More than a thousand THC-laced cookies passed in front of Seattle Times photographer Ken Lambert's lens when he filmed this video story on Winterlife Cannabis, an edibles manuafacturer that aims to democratize the recreational marijuana industry. "You can't walk down the street without getting the smell of it," says Winterlife employee Harold Dodd.
On a spring visit to Winterlife, the company is a hive of activity. The “kingfisher,” who would not divulge his full name, extracts THC from cryogenically frozen marijuana using alcohol. Tubes carry the mixture to a glass globe that rotates and heats it.
In an adjacent room, Andy Weyrick, “the crow,” feeds baking sheets through a machine that rhythmically drops dough. Ben Patton, “the star-nosed mole,” loads each sheet on a rack. They’ll bake about 1,500 cookies later. A single cookie fetches about $12 in stores.
Charity, “the owl,” runs the company’s creative department in an unrenovated part of the building, and leads a discussion about social-media strategy, the company’s marketing materials and enticing retailers to use Winterlife’s new ordering system. It’s boring. Add a few ties, you could mistake it for a meeting at Boeing.
Charity says she’s working her dream job.
A high-school dropout (“I didn’t like my principal,” she says), Charity twice dropped out of college for financial reasons before graduating from Shoreline College with a design degree. She says she worked a lot of crappy jobs over the years.
Marijuana might be her chance to do more than survive. “This isn’t going to happen again in our lifetime,” she says.
She dreams of a carefree life “hanging out in Central Park in Manhattan wearing five different hats and painting dogs,” she says. “Marijuana could be my ticket.”
Read more about Washington’s marijuana industry in Bush’s full story, Pot of gold: The new legal marijuana business has created once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.