It is a time of great change for cannabis in Washington State and across the country. When we founded Solstice in early 2011, our goal was to establish a legitimate and consistent source for medical access. We believed strongly in the medicinal and wellness applications of this amazing plant but knew that if the industry continued to call duffel bags full of garage-grown cannabis “medicine” the image would never change.
In the spring of 2011 Solstice co-founders Will Denman and Alex Cooley helped author the collective garden model, which served as the framework for a legitimate supply-chain and ushered in a new era of quality control, standardization, and research. In August of that same year, Solstice started as the first commercial cannabis production company the state had ever seen.
From inception our goal has been to present the plant in the most beautiful way possible; to search far and wide for the best varieties; to cultivate them in an environmentally responsible way; to test, develop, and breed in search of different applications; to be a positive participant in the communities we operate and in the end, champion a new message for cannabis. The components of these convictions are laid out below in our brand tenants.
The first step to cultivating quality cannabis is the environment. In 2011, we built Washington State’s first-ever permitted cannabis facility in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. Working to create new zoning proved difficult, but the result was improved standards that would help raise the collective bar.
After adult-use market opened in 2014, we built a new state-of-the-art facility just blocks from our original site. Our new home is a culmination of our previous efforts, utilizing advanced technology to save power and energy while offering environmental controls that allow us to dial in our process.
During eighty years of prohibition, the cannabis plant never stopped evolving. Underground artists continued to breed and develop genetics that now serve as a library for the consumption renaissance. It’s critical to acknowledge this stigmatized history to truly engage it, and bring to light the best of what the plant has to offer.
When we started, we searched far and wide for the best varietals we could find. At home, we cultivated, tested, and bred new phenos that offer original versions of storied strains. This pursuit has led to three-time grower of the year in Washington and the most decorated cannabis library in the state – over seventeen individual awards for varietals and cultivation excellence.
But we’re just getting going. Today we’re working hard to uncover the next flavor or aroma or cannabinoid ratio or look or effect that we think you’ll love. We’re working with those legendary underground artists to continue improving our genetic library because that’s how we make sure we’re always bringing you the good stuff.Next Tenet
Each variety of cannabis grows best under specific environmental conditions. At Solstice, we begin by cultivating each strain in a separate, closed environment to understand it’s unique characteristics. From there, we work to hone in a regimen that will optimize the variety using sustainable methodology and CO2 recaptured from the atmosphere to stimulate photosynthesis. Our vision for cultivation is two fold:
1 - Grow the highest quality cannabis
2 - Have the lowest environmental impact
Although the USDA doesn’t acknowledge cannabis as a plant – preventing organic certification – our team of highly trained plant scientists carefully follow our own sustainability thresholds. Less is more, and it just tastes better.
Note: in 2019, our team, along with other sustainably-minded cultivators, were asked to join the organic certification board that will advise the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s pursuit to build an organic certification program for cannabis by early 2019. We couldn’t be more excited!Next Tenet
After harvest, we hang dry our cannabis for five to seven days and then hand manicure away exterior leaves before cold-curing to finish. During the cure, moisture from the stem and inner flowers slowly even out, reducing chlorophyll and creating a balanced, smooth finish. After months of hard work, this process is critical to the finished quality – done too quickly and the hard work was all for not.
Once the cannabis is ready, we screen for microbial contamination and test cannabinoid profiles for terpenes and potency. Afterwards, every batch goes through our Internal Rating Program (modeled after wine) to receive a score based on a combination of visual, olfactory, potency, and terpene factors. Nothing makes it into a Solstice package without our team’s stamp of approval.Next Tenet
Our commitment to integrity and longevity are the precursor to our fair-trade mantra. Whether it’s a child with Dravet syndrome or a city councilman developing legislation, a long-time retail partner or a partner breeder, the cannabis industry is small and tight-knit. We are selective with who we work with in an effort to promote high standards, transparent process, and a more thoughtful community. It is our belief that by developing lasting relationships we strengthen our cause and reinforce the foundation for years to come.Next Tenet
The normalization of cannabis has been many years in the making. When we started Solstice in 2011, the medical cannabis industry was rife with questionable practices. We championed strict compliance, created self-imposed standards, and worked with lawmakers to develop regulations. Our goal has been to participate and educate, so that informed decisions can be made.
No longer is there a debate over the medical application of cannabis. Today we’re excited to be part of a new area of legislation, a voter led response to the failed war on cannabis. Washington State has led the way with its new and more sensible approach. We carry that message now to larger audiences, to the steps of the United States Congress and to the halls of the United Nations as the proof of our state’s experiment provide pudding that can’t be ignored. It's our mission to get it right - to build a sustainable industry by putting responsibility before opportunity, and always remembering that the change of our season, the Solstice, represents far more than just the cannabis.Back to Top