One Plant is a Retailer that Spreads One Love

One Plant is a licensed, legal retailer with outposts in Barrie and Stouffville, with locations opening soon in Ottawa and Toronto’s Kensington Market. Ben Kaplan spoke with Alex Altman, running things from the Ajax location at 20 Kingston Road.
  • Alex, congratulations. From what I’ve heard your shop is awesome.

    Thanks so much. I’ve known the cannabis industry before the government said it was OK so I was excited to get involved and know everything’s kosher.

  • How’d it come to pass, your opening One Plant?

    I started off working at a real estate equity company and left to work in the Blockchain space but when the lottery came around, I knew I had to get involved. I found a great partner and set up the store and it’s been a thrill since the absolute beginning.

  • When did you know it was real?

    Ticking off these huge order sizes on all these strains on a document from the government and then seeing this government-sanctioned truck showing up with our order, I just had to stand back and I’m sure my jaw dropped: "Wow, it’s here. The industry is finally here."

  • BK: Now that One Plant is established, what are your future plans?

    AA: I’m a partner with One Plant and our company has an affiliate opening in Toronto in Kensington Market on Augusta Avenue, which is a really cool spot.

  • BK: It feels like Kensington Market deserves its own dispensary.

    AA: I think so. It’s like if you go to New York, you don’t want to buy your cannabis in Times Square. You want to get your weed out in Brooklyn.

  • BK: Break down your mission in a nutshell.

    AA: A great selection of products. Variety is the spice of life and we want to give everybody the opportunity to discover while our knowledgeable staff are experts in customer experience.

  • BK: How’s the ride felt for you personally?

    AA: I love cannabis. It’s a passion for me. And I love the people we’re working with and hopefully that comes through in the customer experience that people feel when they walk through our door.

  • BK: Have the 2.0 products like vapes and edibles changed how you run the store?

    AA: We’ve rearranged things so everybody can see our new products, for sure.

  • BK: Are you seeing a new kind of cannabis customer?

    AA: People who wanted smokeless experiences already could get oils and capsules, but I do think the new products offer opportunities and I actually think we’re taking people away from the black market.

  • BK: Do you feel a kinship with your fellow retailers?

    AA: Yeah. At the beginning, everyone was an independent retailer—the first 25 of us. It was a really unique situation and independent retailers became the driving force in cannabis. We had power over the big corporations and it created a cool experience: a hybrid of big corporations and independent retailers trying to deliver the best possible experiences for people we love—people who wanted legal cannabis.

  • BK: You’re 27-years-old and already an influential cannabis entrepreneur. What do you do when you’re not at work?

    AA: I work a lot. But I do find some down time and in the winter I like snowboarding and skating. I hang out with my friends.

  • BK: Do your friends always hit you up for cannabis?

    AA: Not just friends. Siblings, strangers. It’s not hard making friends when your job is to sell really good legal cannabis.