Satori, winner of the DOPE Industry Washington 2016 “Cannabis Store of the Year” award, recently opened a new store in Bellingham. As the city’s only downtown dispensary—one block from the Farmers’ Market and several pubs, and a half-mile from Western Washington University, they have arguably the best location in town.
Inside, historical photos and wooden tools honor the building’s industrial past, contrasting nicely with displays of flower and extracts, and a vast selection of glass accessories. Off to the side there is a separate patient’s room for private medical consulting, and another room that houses their non-profit, “Center for Mindful Use,” a community space for cannabis-based discussion and events like meditation workshops and learning how to roll the perfect joint.
“This feels like home. I wake up in the morning and I’m excited to get here. It’s one of those things—’You’re meant to do this, run with it, you’ve got the ball!’”
Satori’s product comes from twenty-five carefully selected growers and producers from all over Washington. “One thing that separates us from other people in this area, is that we have great connections on the East side of the state, but we also represent and support our locals,” says Sharpe. Big names like Phat Panda share space with local growers like Cascadia Gardens, Sasquatch, Salish Sativas and Eagle Tree.
Sharpe has two business partners, Oscar Schmitz, founder of Dockside Co-op and Dockside Cannabis, and Justin Wilson, founder of Satori and Piece of Mind. Early on, they recruited long-time associate Joshua Besecker, who moved from Philadelphia to help assemble the team and run the store. Besecker’s inspiration and passion for the business is palpable. He says, “This feels like home. I wake up in the morning and I’m excited to get here. It’s one of those things—’You’re meant to do this, run with it, you’ve got the ball!’”
The word Satori comes from Japanese Zen Buddhism, and refers to the experience of sudden enlightenment—an apt name for a company that embodies the good feelings it promotes, and makes community-building part of its culture.