Michael Sassano: CEO of Solaris Farms

michael sassano ceo solaris farms
Michael next to the plants in a Solaris Farms facility.

Although his exciting career has led him to be involved in the fast-paced worlds of international real estate development, high-level banking, and cutting edge tech-investing, it is the cannabis space where Michael Sassano has always shined the brightest. Michael is well known as one of the original movers and shakers in this sector, celebrated prominently in both mainstream business and cannabis media for his contributions to cultivation technology and as an industry futurist with a proven track record of successfully predicting trends and policy directions.

Michael goes all-in on greenhouse growing with Solaris Farms

After years of partnering and investing with many startups in the global cannabis industry, both in the private sector and publicly traded companies, Michael came to the conclusion that greenhouse growing would be the future of large scale cannabis cultivation; this would become a necessary focus to supply the massive medical and recreational markets as legality became widespread. He understood that compared to traditional outdoor growing, hybrid greenhouses provided the ability to produce a large volume of high-quality yields, with a lower cost structure, increased profitability, and even a net positive impact on the environment

In 2015, he traveled around the world touring different types of agricultural greenhouses and observing the various technologies used to produce high-quality yields in harsh climates. The next year, after watching closely as Nevada fully legalized cannabis and developed its business-friendly legal framework, Michael designed and began development on Solaris Farms utilizing the horticultural knowledge and technological insight he gained from his travels.

Today, Solaris is one of a handful of maximum state-approved canopy mega-greenhouses and currently the most technologically-advanced hybrid greenhouse operating in Nevada. Michael also has a strong vision for the future of European medical cannabis markets.

In 2019, he became the Head of the Board of Directors for Somai Pharmaceuticals LTD; the company focuses on the research, development, and distribution of high-quality, cannabinoid-containing, GMP-certified pharmaceutical products throughout the European Union.

How did Solaris Farms get started?

Michael came to Vegas in 2015 after watching Nevada develop its legal Marijuana framework. Prior to Vegas and putting his name on this project, Michael worked with countless numbers of groups in the marijuana industry both in the private sector and publicly traded companies, nationally and internationally and is known as one of the more influential people in cannabis. Mike felt the future of the industry is in greenhouse growing because of their high volume, lower cost structure, increased profitability, and positive impact on the environment.

Nevada becomes an ideal location for high tech greenhouses

Nevada’s low humidity, large amounts of sun and seasons in Las Vegas is ideal for the development of high tech greenhouses. So, Mike set out to design and develop one of the more advanced states of the art large scale desert greenhouse’s currently functioning in Nevada- Solaris Farms. The first year he scouted for land and traveled around the world visiting approximately 100 greenhouses mostly in the classic agricultural sector as greenhouses with marijuana were in the starting stage. In the deserts of Kuwait, he found an environment similar and harsher than Vegas were the farmers controlled the environment using a multi-shade system, achieving high 70’s temperature in the high desert heat.

He brought that design to Vegas and added a number of improvements from facilities he deemed the best, including antimicrobial flooring, underground cooled watering, special organic safe automatic watering systems, a central spline design located on the roof to draw air into the facility to control contaminates, full automation and sensor equipment, pristine operations environment and automation for post-harvest. Additionally, he used his many industry contacts to bring the largest brands to Vegas and continue to bring great relations to Nevada.

Locally he has made friends with almost all groups in Las Vegas and has helped countless groups in Nevada succeed. He is proud to bring credibility to the Marijuana industry in Nevada.

What areas of the cannabis industry do you and your company specialize in?

solaris farms
Inside a Solaris Farms grow house.

Since desert growing for Cannabis and a hybrid greenhouse is high-tech, growers need computer efficiency as-well-as a horticulture background with a serious knowledge of Cannabis strains. Just because a genetic grows well in California or any other area, doesn’t mean it will grow well, nor adapt to the Las Vegas environment. In-fact, any new genetic to a region becomes different.

So starting from many seeds, and having a precise breeding program and phenotyping mapping is the only way to constantly turn out superior genetics. And since Cannabis never existed in Las Vegas, this process was a costly experience that most never envisioned and only the brave undertake. Now, Vegas is home to a variety of great growers turning out all kinds of buds and brands making every kind of product.

But the hybrid greenhouse is the only tool for creating great buds and enough bio-mass to compete at any price-level, despite large taxation in the locality. The more advanced your greenhouse is, the better you should be able to control the environment and Las Vegas is pushing the limits with the hottest tech and genetics.

What is the next big thing in cannabis, and for your Solaris Farms?

Solaris is moving into Europe with eyes wide open as to who the large players and new players with money coming in are. West coast operators have an inherent advantage to almost all growers and producers in that we are used to competitive markets and have been making products ranging from vapes to edibles for a long time on a scaled level. Solaris’s niche is a high-grade bud and our ability to produce it economically; all our products are also geared to a pharmaceutical market. Fast forward a few years, dispensaries will not be relevant as large supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry get involved. Only America, for the most part, still uses the archaic dispensary model, as the rest of the world operates through pharmaceuticals. Solaris was designed and functions for that level of challenge.

How does your company differ from the others in cannabis?

Solaris is moving into Europe with eyes wide open as to who the large players and new players with money coming in are. West coast operators have an inherent advantage to almost all growers and producers in that we are used to competitive markets and have been making products ranging from vapes to edibles for a long time on a scaled level. Solaris’s niche is the high-grade bud and our ability to produce it economically; all our products are also geared to a pharmaceutical market. Fast forward a few years, dispensaries will not be relevant as large supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry get involved. Only America, for the most part, still uses the archaic dispensary model, as the rest of the world operates through pharmaceuticals. Solaris was designed and functions for that level of challenge.

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