HerCannaLife: Sirita Wright, Estrohaze

Women come to cannabis for a myriad of reasons. Telling our stories is essential to help eliminate the stigma around cannabis that prevents women from getting access to the information – and products and services – they want or need. We’re partnering with HerCannaLife.com to bring you women’s stories about their personal cannabis journeys. 

Meet Sirita Wright of Estrohaze

Excerpted from HerCannaLife.com

Describe yourself and what you do.

This is such a hard question. I often shy away from describing myself and let other people do it so I don’t come across as too “self-serving.”

All jokes aside, I am an entrepreneur. A true creative at heart, I majored in Fashion Merchandising in college because I loved fashion and always endeavored to work in fields that I enjoyed, never stunting too much about the salary as I believe money always follows passionate and talented individuals.

To break it down further, I am an actress and a social media marketer as well as the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of EstroHaze; a cannabis media company and community plugging multicultural women to the business and lifestyle opportunities in the cannabis industry.

Safon Floyd, Kali Wilder and Sirita Wright

What is your personal cannabis origin story?

My move in the early 2000’s to NYC set me on a path to getting to know myself and being okay with me. I was having a rough few years. My car was always in and out of the shop, right after I paid it off, I swear. The recession had tripped me up financially, and I was just getting out of a rocky relationship.

During this time, I began extensively working on myself. I had lost faith in everything and very reluctantly “let go and let God” as the saying goes. I really wanted to BE a better me.

I began interning at a yoga studio and doing hot yoga two to three times per week. I was reading books like The Seat of The SoulPurpose Driven LifeLove Poems from God and the Bible, all with a joint in hand, everyday.

I was acting in local plays and working odd jobs, but I was at peace. Between the books, yoga and pastors like TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer and the Cannabis, I was on an eye-opening spiritual journey.

Cannabis opened my spirit to another world. It enhanced my thinking, and I was getting the wisdom I needed to make my next moves.

There is something to pot and prayer – this might be a series on EstroHaze.com one day.

What is your Superpower?

Doin’ me and being OK with it!

Being myself has opened up doors that were otherwise shut to me. These doors would have remained shut if I hadn’t got to know myself. It took years for me to get to that place, and I just take it day by day. Because we all have insecurities. but I know I am stronger than them.

Before I was born, I was powerful, and sometimes you need to remind yourself of that. There is a bigger reason I am here and building EstroHaze with women who are my friends and business partners. We have spent over four months living together, building the foundation for our business, the first part of our legacies – collectively and individually.

When our powers combined, it set off a new chain of cosmic events that have yet to truly shift the cannabis ecosystem. When I think about the fact that we all worked together at another company – just baking for this shared experience – it blows my mind.

Read the rest of her story…


Travel: 4 Places to Stay and Consume

With the legalization of cannabis now in full effect in many U.S. states, where can you go and where can you stay to legally enjoy a little cannabis during your visit?

We’ve pulled together a short list of some overnight accommodation options from the Last Frontier to the Rocky Mountains, with a couple of city destinations in between. All are 420-friendly meaning they allowing cannabis consumption, either outdoors, indoors or both. Some even provide cannabis as an amenity. Yes, really.

1. Bowman’s Bear Creek Lodge – Hope, Alaska

Hope is a historic mining settlement situated between picturesque mountains on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Bowman’s Bear Creek Lodge in Hope features seven log cabins for rent. Enjoy the quintessential Alaskan lodging experience only 1 hour and 20 minutes from Anchorage. Take a paddleboat out on the pond, travel to Whittier for a sea kayak excursion or Seward to explore the Alaska Sea Life Center. Then feast on a five-course gourmet dinner at the end of the day, and wind down enjoying conversation with good company around their nightly campfire.

Price: From $250 per night + tax
Accommodates: Up to 22 people, 7 bedrooms
Nearest Airport: Anchorage International
Amenities: Fireplace, kitchen, WiFi, free parking, complimentary toiletries
Attractions: Bicycling, fishing, hiking, kayaking, shopping, museums, whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing
Pet Friendly: No
Cannabis Provided: No but 420-friendly
Where To Smoke: Outside
Nearby Dispensaries: Anchorage, Sterling, or Kenai

2. Mountain Home Oasis with Private Entrance – Boulder, Colorado

Enjoy a private room with private entrance in this charming mountain home oasis with a full kitchen and private bathroom. A great escape for couples or a solo traveler. You’ll be spoiled with spectacular sunset views in a relaxing setting overlooking the Boulder Flatirons, Betasso Preserve, and Arkansas Mountain. Close to restaurants, parks, hiking, and the Eldora ski resort.

Price: From $119 per night + tax
Accommodates: 2
Nearest Airport: Denver International
Amenities: Air conditioning, television,WiFi, kitchen, patio, washer/dryer, toiletries, free parking
Attractions: Skiing, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, museums, shopping, live theatre, wildlife viewing
Pet Friendly: Negotiable
Cannabis Provided: Yes – and a Volcano vaporizer.
Where To Smoke: Outside
Nearby Dispensaries: In town

3. The Travel Joint’s 420 Luxury Condo – Las Vegas, Nevada

This signature property is the place to go to escape the bright city lights on the Las Vegas Strip. This modern, 33rd-floor 1-bedroom condo is adjacent to the Palms Casino Resort, offering guests a 4-Diamond experience with majestic views of the Spring Mountains to the west. It comes fully stocked with curated cannabis products for visitors to enjoy.

Price: From $140 per night + tax
Accommodates: 4 people
Nearest Airport: McCarran International Airport
Amenities: 24-hour room services, concierge services, VIP check-in lounge, hot tub, sun deck, VIP nightlife host, salon and nail bar, fitness center, transportation services, pool
Attractions: Las Vegas Strip and beyond
Pet Friendly: No
Cannabis Provided: Yes
Where To Smoke: Inside is fine
Nearby Dispensaries: Partner dispensaries are within walking distance

4. Private Room in a 1960’s Post + Beam Hideaway – Palm Springs, California

Enjoy a peaceful stay in a residence surrounded by mature landscaping and a unique cactus garden. The convenient location is close to a wide variety of area activities. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, casinos, coffee shops, museums and wildlife viewing, then retreat to your private room at the end of a fun-filled day to relax.

Price: From $99 per night + tax
Accommodates: 6 people
Nearest Airport: Palm Springs or LAX
Amenities: Netflix, ShowTime, pool, spa, grill, backyard, garden, fully stocked kitchen, fireplace
Attractions: Casinos, coffee shops, bicycling, hiking, mountain biking, museums, live music, shopping
Pet Friendly: Yes
Cannabis Provided: Yes
Where To Smoke: Outside
Nearby Dispensaries: In town and delivery options

Whether you’re gathering up your girlfriends for a weekend escape or going for a romantic getaway – you’ve got options.

Looking for more 420-friendly places to stay? Check out our friends at Bud and Breakfast!


My Cannabis Wellness Story

Aliza Sherman is co-founder of Ellementa

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am a woman sharing my story.

When I first heard about cannabis for non-addictive pain relief and insomnia relief, my first thought was, “If it is so effective, then why is it illegal?”

I’ve been suffering from chronic neck pain for several years after two frozen shoulders and a few years of physical therapy trying to get my mobility back. I was in my mid-40s with the first frozen shoulder, my late 40s with the second one, and in my early 50s in near-constant neck pain from years of computer use.

I’ve always refused to take any pill stronger than Advil, and I’ve worried about the effects of too much Advil on my liver. I decided long ago that opioids would never be for me, long before the news was filled with horror stories about the ravages of opioids in our communities nationwide. I won’t take sleeping pills after a nightmarish Ambien experience that left me hallucinating. So I suffered.

And I wasn’t the only one who suffered. My family endured the ill effects of my lack of sleep and chronic pain – irritability and a short temper being the most prevalent.

I was a ticking time bomb, ready to explode from sleep deprivation and frazzled nerves.

I was miserable and making everyone around me miserable.

Exploring cannabis as a wellness alternative wasn’t simple even for me: a woman who has embraced alternative medicines, herbs, homeopathy, applied kinesiology, chiropractic and the like since the 1980s.

First, there was the issue of legality.

The federal government still clings to anti-marijuana propaganda dating back to the early 1900s. Yes, that’s how out of touch and outdated the War on Drugs’ inclusion of marijuana is, not to mention racist and corrupt. But that’s another story.

My Cannabis Experiences

From a legal standpoint, I was living in Alaska, a state where cannabis had been legal for personal use since the 1970s. Still, I didn’t know the first thing about obtaining marijuana legally for pain relief, much less what to buy or how to consume it.

I still felt fear about turning to cannabis, no matter how much research I read from credible medical and scientific sources dispelling the myths. I was the girl who in fifth grade won Honorable Mention for a science fair exhibit called “Close Encounters of the Worse Kind” where I regurgitated the information I found in 1980s textbooks that marijuana was a “gateway drug” to heroin, something that has been disproven many times over but is still a falsehood perpetrated by our government today.

Sure, I smoked a little pot back in high school and college. I wasn’t entirely ignorant about cannabis or smoking accessories. Yet in my early 50s, I felt lost and embarrassed and somewhat afraid to consider cannabis to relieve the pain that was casting darkness over my life.

Obtaining Cannabis

As I educated myself about the business and marketing side of cannabis, I began speaking at cannabis-related events. At one event, I happened upon a booth where a company guided people step-by-step through the process of getting a marijuana medical card. I paid several hundred dollars to go through the process.

While it was a relief to have someone knowledgeable guide me, I later learned that because I was over 21 and living in a legal state, I didn’t need a medical card for cannabis. I made an expensive mistake because of my own ignorance about the laws. I should have asked around, but that brought me back to my embarrassment about lacking in knowledge.

Finally, I connected with several women who were incredibly kind and generous with information about cannabis. One explained to me the various compounds within the cannabis plant that can be released when consumed providing potentially positive effects including anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative.

Another woman agreed to be my “caregiver” to provide me with legally grown cannabis. Alaska has a caregiver model versus a medical dispensary model. Individuals are allowed to grow a certain number of cannabis plants for a limited number of patients.

Now I had cannabis and a dried flower vaporizer (also known as a “vape pen”) that offered precise temperatures to release specific terpenes for specific effects (insomnia relief, for example) – and I was still nervous about trying it.

When I finally mustered the courage, I was careful to consume at bedtime after the kids were asleep – just two to three puffs off the vape pen. Then I read or worked some crossword puzzles until I drifted to sleep. The first time I tried it, I slept through the night. Not only did I sleep through the night, but I did not wake up in pain, I did not have night sweats (something common whenever I have a glass of red wine in the evenings), and I woke up clear headed and rested.

That first morning when I realized I had slept an uninterrupted eight hours, I cried.

A Mission Around Cannabis Wellness

I still am nervous about consuming, but I’m getting more comfortable over time. I don’t do it around my family. I worry about the smell even though vaporizers are less odorous than other smoking implements.

I don’t use it nightly mostly because I don’t want there to be any cumulative effect from regular use, and I don’t want to become overly reliant on it. These are my own personal fears – not based on facts. After decades of hearing the propaganda, I still have a ways to go until I fully embrace this healing plant.

When I am not smoking, I apply a CBD Hemp Extract topically to my neck and shoulders for some relief.

I’m still in the learning stage, but hearing so many women talk about the wellness benefits that cannabis is bringing to their lives, I realize I’m not alone.

Now I’m on a mission to help other women like me understand more about cannabis for wellness, for themselves – and in some cases, for their loved ones. The stories – about cannabis helping children with epilepsy, helping cancer patients with appetite and with relief from chemo-induced nausea, helping seniors with arthritis pain and even calming the agitation from dementia – are mind-boggling.

How could a natural and ancient healing plant with unique properties and benefits be outlawed? 

It really makes you question the motives behind decisions to bar access to something that time and time again has proven not to be a dangerous substance; something that continues to help people who are suffering find non-addictive, low-side-effect relief from their pain.

I’m on a mission to empower women with knowledge so they can make informed decisions about cannabis wellness in a safe and discreet way, learning from other women who have experience and wisdom to share.

Won’t you join me?

If you are interested in learning more, please join our email list to be stay on top of news and events around cannabis wellness so we can accomplish this mission, together.

Cannabis and Our Kids

Getting a good night’s sleep can seem like a miracle for many women, especially moms.

Dealing with the stresses of day-to-day managing of a household, a career, relationships and the multifaceted lives of our kids can overwhelm us and lead to anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness and chronic pain.

We persevere because we have to. We love our kids, we love our partners, but we ignore the symptoms of burnout we may be experiencing. We continue to take care of others around us without stopping to take care of ourselves.

On top of all of this, you could add the stresses of aging. I had my daughter at 41. My husband and I adopted our teenage son when I was 50. Aging is not for the faint of heart.

Between postpartum depression, perimenopause, and menopause, I’ve had my share of physical stressors that have compounded the stress of everyday life. No wonder women like me often reach for wine or another adult beverage in the evenings to decompress, wind down, and mellow out.

‘But what about the kids?’

I think I’m a good mom. I’m a better mom when I’m well-rested and not experiencing chronic pain from arthritis in my neck. Using cannabis as a sleep aid has helped me tremendously, but it also brings up a lot of questions as a parent:

Do I tell my kids, and if so, what do I tell them? How can I reconcile doing what is legal in the state where we live but illegal federally while telling my pre-teen daughter and teenage son not to do drugs at all?

Right now, my kids know that I have a few clients with cannabis-related businesses. I’ve explained to them the legal issues around cannabis and pointed out that I’m not selling the plant itself or handling it as part of my business. I’m marketing cannabis companies, products and services, all legitimate businesses in legal states.

My son knows what cannabis is and was exposed to it in his “previous life” pre-adoption. He says he has no interest in using it. He finds it amusing that I’m in the cannabis industry, and he always gives me a knowing smile when the subject comes up.

My daughter isn’t 100% sure what cannabis is. She does know that drugs are bad since several grade school programs told her so. I’ve asked my son not to talk about his knowledge of drugs around my daughter simply because he is not able to properly communicate the information to her.

I recently spoke with a client of mine, who runs a traditional, non-cannabis smoke shop, about parenting with cannabis in the house. I asked him how he handles using cannabis around his kids. He has two young daughters under 10. He told me that from the start, he explained to them that cannabis is a medicinal plant, medicine for grown ups.

“We don’t make a big deal about it,” he says. “We don’t treat it like it’s anything out of the ordinary.”

He admits that he leaves smoking accessories around the house in a casual and normal way like you might leave a bottle of wine on the kitchen counter. But he keeps the cannabis safely out of reach.

When I have any in the house, I keep it in a locked box.

We need to talk to our kids – when they’re ready

I think normalizing conversations around cannabis is important – not just amongst adults but with our kids as well.

At 4 years old, my daughter knew that “Mommy loves wine and Daddy loves beer.” Someday, responsible cannabis use will sound just as normal.

We can tell our kids the facts: that cannabis is scientifically proven safer than alcohol overall but still alters your senses and impairs your brain function. They should avoid it until their brains are fully formed, waiting until at least 21. And that once they are 21, they can choose to consume cannabis legally – medicinally, recreationally or both – in 28 states plus Washington DC.

I want my kids to be informed and to know the law of the land as well as the rules of our house and to obey both. I will continue to speak to them about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and try to explain why the laws around cannabis are the way they are and why they must change. Open communication is key.

At the moment, my kids haven’t directly asked if I use cannabis, and I’m not offering that information… yet. But I think explaining the medicinal benefits of cannabis and modeling responsible use and behaviors around it can speak volumes.

Aliza Sherman is founder of Ellementa