Spotlight Series: Ashley Kingsley, Ellementa
Meet Ashley Kingsley, one of the co-founders of Ellementa a women's network focused on health, wellness and cannabis. I first met Ashley at the Women Grow Leadership summit in Denver a couple of years back and I was struck by her energy and apparent love for her work. Since then, Ashley has teamed up with Aliza Sherman and Melissa Pierce to create a different kind of women's group. Ellementa focuses on educating members about cannabis and it's effect on health and wellness rather than business networking and has been growing steadily since the trio launched, now they can boast over 25 chapters.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I got involved with medical cannabis because my Mom got pancreatic cancer and spent two years fighting for her life. By 2008, she couldn’t get food down and was dying from malnutrition. I started educating myself and spending time with one of the first dispensary owners in Denver. He taught me about strains and the differences between CBD and THC. I had no idea I would be so deeply involved down the road. I was able to get my mom on a cannabis regimen, and she got better. She was able to eat, and it is now almost 12 years out since she was diagnosed. She is cancer free and doing amazingly.
I voted for medical and recreational legalization. I have always been a believer in the medicinal value of the Cannabis plant. I began showing up to events and then started throwing my own. I was part of the team who originated the CannaBusiness Accelerator and organized the first cannabis job fair in Denver and Seattle, WA. I met a lot of people early in the game who were blazing the trails. I spent a lot of time learning from them and continue to do so today
What time does your day typically start and what does a day look like to you?
I work with several clients and I am always in front of my laptop - and I have two kiddos. So I am ALWAYS on the run. I love what I do - so going to "work" is a joy. Generally - I work from my kitchen counter - in my PJs.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about cannabis?
That you can take cannabis without getting high. Microdosing has literally saved my life. I was opioid dependent for several years after 9 surgeries - all gynecological. I also relied heavily on alcohol to self-medicate. I haven't had a drop of alcohol in over a year.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your product or service?
The powerful women behind it and our true dedication to elevating the conversations around women and cannabis. We are veteran entrepreneurs and all have successful track records in the tech industries.
What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
Distillate - generally pour it in my coffee or tea.
Do you think cannabis legalization will change the world for the better?
If everyone took control of their own health and started doing their own research and trying cannabis - I think people would have a greater understanding of the plant and the power of the plant. I believe we have all relied too heavily on the modern healthcare system and have been trained to believe that the Doctor knows all. We are the only ones that know our bodies - and trusting our ability to heal and work with natures medicine should be the rule rather than the exception.
What advice would you offer to another woman who is looking to get into the industry?
Show up. We, women, need to support each other and I think the best advice I can give is to do everything with absolute integrity and intention.
I don’t want the soul of cannabis to be lost. Now more than ever we all need to be united.