This year in the Miss Universe Pageant, Canada was represented by Alyssa Boston. We caught up with Alyssa earlier this month, shortly after she competed in the Miss Universe pageant wearing her now iconic cannabis leaf showgirl costume, seen on this issue’s cover. Enjoy The Edibles Interview with Miss Canada.
EDIBLES MAGAZINE: Your title is, officially, Miss Canada in the Miss Universe pageant?
ALYSSA BOSTON: Yes, so I competed against Miss USA at Miss Universe.
I’ve been in pageants since I was seventeen years old and I’m 24 now. So they have taken me all over the world. I’ve travelled to Poland, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, a couple of times in the states, and most recently in Atlanta, Georgia at Miss Universe.
EM: And Atlanta was where your cannabis costume was revealed to the world?
AB: Yeah, it was held in December, Steve Harvey was the host again this year, and I got the chance to wear my cannabis national costume on the stage. So it was pretty cool, it was a good experience.
EM: That was an amazing costume. You’re wearing it on the cover of the newest issue of our magazine. Who’s idea was it to do that?
AB: So, it’s kind of a process. For me, just over a year ago now when Cannabis became legal in Canada, the industry was supposed to be just booming and I have a business degree; I graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, so I was always very interested in how the business side of this industry was going to work. So it was always an interest of mine, and when I was preparing for Miss Universe we always talked about the national costume. In Canada there’s no set national costume. So a couple of years ago we were a snowflake, and people have been a hockey player in the past you know, or a maple leaf, and so we’ve had some sort of cute costumes that represented us but I didn’t just want to wear another maple leaf or something. We discussed it with my team and all thought it’s kind of a controversial idea because federally it’s not legal in the states and internationally it’s thought of as a terrible drug in some countries. Miss Universe hosts ninety girls from all over the world and all eyes would be on us, so we didn’t know for sure if it was the right play or not, and after discussing it over we had to clear it with the Miss Universe organization and Tyler Perry studios to make sure it okay, and they thought it was a good idea and I thought it was the best representation of what’s currently going on in Canada right now.
EM: We saw that they were talking about you on “Lights Out With David Spade” after the pageant.
AB: Was that on tv or just online?
EM: No that was on tv. Comedy Central, the big time. They cracked a couple of jokes but had only good things to say. Very flattering.
AB: The joke I saw online was a little off sided but it was funny. Something about “being the most stoned contestant since Miss Saudi Arabia. It was pretty cool that it actually caught that much attention.
EM: That’s dark. And funny. You mentioned that you graduated with a business degree from the University of Windsor. What do you want to do if you ever decide to retire from the world of pageants?
AB: I actually am retiring this year, because making Miss Universe is the highest accomplishment you can get in pageantry, so I’ve reached my goal and it’s time to start a new dream. And for me I’ve kind of been tapping into the cannabis industry ever since my costume got so much attention, a lot of cannabis [companies] have been reaching out and I’ve made some partnerships. I’m just starting a Youtube channel with a company here in Windsor called the Cannabis Investor, we do interviews with CEOs of different companies and things like that in the industry, so there’s a couple of new things coming I can’t talk about yet, so I’m getting into the cannabis industry and hopefully am going to start my own business soon. That’s the next goal. It’s cool how it’s worked out this way.
EM: And I think I read somewhere that you don’t regularly use cannabis at this time?
AB: I’ve actually never smoked cannabis before. I use a couple of CBD creams, lots of skin products and hair products that contain hemp. For me it was always just a personal choice. I don’t think my passion is represented by whether I use it or not. People always ask, and it always reminds me of, that ever since I was little I’ve advocated for mental illness because my uncle suffers from schizophrenia, so just because I don’t suffer from a mental illness doesn’t mean that I can’t advocate for it. Right? That’s how I look at it. It’s the same thing, I advocate for the greater good. For the people who need this either as a medical benefit or from an economic standpoint, a benefit for our country, I think it’s a positive thing that we are leading the world in, right now, and that’s where this passion came from. There’s been a stigma that surrounded cannabis since the 1920s based off of racism pretty much, so people, especially in the older generations, are just under this stigma, and that’s why I wanted to be an advocate for it, because since I don’t use it, people who are against it are more inclined to listen to me than someone who is a heavy user and that they’d just think are biased. So it’s opened up a whole new mindset of people who see it now as worth looking into. I know my parents have been against it their entire life. And ever since I’ve been doing all this stuff, we can’t believe how open minded my mom is now, she’s all interested in it, she’s learned way more about it, she’s all excited about my career in the industry so it’s come along way because she was very against at in the beginning.
EM: What did she think of the costume?
AB: She was really worried about me being able to cross the border or not. Because I live on the border of Detroit, Michigan, right? So she’s like, “What if they think you’re the weed girl and always have weed on you and so you can’t cross the border?”
EM: That’s so funny. What is it any trouble getting across the border with, the…
AB: The costume? No. We actually showed the guys at the border and they were laughing. We showed them all the photos and they were like, “That’s so cool.”
EM: How long did it take to make that? And what is it made out of?
AB: I honestly don’t know what it’s made out of. It’s a lot of so many different things, there’s feathers, felt pieces, cardboard, lots of sparkles obviously, everything green. We started, probably about three months away from Miss Universe. The designer, he’s from Vegas and he’s done a couple of the previous Miss Canada costumes before and I know he did Miss Haiti as well. So he’s pretty busy. I don’t know how many hours it took but I know he worked really hard on it. Neftali is his name, he lives in Vegas and is a great costume designer.
EM: It really feels like it’s going to be one of the most remembered costumes in the history of the Miss Universe Pageant.
AB: I’ve heard a lot of those compliments . It’s pretty exciting. At Miss Universe you only have one chance. Every girl who ever competes there can only compete once her entire life, so we kinda wanted to make a big impact. There’s ninety girls, all who are deserving of the crown. So it’s about more than winning Miss Universe it’s about what you bring to the table and what you can do for your future by being at Miss Universe.
Follow Alyssa on instagram at @_alyssaboston, subscribe to “Alyssa Boston” on Youtube and go to ediblesmagazine.com to listen to the full length Alyssa Boston interview.