Alex Cooley, Vice President and Co-Founder of Solstice, the first fully permitted production facility in Washington, was born down south in Georgia, but after moving to Washington at the young age of 12, he considers himself a “Seattlite” through and through. Like many in the industry, he was a long term cannabis user before today’s strides in legalization, and he perfected his growing techniques as a hobby (to the benefit of his friends and family). After a stint working in hospitality in Germany, and at a loss as for his next career move, he was encouraged to put his well-developed cultivation skills to work. As one of the first public faces of cannabis in the early days of the industry, he was adamant about setting a gold standard for cannabis businesses even then, by sticking to the letter of the law and providing the highest level of professionalism and legitimacy. He shares his whole story with us, as well as a behind the scenes look at the rollout of I-502 and his role in facilitating cooperation with the Liquor Control Board. He also shares some of his reservations about some recently passed bills in WA to regulate cannabis, and tells us why he thinks this next year is “make-or-break” for Washington’s legacy in the movement. Enjoy!