FLORIDA (WDHN) — Marijuana dispensaries coming soon to Florida gas stations.
The cannabis partnership will start next year with ten of the company’s 600 locations in the state, Green Thumb says.
Green Thumb Industries is one of the largest cannabis producers in the U.S. Since legal marijuana has only been sold in stand-alone dispensaries in the U.S. and within pharmacies in other countries, this exclusive agreement is a global first.
By selling marijuana, which is still illegal on a federal level, at gas stations where customers buy snacks and cigarettes, the deal may help push the drug further into the mainstream, according to AL.com.
The agreement will help to “normalize” marijuana by placing it with regular consumer products, says Green Thumb Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler.
Financial terms between Chicago-based Green Thumb and Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which owns Circle K, weren’t disclosed, according to AL.com.
Under the agreement, Green Thumb will lease space from Circle K locations. The Green Thumb establishments will be known as “RISE Express” stores and will have a separate entrance from the gas station.
Since Florida is one of the states where cannabis can be legally sold only for medical use, purchasing will be restricted to Floridians who have medical marijuana cards. Currently, that’s around 700,000 people, according to AL.com.
Gas stations seem to be a good fit for selling cannabis products because most Americans shop for age-restricted drugs such as tobacco and alcohol.
“The opening of RISE Express stores at Circle K locations is a game-changer. Convenience is a strong channel in retail, and people want more access to cannabis.”Green Thumb Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler.
This partnership can help Green Thumb build a national brand as it competes with other large multi-state businesses. Although medical sales are only allowed, Florida is still the second-largest U.S. market for marijuana, following California.