Fast Five Q&A: Veronika Alfaro, Founder of Mi Sota Essence

fast five veronika alfaro

The cannabis space isn’t solely focused on the plant. There are many opportunities for self-expression and representation, particularly in the brands on the market. Consumers want to see themselves in the products they purchase and feel connected to what they imbibe.

Veronika Alfaro is one entrepreneur dedicated to this notion. The founder of Mi Sota Essence and a first-generation Mexican-American, Alfaro is passionate about elevating Latin culture in the emerging cannabis space. Through her line of edibles and self-care products, Alfaro is creating space for Latinos in a previously taboo arena in her culture.

Alfaro answered GreenState’s Fast Five questions, highlighting her inspiration for her products, musing on the challenges and rewards of building a brand, and offering advice for other Latina women canna-preneurs. 

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GreenState: How did your journey with cannabis start? 

Veronika Alfaro: Cannabis has touched my life in many ways, from when I was a teen to my life partner being a cannabis connoisseur and to helping my Abuelita at the end of her life with her “special tea,” which was really her weed tea. 

Even though cannabis has always been part of our lives, it’s still a taboo topic in our family. So when I decided in my mid-30s that I was going to come out of the canna closet and switch up my whole life to a cannabis lifestyle. You could imagine the whispers from my family and my kids’ friends’ parents.  

Despite the negative criticism, I felt I had to. I chose what was going to be the best option for myself.  And guess what? My body couldn’t be healthier and happier.  I’ve been able to manage my chronic pain, be a present mom for my three kids, and be a loving wife to my husband. All while becoming a badass Cannaprenuer, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! 

GS: What is your favorite way to consume?

VA: My favorite way to consume is all about layers for me. I love some good flower, preferably in fat blunt with some kind of topical for my back; either 1:1 salve or a THC patch, to set my day off right. I will say, though, that I’m trying to consume in healthier ways.  My lungs can only take so many blunts.  

We recently invested in the Volcano, which is a vaporizer, and wow! I’m really learning to love it, especially the whip, where it just blows in your face.  It’s so clean you can taste your terps, and it is a healthier alternative to blunts. I also love a good THC beverage when out socializing with friends and family at restaurants, family gatherings, or in public where smoking isn’t always allowed.  

GS: How does your Latina heritage shine through in your products?

VA: Food and culture is the unspoken language of our ancestors. If we don’t pass it on, who does? 

My vision is to do two things: one is to introduce people to Latino culture and flavors with a current emphasis on Mexican culture, being that I’m a proud Mexican American.  And the other is showing up for my people, my raza! Showing them a face like themselves. My heritage shines through in everything we do; it’s how we move and interact with others.

When we decided we were going to release our first edible, it was August 2022.  Everyone was making gummies. I wanted to differentiate ourselves from what everyone was doing. At the same time, I wanted to take up space as a Latina woman emerging into a new industry where only a small percentage of Latinos hold space in the cannabis sector. So we went to work in creating immersive cultural Mexican experiences and flavors that I grew up experiencing.  

The first edible we released using my Abuelita’s Polvorones recipe.  It’s a traditional Mexican Cinnamon sugar cookie with walnuts and infused vegan butter. We followed with the release of our first THC beverage from our upcoming beverage line called Tropical Haze. This is a THC Agua Fresca experience with minimal carbonation.  Every 4-pack comes with Chamoy and Tajin to rim up your beverage can for the full Latino experience and flavors.

GS: What have been some of the biggest challenges and rewards in having a brand?

VA: Some of the biggest challenges and rewards of having a brand are wearing the multiple hats we have to wear.  

When I first started, I didn’t realize how much work goes into building a product in an industry from the ground up in order to have space for brands to grow. This meant I had to step into a space I had never imagined I would be a part of. Political sectors, advocates, educators: here I am, and it feels good to know we are shifting the narrative that has been stigmatized for too long.  

GS: What advice do you have for other Latina women who may want to break into cannabis?

VA: Show up, Show up, Show up! Don’t underestimate yourself. ¡Sí Se Puede! 

Look up local events happening in your area and show up. Talk with people and ask questions. Keep an open mind! Connect with other Latinas in the industry. Don’t be afraid to stand out and be the only Latina in the room! 

Veronika Alfaro, a first-generation Mexican American, is a passionate advocate, founder of Mi Sota Essence, a Latina cannabis company, wife, and mother of three. Fueled by her journey and navigating the limitations of traditional Western medication, she’s dedicated to destigmatizing cannabis, breaking down barriers, creating a space for Latinos in the industry, and promoting mobility by empowering yourself through movement, cannabis, and self-care.

The answers given by Q&A subjects do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GreenState. The subject is solely responsible for the views stated in this piece.

Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of GreenState.com. She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter