James Schmachtenberger

Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder

At a very early age, James discovered that he had little attraction to the road most traveled.

James was off and on between traditional school and home school during his youngest years and then after 7th grade, he decided to permanently drop out of school (take that Zuckerberg). Then, when his parents tried to get him a tutor to finish high school, he dropped out of that too. After taking a year off to watch TV he spent the next 2 years managing a book company half the year and going to community college the other half. Next, he almost managed a year at Maharishi University of Management before he dropped out of that as well.

Then, at the age of 17, he attended Body Mind College in San Diego, after two years he finally learned his lesson. His calling wasn’t to be found in books or classrooms – it was in solving problems. Body Mind College had a great mission and great staff – but wasn’t living up to its potential. So, instead of graduating, he convinced management to let him run it. Ultimately, he ended up buying Body Mind College and operating it for nine years until he exited in 2010.

This experience exposed him to the next problem that would command his attention: cannabis. Interacting with patients and practitioners, he saw first hand the real benefits of medical cannabis use. He also saw how much of a mess the law was and how much of the information that people had access to was somewhere between wrong and downright deceptive. Solving this problem was to become his main focus for the next six years.

After opening his first dispensary, he turned his attention to the information side, starting a film production company and producing Medicinal Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health, one of the most viewed documentaries on medical cannabis as well as The Science of Weed, the most comprehensive documentary ever made on medicinal marijuana.

Then he began to wrestle with the law via advocacy and movement building at both Citizens for Patient Rights and the Association of Cannabis Professionals, one of the first and largest trade associations for the cannabis industry, where he served as President and then Chairman. Most recently, he co-founded Mankind Cooperative – one of the only fully licensed and approved dispensaries in San Diego.

But by 2014, he found himself chewing on another problem. A big one.

Like many of us, James has noticed that the world is in trouble. Our challenges are big and getting bigger – and we are going to need a lot of help if we want to be able to face up to those challenges. Unlike most of us, however, he didn’t shy away from the magnitude of the challenge. Instead, he started the Neurohacker Collective.

The idea is simple: build a global movement that is capable of a comprehensive upgrade of human capacity in the next five years.

That’s James.