This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.



How It Started: Bringing People Together with Michael Scherr, CEO of Higher Celebrations & BirthJays

As part of our “How It Started” interview series, we had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Scherr, CEO of Higher Celebrations, a novelty product line for adults offering unique packaging products focused on the cannabis gifting experience and special occasions, including BirthJays, a pre-rolled joint birthday candle.
What was it about cannabis that first piqued your interest, and when did that happen? 

I used to be a touring musician until I decided to go back to school in Boston to get my MBA where I focused on entrepreneurship, branding and product development. I first started using cannabis as a medicine around the time I was playing the piano for 4 hours every night and needed relief from the pain in my wrists. I later got into cultivating my own cannabis after I tore my cartilage in a skiing accident. I started making my own hash and tinctures, fascinated by all the ways one could get high from the same plant. And unlike consuming alcohol, I never saw anyone get high on THC and start a fight, yell, or generally turn into a ‘Karen.’ 

The more research I did, the more I was blown away by the endocannabinoid system. I knew I wanted to get involved in the space in some way. I started by working with a package design and manufacturing company, then a hemp company before launching Higher Celebrations. 

How did your company come to life? What’s its origin story? 

I’m a performer at heart, and an entrepreneur by trade. As a musician, I’ve played in a variety of jazz, blues, bluegrass, rock, reggae, funk, and wedding bands, but no matter what genre or scenario, using the art of performance to bring people together and make them smile has always been a passion of mine. And that’s where the idea for higher celebrations stems from. I wanted to create products that bring people together. 

Being a passionate cannabis advocate, I also wanted to create something that helps destigmatize cannabis, normalizing its use at celebratory events as opposed to alcohol. That said, our flagship product, the Birthjay wasn’t created overnight. There were many iterations and prototypes of this idea before I figured out the best possible way to combine a joint and a birthday candle. I dipped a lot of joints into heated candle wax before I realized I needed to come up with another strategy. It’s pretty funny looking back on it now thinking about all of the perfectly good bud that I totally ruined with candle wax. I was just so determined to make it work, and eventually, the world’s first joint birthday candle was born. 

What is it about your company that makes you stand out? 

From the playful and colorful branding to the innovation of the world’s first joint birthday candle, there’s nothing remotely boring about Higher Celebrations. Our products are for experience-driven adults seeking to deviate from the norm and elevate memorable events. We are solely focused on making moments a little more special by delivering a creative combination of joy and surprise with every product.

What does your typical day look like and what do you enjoy most about your work? 

There is no typical day when running a startup, but I try to start my day with a workout, yoga, or something physical after a coffee to get the creative juices flowing. When the work commences it is always a mixed bag of email follow-up, zooms and phone calls with vendors, buyers, distributors, investors, and the sales and marketing teams.  As we grow, I hope to focus more on new product development, offering a series of differentiated adult novelty products in addition to the Birthjay. Since we have been able to hire folks for sales and marketing, it has made the day slightly different but has provided a breath of fresh air as I now have amazing people working with me to grow our vision.

What has been the highlight of your cannabis career to date? 

Getting to carry a birthday cake covered in BirthJays out to Snoop Dogg on his birthday felt like I was living a fantasy. It was a surreal experience, walking into a room clouded with smoke, as blunts were passed between all sorts of 420-friendly celebrities and household names. I placed the cake in front of Snoop on a table that had something like eight pounds of cannabis flower on it. 

Can you give us one cannabis trend that excites you?

The microdose movement in gummies and beverages is exciting as it is helping to destigmatize cannabis allowing people to not get wasted on their first time trying cannabis. I would rather someone feel nothing the first time than feel like they can’t walk or need to check in to the hospital. I was once high for two days on complete accident after eating some high-dose homemade cannabis edibles, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Microdosing is key, especially for beginners who are just getting a sense of how many milligrams is the right dose for them. 

Is there a product or service you hope someone creates to serve the cannabis community? 

A non-combustion pulmonary delivery device for accurate dosing. This will be fascinating if we can truly dose medicine this way as pulmonary delivery. I believe this to be one of the more efficacious ways to get medicine into the system. 

What is the biggest change you want to see in the sector?  

I would love to see either federal legalization or decriminalization of cannabis, leading to consistent rules that make sense for the plant, the people, and the industry.  Liquor is not a true analog and neither is pharma, we need a set of rules that benefit the numerous shareholders along the supply chain in a way that makes sense.

Any advice you would give to someone looking to enter the cannabis industry? 

Educate yourself and take what you hear at the water cooler with a grain of salt. Find a niche and lean into what you are really good at to reveal your cannabis superpower. 

What’s next for you? What should we be on the lookout for? 

We made big moves this Pride Month to recognize how much the LGBTQ+ community has historically pushed the cannabis industry forward. In celebration of both of these communities, we introduced the all-new PRIDEJAYS. These rainbow-striped pre-rolls are only available in MA through an exclusive licensing agreement with Northeast Alternatives, who is also our exclusive partner in Massachusetts for filling BirthJays. For every PRIDEJAY sold, a 50 cent donation is made to the Boston Chapter of the  non-profit Gay For Good, a nonprofit that mobilizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and ally volunteers to promote diversity, foster inclusion and strengthen ties to the broader Boston community.

We are looking to continue licensing our portfolio of products to new markets including both domestic and international. BirthJays are currently licensed and available pre rolled, Ready to Celebrate in MA, NM, and most recently NY, through partnerships with Northeast Alternatives, Pecos Valley Production and Back Home Farm, respectively. Beyond BirthJays and PrideJays, we have more products launching this year, some cannabis focused, some party focused, but no matter what, we will continue to try to bring people together through the use of innovative and novelty style products to create Higher Celebrations!

One step away from lighting up the party! 🥳🔥


Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $75 away from free shipping.
No more products available for purchase