PHOTO COURTESY: SOLARIS FARMS
1. Where are you from? Why cannabis? Did you go to business school? Who is your mentor?
Michael Sassano=MS: I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio before attending Boston University. I graduated Cum Laude with Distinction in Economics, then moved to New York. There I was trained at the famous 55 Water Street office of Lehman Brothers. With success in trading and being the number one producing arbitrage trader, I used my capital to fund real estate development and private equity tech start-ups starting in 1997 before moving to Europe around the 2000 time period. I saw the 2001 tech bust and subsequent boom, but the big whopper of 2008 was a massive eye opener if you were in any asset class. At the time, under-water real estate, a few tech unicorns, the general market and cannabis all had great futures due to the contraction. Cannabis encompassed real estate, future markets, and technology. Even then, there was no banking, so that wasn’t a factor. By 2015, large scale growing was just being planned and new markets were emerging. I decided it was the right time to design, build, and manage a high tech hybrid greenhouse and chose Nevada as it’s home. As to mentors in my life, I have developed years of friendships with highly successful business leaders; i find their amalgamated success and lessons from failures to be great decision making guides that i can pull from. There was a good friend named Fred who told me day-one, and regularly, to never take advice from anyone who wasn’t more experienced and more successful than him. So i guess i took that to heart.