By Stephanie Swensrude
Palm Gardens, a locally founded licensed cannabis producer, will have their products on shelves this spring after cultivating for a year and a half.
Chase Elliott, Co-founder, Operations Manager, and Responsible Person of Palm Gardens, started researching legal weed in 2014 after he was in a car accident.
“From there, I wasn’t able to work for a good 5 to 6 months,” said Elliott. “I didn’t do much except watch the news.”
Elliott was watching marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, and the green gears started to turn.
“I started to find a new interest in what to do after this. School wasn’t an option, learning a new, formal trade wasn’t an option,” said Elliott.
Elliott educated himself using books from the 70s and 80s, as well as modern books, on business and cultivation. The garden produces cannabis out of a 12,000 square-foot warehouse in southeast Edmonton.
The main benefit of buying from a smaller operation like Palm Gardens is knowing that the bud was cared for from start to finish by a dedicated grower.
“Our product is carefully packaged on location by the same people who helped grow it, ensuring it’s been loved and cared for since its inception,” reads their website.
Larger gardens with automation can sometimes leave plants neglected.
“We’re not relying on computers and automation in a massive warehouse,” said Elliott. “We can pinpoint a problem in the garden immediately. We don’t have to wait for a machine to read it to us or react in a day’s or multiple day’s time.”
“It’s very rudimentary gardening. We’re not reinventing the wheel. It’s a very hands on operation.”
Palm Gardens debuted on the cannabis scene with a handful of strains including their take on a tried-and-true California strain Green Crack, which they rebranded as Sunrise.
Though many Canadian cannabis gardens grow the same strains, a product from one operation is always going to be different than the same strain from a different one. So you could, in theory, get your Green Crack from other gardens, but Palm Gardens’ product will be unique.
“That’s why we’re taking that risk, hoping that people haven’t been scared off by a bad experience [with a strain],” said Elliott.
When Palm Gardens was first starting to happen, a lot of the people in the room looked at Elliott like just a kid who wanted to grow pot. But he knew it was more than that. He wanted to pursue an opportunity to share something great that he had first had experience in aiding with medical and recreational benefits.
“I was going to my physio, my chiro, my massages, et cetera. I then also used cannabis for my physical betterment,” said Elliott.
“I just found a better mind-muscle connection … and just a calmer mindset, calmer anxiety.”
Elliott even used cannabis when he was running and working out.
“The lazy stoner [stereotype] is proven wrong in my running a half marathon a little bit baked,” said Elliott.