small it might be in that development is, is a legacy that I would be really proud of.
Dan: I love it. What a fantastic response. Thank you. Thank you for that. Well, just as. Move towards wrapping up here. Um, is there anything that, you know, if people want to, if people wanna connect with you follow along with your work, is there anything you’d like to invite people to.
Nicole: Well, as I mentioned just a little bit ago, I am one of those people you can reach out to, like, if you want to know about this industry or anything that I’ve I’ve done, or any people that I can connect you to, I’m a person that loves to, to do that and to play that role. So, um, you know, you can find me, uh, on LinkedIn, I’m very active there and always communicating on my LinkedIn profile.
Nicole Brown, chief innovation officer, open book extracts, um, and you can reach out to me. You know, directly at my email. Um, you know, it’s very simply Nicole and ICO [email protected]. And you can ask me about the industry about how to get into it, about what we do questions about the products themselves I’m as our company name is I’m an open book just like us.
So please feel free to do so. Would welcome any, any of you to reach.
Dan: I love that. What a, just a kind and, and generous, uh, generous offer. So thank you. Thank you so much. It’s been so fun, um, to connect. I’ve learned a lot myself and just really appreciate you, uh, you know, putting up with all my, um, my uneducated questions and, um, just sharing so much at your story with us here today.
Thanks so much, Nicole.
Nicole: Thank you, Dan, your questions were wonderful. And I enjoyed this conversation very much. Thank you.