“The idea came to me as I was shopping for my best friend’s birthday present,” Sophia Siegel recalls. “I desperately wanted to get her something to fix her ‘smoking problem’.” Siegel isn’t referring to an issue with her friend’s habit of smoking weed, but the accessories she used, “all of which screamed ‘Smoking weed is sketchy!’”
Siegel quickly realized that the cannabis accessories market was missing something huge: products for of-age college students and young professionals who don’t want to feel stigmatized for using pot to relax, relieve anxiety, or just enjoy the high.
So, the concept for Zoa Rose, Siegel’s luxe cannabis lifestyle brand, was born. She compares the notion to that of drinking, when you choose a delicate, specially crafted glass from which to sip wine. “In the same manner, we bring you thoughtful, beautiful products to help elevate your smoking experience.”
Zoa Rose sells a curated collection of smoking accessories, including their sleek ZoaEssential Tins available in Wild Forest Green and Sunshine Yellow, each filled with 15 all-natural, unbleached hemp cones and wooden packing tool. You’ll also find newly released Zoa Rose Bouquets of 20 cones for a one-time purchase or subscription service, and a line of lifestyle products like an ultra-cozy handmade hoodie. In the future, Siegel also plans to release more color options and collaborate with artists for tin designs.
While Zoa Rose exudes playfulness, Siegel is serious about the mission behind her brand. “Addressing the stigma around cannabis is extremely important to me, in part due to the fact that cannabis has become an essential tool for managing my anxiety,” says Siegel, who is a rising junior at Brown University studying philosophy. “While it’s great to have something that works, it’s a
double-edged sword – cannabis is often associated with a laundry list of negative qualities: lazy, unmotivated, etc.,” she explains, adding that this shame is widely held, particularly among women. “By creating a community based on open and honest dialogues, I hope to end the stigma around cannabis, and in particular, the stigma surrounding cannabis and mental health.”
And Siegel’s intentions don’t stop there. She expresses the inevitability of legalization in Rhode Island, but points out that merely legalizing marijuana is not enough: “Cannabis is inexorably tied to racism, and this won’t end just because prohibition does. Rather, lawmakers and businesses alike must take action to repair the harms of decades of systemic racism.”
Through Zoa Rose, Siegel is committed to educating and encouraging the community to take action and collaborate with nonprofits that share these values, like the Last Prisoner Project, to which Zoa Rose donates 10 percent of its sales each quarter. The organization works to redress the effects of cannabis criminalization through intervention, education, and criminal justice reform advocacy.
“As for the Rhode Island politicians,” Siegel begins, imparting impassioned advice, “I encourage them to take legalization as an opportunity to reinvest in communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.”
Shop, connect, and learn more at ZoaRose.com or on Instagram at @zoarose.