Aliza Sherman is the CEO and Co-founder of Ellementa, @ellementawoman, a national network and resource providing education for women interested in learning about cannabis for wellness.
Aliza is a web pioneer and founder of Cybergrrl, Inc. and Webgrrls International who helped pave the way for women in the Internet industry to get online and benefit from the web.
After 25+ years in the Internet industry, she now runs Ellementa, bringing women together with experts and brands in cities across North America to exchange better information about cannabis and CBD for health and wellness.
Read our Q&A below to know how Aliza and her company Ellementa is helping market cannabis especially for women.
Ganjly: What was your career prior to entering the cannabis industry? When did you see cannabis as a career opportunity?
Aliza Sherman: I’ve been a digital marketing strategist since the early 1990s.
I was part of the first wave of Internet entrepreneurs and the first woman to start a full-service new media company called Cybergrrl, Inc., and the first global organization for women to learn about the Internet from other women called Webgrrls International.
In early 2016, I began seeing some interesting developments in the legal cannabis industry and started a digital marketing company for cannabis companies called Spark the Creative.
Soon after, I started a website called HerCannaLife.com to feature Q&A’s with women in the cannabis industry.
While growing my new company and publishing content to my website, I realized that there was a huge gap in the cannabis industry—a lack of brands and products addressing the complex health, wellness, and caregiving needs of women.
Ellementa was born in early 2017 out of a desire to connect women to better information about cannabis and CBD specifically for health and wellness.
Ellementa now operates in over 35 cities across the U.S. and Canada, bringing women, cannabis experts and brands together to talk about cannabis wellness.
Ganjly: How can working women benefit from cannabis and CBD?
Aliza Sherman: The more I’ve learned about cannabis and CBD, and the more I’ve spoken with women who have benefited from both, it’s clear that women’s needs and preferences are so varied—there is no one size fits all.
The women we target with Ellementa—35+, new or returning consumers who are often negatively affected by the stigma and misinformation out there—are most interested in simply feeling better or utilizing cannabis and CBD for wellness and caregiving for their loved ones.
They don’t know where to turn, and once they find Ellementa, they often gravitate toward information about microdosing.
Women we serve are surprised to learn how effective smaller doses of cannabis can be to relieve inflammation and pain, aid in getting a good night’s sleep, de-stress, and reduce anxiety and panic.
Ganjly: How can moms benefit from cannabis and CBD?
Aliza Sherman: Knowing that there are many ways to take cannabis and get positive health benefits can be a revelation for women because it shatters the stereotypes and opens up new possibilities for greater overall wellbeing.
A lot of women, and especially moms we meet, tell us, “I don’t want to get high. I just want to feel better.”
That’s not to say that women don’t simply want to enjoy the high, but a busy, working woman or a working mom often wants to be able to function to handle her many roles.
Moms want to be present for their children—and many moms we speak with about cannabis and kids say they are able to relax more and spend more quality time with their kids when they consume cannabis in appropriate amounts.
Cannabis and CBD can help them de-stress, reduce pain and inflammation, get a better night’s sleep—all things that can put them in a better state of mind to cope with the rigors of parenting plus all the other things they’re busy doing.
These benefits don’t even take into consideration the ways moms are able to help their children with acute seizures or conditions such as Tourette’s and autism.
Ganjly: How can cannabis companies market their products and services? What is one commonly overlooked thing that cannabis companies can address to improve their marketing presence?
Aliza Sherman: Savvy cannabis companies realize that the mature, discerning female consumer is their most promising target market.
Women new to cannabis and CBD are seeking education first—not just on the health and wellness benefits but also how to incorporate cannabis legally and responsibly into their lives.
Cannabis companies need to consider the imagery they use to promote their products and their messaging.
Understanding the female consumer and what she is seeking out of cannabis or CBD means not making assumptions, not falling into stereotypes, and not underestimating the shopping power of women.
Ganjly: What is Ellementa and where do you see Ellementa in 5 years?
Aliza Sherman: Ellementa is the bridge between cannabis and CBD brands and the women they want to reach.
For women, we curate the best products, services, and experiences as they embark on or fine tune their cannabis wellness journeys.
Ellementa has been surveying women about their interests and needs in terms of cannabis and CBD for over a year and working with brands to provide market research and product reviews to help them not only understand what women want but how to improve their products, packaging, and marketing to better serve them.
In five years, Ellementa will be THE brand women think of first when they are thinking about, seeking out, or consuming cannabis for health and wellness.
Ellementa is their guide to the best products, services, and events offered by the industry to perfectly suit their needs.
Ganjly: What was one of the largest obstacles you faced in the cannabis industry?
Aliza Sherman: So far, the obstacles Ellementa faces are the same as any startup—cash flow, capitalization, and marketing in an overly noisy landscape.
In terms of cannabis, the big obstacles for all of us in the industry are the ever-changing and patchwork quilt legal landscapes and the fact that what we’re selling or marketing is still illegal due to greed and misinformation.
Ganjly: What’s one piece of advice you can offer to people considering entering the cannabis industry?
Aliza Sherman: Anyone wanting to enter the cannabis industry should do their homework and start by speaking to as many people in the industry as possible to get a clear picture of what you’re getting into.
If you are serious, focused, and hard working, you’ll be able to break in, but you need to know what you’re getting into and understand the laws in your area—then stay within them.
Thanks, Aliza, for taking the time to answer our questions and share your experiences. To learn more about Aliza and her company Ellementa, go to Ellementa.com.