Our ﬁrst plants were grown at home, under makeshift circumstances and with love. Today, despite a footprint that now numbers in acres, we remain those same curious growers at heart. There’s always more to learn.
Currently we’re experimenting in several key areas; UVB lighting technology targeted at enhancing cannabinoid dee greenhouse cultivation and LED lighting technology targeted at reducing our carbon footprint; O³ air treatment to ensure cleanest possible environment.
Over the years, we’ve searched far and wide for the best cultivars we could ﬁnd. We’re constantly delighted and inspired by breeders everywhere. At home, we’ve cultivated, tested, and bred new phenotypes to offer original versions of Cheesecake, Shurman, Daybreak, and Voodoo Haze are a handful of house-bred varietals that have made names of their own.
The pursuit of genetics has led us to three-time grower of the year in Washington and the most decorated cannabis in the state – over nineteen individual awards for cultivation excellence. There’s more where that came from.
Due to nearly eighty years breeding impatience, cannabis is one of the most unstable plants in the world. If you were to plant 10 seeds of the same cultivar, you’d ﬁnd 10 different unique variants.
In order to deliver consistency, our propagation team instead takes donor or “mother” plants that are cycled based on season and offering. After clones are cut, they are rooted and hardened off for two weeks in a high humidity, low-light environment before being moved to the nursery for an additional month.
The cannabis plant is a photo-period specific, dioecious annual. That means it ﬂowers automatically based on the hours of light it receives. In the outdoors, this happens once a year in the fall, but indoors or in greenhouses we can control the light cycle to initiate ﬂowering. It also means hat male and females, like us, are separate. Females produce ﬂowers. Males produce pollen, which is great for breeding but turn ﬂowers to seed.
Our flowers grow in many shapes and sizes and each respond differently to the environment. We work hard to group cultivars that ﬂower at similar ratio in similar patterns, and feed at similar rooms together to optimize their energy.
On cannabis ﬂowers live small little, mushroom-like things called trichomes. This is where we ﬁnd all the good stuff, like terpenes and cannabinoids. When it's ready to harvest, the trichomes turn from clear, to milky and amber.
Different growers have their own opinions about the ratio of clear to milky to amber and harvesting at different stages can alter the development of cannabinoids, THC, CBG, and CBN. At Solstice, we’re looking for a speciﬁc ratio that we’ve dialed in over the years and think is just right.
Once chopped, plants are hung vertically under strict temperature, humidity, and light control. A cool, dark drying environment is critical to preserving the precious aromas and flavors that live in the highly volatile terpenes. Over a week, we use humidity controls to slowly pull the moisture out of the plants. At the end of the dry, the exterior of the plant’s leaves are dry and brittle, while the inside flowers are still protected by retained moisture.
After the cannabis is dry, the ﬁnal moisture is slowly removed from the ﬂowers through a process known as the cure. Often times cultivators hurry to a ﬁnished product and overlook the pace of dry and cure. This leads to rapid volatilization of terpenes which reduces smell and ﬂavor and leads to keep our freshly dried ﬂowers in a environment and spend several sweating the remaining moisture out of our cannabis ﬂowers.
The cure is where good cannabis becomes great.
Once cured, cannabis ﬂowers are ready to be processed. Flower buds are removed from the stem and exterior leaves are preferred to as sugar leaves, are hand trimmed away from each ﬂower. The ﬁnished product is a beautiful, tightly manicured ﬂower.
As Solstice continues to grow and expand, maintaining our quality is vitally important and increasingly challenging. In 2016, we formed our internal review team – lead by co-founder - Alex Cooley – in an effort to protect and continue developing product quality.
Today, our Internal Review team conductss blind inspection of every batch that we produce. The test consistssfactory, and analytical scoring that are then mapped against Solstice standards. If it doesn’t pass the test, it doesn’t the pass the door.
The final step is to put our flowers into their package so we can deliver them to you. When we started, we were turned down by 5 different packaging manufacturers before we finally found someone who would work with a “pot grower”. Today, we work with suppliers we love and pack our flowers in glass jars with tight seals because that’s how it keeps best. It’s a long journey for the plant, and it has been for us to, but the beauty of the plant keeps us inspired and excited for what's next. Enjoy.