Green Thumb Industries Inc. is expanding its reach from the stand-alone dispensary to space at Circle K convenience stores in Florida in what the Chicago-based company describes as a first for the cannabis industry.
Starting in 2023, Green Thumb Industries
will open Rise Express stores — strictly for sales of medical marijuana — with side entrances and signage at about ten Circle K gas stations around Florida.
Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler said the move marks a “huge step forward in making it easier and more efficient” for patients to buy cannabis products “as part of their everyday routine.”
It’s the first time cannabis is being sold at scale outside of stand-alone dispensaries, which are often located in industrial parks or other harder-to-reach destinations, Kovler said.
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Circle K, which is a unit of Canadian company Alimentation Couche Tard Inc.
currently operates 600 stores in Florida. Green Thumb has no limit on the number of stores it could potentially open in Florida, Kovler said.
Kovler declined to comment on the pace of any future rollouts of Rise Express stores in Circle K’s in Florida, or on whether the company is considering convenience-store outlets in other states.
Sales of pre-rolled joints, dried flower and edibles at Rise Express stores will be restricted to the 700,000 Floridians who hold medical cards that qualify them to purchase cannabis in the state. Florida is one of 39 states that currently allow sales of cannabis to qualified medical users.
Green Thumb Industries shares rose about 4% on Wednesday but are still down 49.3% in 2022, compared with a 31.7% drop by the Nasdaq
and a loss of 59.3% by the AdvisorShares Pure U.S. Cannabis ETF
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