Garden Reviews, Washington, Washington Garden

SOLSTICE, SIX YEARS IN: Washington’s Pioneering Producer Continues to Lead

By: Will Kersten

In 2011, in Seattle’s SoDo district, Solstice became Washington’s first commercial cannabis grower with a vision of a medicine-based, socially responsible industry. Now, the Tier 3 producer/processor has gone from a team of six to “knocking on the door of a hundred employees,” says co-founder and Senior Vice President Alex Cooley. Where they used to grow a few dozen pounds per year, it’s now measured in metric tons, in their 28,000 square foot facility. But it’s not all about numbers and high yield. Solstice has remained focused on patients’ needs, producing high-potency CBD strains and extracts, and with I-502, bringing that level of care to its recreational products.

“Cannabis is very important to a lot of people, like food is. And to be able to provide them with high quality ingredients, nourishment and medicine is a profound opportunity that comes with a lot of responsibility.”

– Alex Cooley

They source new and traditional genetics from all over the world and selectively breed strains, bringing out the best qualities of each parent. They grow about 200 strains at a time, and Cooley’s personal favorite is Shurman #7, a cross of Blueberry Cheesecake and The White. “It is absolutely amazing. It’s a little over two-to-one CBD to THC, and it’s phenomenal—an any-time-of-the-day type of smoke with great medicinal value,” he says.

The company brings its values into business relationships too, from collaborating with small family farms in win/win partnerships, to the way it treats its employees. People who work at Solstice get a living wage, health coverage, 401K, stock options and even continuing education subsidies. “We have a lot of programs like that to make sure everyone can be successful in the company, as well as in their own lives,” says Cooley.

Solstice gets to change the world. They provide so much for so many people. Cooley says, “Cannabis is very important to a lot of people, like food is. And to be able to provide them with high quality ingredients, nourishment and medicine is a profound opportunity that comes with a lot of responsibility.”

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