30 Under 30: Calvin Ho and Albert Kim aren’t blowing smoke with their cannabis point-of-sale software

Calvin Ho and Albert Kim's POS platform also helps cannabis retailers stay compliant with regulators, manage inventory and protect their data.


Ho (left) and Kim run one of biggest POS providers in the Canadian cannabis space

Calvin Ho + Albert Kim, 27 + 28

Co-founder + COO/Co-founder + COO, Greenline POS

Life Story: Albert Kim doesn’t have a lemonade-stand story from his childhood—not quite, anyway. In high school, Kim, who grew up mostly in Richmond after immigrating to B.C. from South Korea at age five, made $400 by creating registration software for Model UN conferences. But he didn’t know that entrepreneurship was an option until well into his studies at UBC, where he earned a computer science degree.

Being in Vancouver got Kim curious about the cannabis industry, and with legalization looming, he saw an opportunity. He and Taiwan-born Calvin Ho, a high-school friend who was doing architectural drafting after completing a BSc in physical, environmental and human geography at UofT, developed point-of-sale software for a couple of cannabis stores. Figuring they could build a real business, the pair launched Vancouver-based GreenlinePOS in 2018.

Ho and Kim both consume cannabis, but that was just one motivation for starting the software-as-a-service company, which also helps retailers stay compliant with regulators, manage inventory and protect their data. “I like people who make businesses, and because of that, I like the people who started the retail business,” Kim says.

Bottom Line: Having stared down its big, well-capitalized rivals, Greenline is now one of the largest POS providers in the Canadian cannabis space, with 500 stores signed and $2.56 million in booked revenue. The company, which has 32 staff, aims to triple its business for the second year in a row.

Eventually, the co-founders hope to expand into Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and perhaps Europe, Kim says. “I like to share the story of Greenline because I think it shows that in cannabis, you don’t have to be a mega-raise, mega-spend type of corporation to make something work.”