By Elijah O’Donnell
Alternative Greens is “Edmonton’s Original Ma & Pa Cannabis Store.” You may have seen them set up right on the corner of 97th and the Yellowhead, a location that Owner and CEO Trevor Miller, NAIT alumni and former NAIT instructor, says has gotten them a lot of traction since opening.
“I would say probably 80% of our people who come in the door at the start were because of our location. They were driving by and seeing it,” said Miller.
Though their slogan says they are a “Ma & Pa” shop, they’re doing quite well for not only themselves but the rest of the province as well.
“I won’t give my actual numbers, but I will say that [the] AGLC had told me that I am still the busiest store in all of Alberta,” Miller said.
These numbers have carried from last October when cannabis was first legalized across Canada. Alternative Greens boasts that they have the biggest and best selection of cannabis in Edmonton. Miller says part of this success also comes from a unique deal he came up with himself.
Alternative Greens is the home of the five dollar pre-rolled joint.
Miller started selling them at a reduced price compared to his competitors. He explained how selling them so cheap didn’t bring much in returns, but what it did do was get people in the door. Sooner than later, other shops in Edmonton started to adopt the same practice, though it was too late. Alternative Greens had already cemented themselves with their customer base. Miller believes most of the people in the store now are those returning customers.
After instructing at NAIT, Miller worked in the union for nine years.
“I could not get a job because I failed a [urine] test, due to cannabis, and then it happened the second time. So then I started hauling RVs out of the states. You’ve got a 6000km drive, you’ve got a lot of time to think,” said Miller.
With the first early, serious talk of cannabis legalization, Miller set his sights on opening a shop. Alternative Greens did not start as a cannabis dispensary but originally sold hemp products.
Miller signed the lease in January of 2018 in hopes of July 1st legalization. When the original date fell through, Alternative Greens began selling hemp products to help pay the bills on the location. They sold items like hemp lotions, creams, shampoos and foods like hemp hearts and hot sauces. They moved to selling cannabis on October 17 of 2018.
“Now, I get paid to do what I got fired for before,” said Miller.
Alternative Greens is planning on opening more locations in Edmonton sometime in 2019, though details are quiet for now.