Making Solful a Reality 10/20/17

“I couldn’t be more excited, proud, and humbled to bring the Solful experience to the Sebastopol and West County community. I look forward to talking with you when you visit Solful.” – Eli

A lot of people have asked me how I got the idea for Solful, and as I think about it there are three big threads that shaped the vision. The first is a very personal one. Thirteen years ago, my father, Jon, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told that he had a zero chance of survival. While he was undergoing chemotherapy, he tried a number of non-traditional treatments, including cannabis, to help combat some of the side effects of the treatment. I’m not going to say that cannabis cured him, but I can bear witness to its’ ability to help his body get rebalanced and on a path to healing. And I’m incredibly blessed and happy to have my father with me on the journey of Solful today.

In addition to my father, I saw a number people in my community using cannabis, along with holistic healing modalities, to improve their health and enhance their lives. New delivery methods were emerging—beyond just smoking or eating brownies—and all of this increased my curiosity about just how much potential there was in cannabis to help people. So, the second thread for the idea of Solful emerged when I went to work at a cannabis testing laboratory in Northern California. I started learning more about the science behind how cannabis works, along with the troubling fact that there is a significant amount of cannabis products that include contaminants and chemicals that you really don’t want in your body. While some folks were getting a ton of benefit from cannabis, there were also a lot of unsafe products out there. People, especially those dealing with an illness or condition, should know exactly what they are putting in their bodies, yet it’s often hard to know what is in each cannabis-based product. In the same way that organic farmers help us trust what we eat, I saw the need for a trusted source for high quality, safely produced cannabis.

The third big thread of this journey took shape when I was working at the lab and started meeting with cultivators and farmers—people who are putting a tremendous amount of thought and love into their craft. I started visiting farms in Northern California, and learning about the ethos of the cannabis traditions that stretch back for generations in this part of the state. From the thinking that goes into developing new strains, products, and delivery methods, to the innovative farming techniques, I saw a level of sophistication that literally blew me away. The more I learned from these amazing people, the more excited I got about sharing the art and science of what they were doing with my friends and family.

And so, the idea of Solful started to take form. It would be a dispensary where the community could come to learn about cannabis from a team of happy and enthusiastic people. Where we could curate a truly thoughtful selection of products. And where we could guide individuals to the offerings that would help them on their journeys to health and happiness. Two years ago, I set out with my father and close family friend, Peter Dickstein, to make Solful a reality. And with their guidance, along with the help of countless more people, Solful officially opened on October 14, 2017. I couldn’t be more excited, proud, and humbled to bring the Solful experience to the Sebastopol and West County community. I look forward to talking with you when you visit Solful.

—Eli Melrod