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.