Ellementa Portland Women’s Cannabis Gathering

Twenty-five women turned up at Tillamook Station, a cannabis-friendly event space owned by Yvonne and Nate Emerson, on a warm fall evening for the second Ellementa gathering in Portland, Oregon. A warm breeze was flowing in through the large, open garage style doors as the women gathered in a circle of chairs to have a candid conversation about women’s health and the powerful medicine of cannabis.

Meg Worden, health coach, opened the floor with introductions and information on the mission of Ellementa: to provide women with the information, resources, and community to explore cannabis for wellness. She shared her personal mission to uplift the medicine for the health of women, our changing culture, and a more equitable justice system, citing her own experiences in it as an inmate, an activist, and a mentor.

After introductions, Meg turned the floor to the sponsors, first sharing her experience and love of Cascadia Herbals wellness tinctures (owned by Frea and Dave Wolfe).

Next, Mel Suchowolec of Serra share the inclusive and expansive ethos of the brand’s dispensaries and products.

Then Jill Trinchero, of She Don’t Know snacks, gave everyone the lowdown on her delicious brand of vegan, gluten free, low-dose edibles. She shared information about her new line of herbal crackers and her upcoming dog treats.

“It’s so thrilling to be present during a time when there’s so much innovation in the field of health and wellness,” said Meg. “We are so lucky to have access to such great businesses that really care about supporting the needs of women.”

Jenn Lauder from Splimm, the world’s first pot and parenting magazine and media company, took the floor to engage everyone in a fascinating and important conversation about what it means to be a mother who chooses to consume cannabis, and how challenging it is for folks in our current climate of misinformation about cannabis to fully accept this medicine as safe and as a product that can help families connect and engage without harm. Jenn shared her story and her mission with Splimm to help re-educate families and remove the stigmas that reduce access to help for so many.

Jenn opened the floor to answer questions about how to talk to children about cannabis with honesty and integrity and invited women to share their personal experiences. It was incredibly heartwarming –  and clear –  that we were in a special space when women started, one by one, opening up about their own experiences with using cannabis for everything from morning sickness to postpartum depression to being a more engaged mother.

We also heard from several women on the differences being a woman of color makes in terms of the judgment from doctors and people in general about their cannabis use. Such an important topic for everyone to remember. The racist roots of prohibition are still echoing in the current system and affecting the experiences of women and their ability to be open about the medicine that heals them and their families.

The conversation was a reminder of the importance of speaking out and of supporting groups, like Ellementa, that aim to create safe spaces for women to heal from the long term harm prohibition has caused.

It’s profound what happens when women gather around the intention of a healthier, more liberated and loving planet.

The evening closed with Meg thanking everyone dearly for their contribution, encouraging guests to support the wonderful sponsors that make Ellementa gatherings possible, and inviting women to connect with sponsors and their high quality products.

The room became animated, full of grins and women connecting with each other around the room, further sharing stories, sharing contact information. The vibe was high and happy, also deeply grateful and inspired.

It’s a testament to the mission of Ellementa to see women who didn’t arrive together leave into the night in little groups, as new friends and co-collaborators of the community, armed with new information and ideas to strengthen us all.

Jill Trinchero, She Don’t Know

EDITOR’S NOTE – Reiterating the Thanks:

Thank you to our Sponsors: Serra, Cascadia Herbals, She Don’t Know, and Splimm.
Thank you to our speaker, Jenn Lauder.
Thank you to Tillamook Station for hosting us.
And to Meg Worden for guiding a beautiful event.
Also thanks to Rachael Rice and p.u.s.s.y.w.e.e.d. for the art.

Help Us Grow Ellementa to Bring Cannabis Wellness to Women

There never seems to be a right time to launch a crowdfunding campaign when there are so many terrible things happening in the world.

We’ve started and stopped our campaign with each natural disaster that has brought devastation. We started and stopped our campaign with the horrific events that took place in Las Vegas.

But we’ve come to realize that there will be something terrible happening in the world every day. Yet life continues and business continues even as we mourn. Everyone else keeps going.

So we’ve launched our crowdfunding campaign again today. Here’s why we’re crowdfunding.

Ellementa is growing.

Our growth is, in part, thanks to the support of women like you who realize that cannabis is not the big, scary “gateway drug” we’ve been led to believe over the years.

Women like you who are open to alternative medicine and want to know more about cannabis as a medicinal plant for healing, wellness and overall wellbeing.

Women like you who are looking for relief – for yourself and your loved ones – from pain, anxiety, nausea, and more.

Ellementa is run by women, for women.

As women with a startup, we have a vision: We’re looking to expand into more cities – in both legal and “non-legal” states – to reach more women with better information about cannabis.

We want to reach women from all backgrounds and with all levels of experience with cannabis to bring them together in face-to-face Gatherings in communities across the country.

 

 

 

We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen.com to expand Ellementa’s reach.

Please help us grow Ellementa.

photo credit: Allied Steel Buildings

What’s an Ellementa Gathering?

Ellementa Gatherings are regular local meet ups where women come together in person to speak openly about cannabis for health and wellness. We address women as the epicenter of care and create content and communities to address our multi-faceted lives.

Women are nurturers, healers, caregivers. We make most of the healthcare decisions and purchases for our families. We care for our children, our partners, our aging parents. We care for our communities.

Ellementa Gatherings bring like-minded women together to learn and share.

Why Ellementa?

We’ve all been fed so much misinformation over the years about cannabis.

There is still fear and stigma around cannabis. Ellementa is the only national network that is working to bring highly relevant, vetted information about cannabis for health and wellness in a way that fits our busy and complex lives as women.

We create welcoming spaces online and off for women to learn from one another and from experts. We are laser focused on bringing quality information about cannabis wellness to women. Ellementa gives women access to the information and resources that they can’t find anywhere else and guides them to the reliable content, companies, and organizations out there that they can trust.

Ellementa connects women to better information about cannabis.

How Can You Help?

We’re raising our first seed round for Ellementa to expand to 10 more cities in the next six months. On our own, we’ve bootstrapped the launch of FIVE cities with Gatherings now happening regularly in Anchorage, Chicago, Denver, Portland and Seattle.

We partner with women in local communities to help organize Gatherings and partner with companies and organizations to support these educational and inspirational events.

But we still need additional funds to cover the costs of launching and marketing each new city to reach more women.

Please help us grow Ellementa.

Your contribution – no matter how big or how small – can help bring Ellementa Gatherings to YOUR city and to more women in need of better information about cannabis for health and wellness.

Thank you for your support.

Seed Our Growth!

Launching Ellementa in Portland

We’re on a mission to reach more women with quality information and resources geared toward her exploration of cannabis for health and wellness. To do this, we are organizing Gatherings in cities across the country, bringing women together to engage in a practice they have been doing since ancient times – storytelling and sharing around women’s issues.

Last night, we launched in our 4th city – Portland, Oregon – with the help of Meg Worden, a local health and wellness coach. The Seattle Gathering happens 7/27 with the help of local marketing strategist Heidi Miller.

The Gathering was held in a wonderful space – Tillamook Station – and the proprietor, Yvonne, joined us for an evening of candid conversation about cannabis. Yvonne runs Make and Mary that hosts crafts and cannabis events.

Find out where Ellementa is Gathering near you!

Ellementa Seattle Launches Wednesday, July 27th at 7pm.

The evening opened with a greeting from Ellementa co-founder, Aliza Sherman, telling her personal story about cannabis as well as showcasing four companies that supported the event: She Don’t Know Snacks, Cedar & Finch, Ario Vape and Levo Oil.

Then the candid conversation began.

First, Aliza spoke about her mother’s ovarian cancer and how the chemo was causing serious problems at this stage. Next step: looking into CBD. The women then took turns introducing themselves and sharing their experiences with cannabis, from using it post-hysterectomy to applying a cannabis salve to injuries after a recent car accident (sped up healing) to relief from anxiety.

One woman admitted she was not currently a consumer of cannabis but was seeking knowledge because of all of the positive anecdotal information she had been hearing. Listening to the women in the room gave her even more information to consider about cannabis for health and wellness.

The evening’s program concluded with Jill Trinchero, founder of She Don’t Know, talking about her gluten-free, 5 mg. cannabis-infused snacks. She spoke about microdosing and shared information about upcoming products she is launching this year. Stay tuned!

The goal of these in-person meetings is to tap into the amazing energy that happens when you put women in a room and give them a platform to share their wisdom.

Each one of us has wisdom to share that can bring peace and comfort or sanity-saving, even life-saving information, to other women.

Partway through the introductions, the suggestion to move from theatre seating to a circle was made, and in an instant, every woman moved her chair to form a powerful and inclusive circle. This spontaneous action was yet another example of how Ellementa Gatherings are open, responsive, and organic experiences that bring women together in a positive and welcoming way.

We encourage you to attend an Ellementa event in your area

If you are interested in organizing a Gathering in your community, please be in touch. We offer a revenue share to our Organizers.

Learn more about promoting relevant products or services to our community of women.

A Month of Ellementa Giveaways!

RELEASE: Web Pioneer Moves Into Emerging Cannabis Industry

Founder of first woman-owned web company launches women’s cannabis startup

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Web and social media pioneer, Aliza Sherman, entered the legal cannabis industry in March 2016 and identified a need for women-specific information and resources. Sherman opened a cannabis-focused digital marketing firm, Spark The Creative, then launched Her Canna Life, a website featuring women in the cannabis industry. Now, she is launching Ellementa, a cannabis wellness network and resource for women. Ellementa is organizing Gatherings for women in cities across the country including Anchorage, Chicago, Denver, New York City, and San Francisco focused on the health and wellness benefits of cannabis.

“Ellementa sets out to bust myths, erase stigma, and provide women with credible, relevant information about cannabis,” said Sherman. “Like the Internet in the 90s, cannabis is a complex topic often approached with fear. Like the Internet back then, cannabis is poised to make a tremendous, positive impact on our economy and our lives, and women can and should benefit from that.”

In 1995, Sherman started the first woman-owned Internet company, Cybergrrl, Inc., and the first organization for women to learn about the Internet, Webgrrls, International, that peaked at 100 chapters worldwide with 30,000 participants. That year, Newsweek named her one of the “Top 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet.”

Sherman is not the only Internet professional moving from the tech industry to cannabis. Ex-Googler Alan Gertner started Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis lifestyle brand and ex-Googler Michael Garganese, Jr. started Lola Lola, a producer of high-end cannabis products. Ex-Apple employee, Eric Eslao, launched edibles company, Défoncé Chocolatier. Veteran PayPal executive, Dave Peck, recently joined Kind Financial, a cannabis technology and compliance solutions company. Sherman is leading the way for women in the tech industry transitioning into the legal cannabis space.

For interviews: Angeles Winesett, angelesw@gmail.com, 907-312-2922

2nd Sold Out Anchorage Gathering

What a night! We sold out another Gathering on May 18th in Anchorage, Alaska. If we had any doubt that women are eager to learn about cannabis for wellness, we are certain now that we are on to something!

We heard from speakers Dr. Bruck Clift and Jonnie Gunther about cannabis and pain. The women in attendance had many questions and stories to share. One women opened up about her incredible journey coming off of opioids through the use of cannabis to address her pain.

Our next Gathering will be held in Denver on June 7, 2017 at 7pm at Post Modern Company.

A major revelation for us was that simply creating a safe space for open conversations about cannabis serves a tremendous need. Women are seeking quality information about cannabis and benefit greatly from hearing about other women’s experiences.

Ellementa provides the support women need to better understand cannabis as a healing plant. Ellementa Gatherings and online forums are the safe spaces for women to explore and share.

Thanks to our sponsors, Salon Davinci, Indigo Tea Lounge, and Enlighten Alaska for their support of this amazing evening!

Want to Join Ellementa as a member? Check out the perks!

Learn more about Ellementa Gatherings.

Denver Gathering on June 7th

We’re excited to announce that both Aliza Sherman and Melissa Pierce, Ellementa co-founders, will be at the first Denver Gathering on Wednesday, June 7 at Postmodern!

The evening will be led by Denver Gathering Organizer Ashley Kingsley, a business strategist and entrepreneur, and the topic will be “Exploring Cannabis & Women’s Health” – a conversation.

One goal of Ellementa is to create safe spaces where women can speak openly about cannabis without fear of judgment. All three women will share personal anecdotes and open the discussion up to women in attendance.

Wed, June 7, 2017
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM MDT
Postmodern Company
2734 Walnut Street
Denver, CO 80205

GET TICKETS!

We welcome all women to our Gatherings and include the opportunity for women to gift admission to a woman in need in their community. Admission fees go toward organizing, marketing and running the Gatherings.

Future presentations will include subject matter experts on topics including medicinal uses of cannabis, parenting challenges surrounding cannabis use, and safety and legal issues.

Interested in sponsoring the Denver Gathering or a Gathering near you? We’d love to hear from you. Get in Touch!

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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.

Ellementa Anchorage – The First Gathering

The evening of the first Ellementa event, I was nervous. I’d spent several weeks organizing and promoting the Gathering along with our first sponsor, Enlighten Alaska – a family-owned licensed marijuana store in Anchorage. I was nervous because this was the moment that would set the stage for the new company I was forming with a longtime friend, documentary filmmaker and tech marketer Melissa Pierce.

Would women show up? Were women really interested in cannabis for wellness as we were telling anyone who would listen?

The answer was yes, absolutely. We were at capacity with 50 women sitting in folding chairs set up in the open retail space, all eager to learn about the healing benefits of cannabis.

The evening was a whirlwind of introductions, a heartfelt presentation from Geneva Cowen of Alaska Cannabis Exchange talking about the features of Cannabidiol or CBD, a cannabinoid contained in cannabis with healing properties. That was followed by a panel discussion with Jane Stinson and Leah Levinton, mother and daughter and part owners of Enlighten Alaska with their son Evan. I emceed and moderated and told my own personal cannabis wellness story.

After the presentations, the women got to chance to peruse the display of Erbanna handbags (attendees received a 20% off discount card) and were also able to purchase productfrom Enlighten (yes, cannabis – it is legal to purchase cannabis in Alaska if you’re 21 or older).

We were all amazed at the response to the event – and to the positive feedback on the concept of Ellementa.

I kept hearing the same refrain from the women who attended: “I’m so glad this exists.”

If I had any doubt of the power of our first meeting, a few weeks later, I was attending a women’s expo at our downtown convention center and something happened. Two women came up to me and greeted me. When I didn’t recognize them, they said, “We were at your event. We met there, and now we’re friends and hanging out!”

To me, that summarizes what Melissa and I are trying to build with Ellementa. It isn’t just a safe and trusted space – online and offline – for women to learn about cannabis wellness. Ellementa is a community for women to connect with one another. A place for them – for us – to find our element.

Learn more about our Ellementa Gatherings.

Interested in attending or organizing a Gathering in your town? Get in touch!