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We caught up with Whitney Merchant and Allison Blaire of Temple of the Enchantress and they talked about women’s health and unlocking the secret to ultimate wellness: cannabis.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
It was a pretty roundabout journey for us. We met in breakdancing class (yes, really). Then we each fell in love with a different dance style, both of which were very feminine- pole dance for Whitney, and waacking/voguing for Alison. We were stunned to discover that although we were exploring very different movement styles, we were having the same awakening. By connecting to a really feminine form of self-expression, we felt more powerful, and more in touch with who we really are.
At the same time, we were both studying Taoist practices of cultivating female sexual energy through breathwork, self-massage and meditation. Basically, it’s the Traditional Chinese Medicine version of Tantric sex.
So we had the idea to teach women how to increase sensual pleasure and sexual power through feminine movement and energy cultivation techniques. And that’s the business we originally planned to start.
Alison first brought up cannabis because she’s a pharmacist who had started consulting on formulations for cannabis topicals and saw the benefits for women’s health. She created a vaginal cannabis lube for her mom to help treat symptoms of menopause, and her mom was getting such great results that she wanted to share the lube to all of her friends with similar issues.
It was a light bulb moment for us! Especially since Whitney uses cannabis before sex and before dance class to increase sensation and pleasure, it really felt like the missing piece of what we wanted to offer women.
The more women we spoke with, the more apparent it became that there was a huge need we could address with cannabis products. So we shifted our focus to developing a product line. Each product comes with a corresponding energy cultivation practice. Customers get access to a video that guides them through the practice using the product.
We still plan to offer workshops and retreats that emphasize feminine movement and sexual energy cultivation, but our current focus is on establishing ourselves in the cannabis market.
What is your mission with Temple of the Enchantress?
Temple of the Enchantress exists to help women feel more fully alive through sensual movement, sexual energy cultivation, and intentional cannabis use. Sensuality allows us to access this sense of aliveness that we all crave. That feeling of fullness can be expanded further by harnessing sexual energy. Cannabis is the tool that brings it all together. It amplifies the sensual practices, and does amazing things for sexual health.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
In five years, we would like to be a successful cannabis lifestyle brand. For us, the products are just one piece of what we offer. We also focus on education, and we want our educational experiences to be really fun. Our vision is to host epic events that combine learning and training with a kick-ass dance party. We want women to learn valuable practices while having such a great time that they leave feeling powerful, irresistible, and unstoppable. We really do want to build a community. We even envision our own merchandise line of sexy clothes and accessories.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
The financial price of entry seems to be the biggest and most complex challenge that we’ve faced. The biggest reward has been seeing how excited women get when we tell them what we do. We particularly hear from women going through menopause about how desperate they are to find safer alternatives to hormone replacement therapy. We are really excited to meet a significant need in so many women’s lives.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
If you’re in the early stages, focus on building your network. Go to the conferences, workshops and events. Get on Instagram. The cannabis community is a very supportive community to be part of. Find the people who are excited about what you do, and explore ways to help each other grow.