In 2020, the second-largest Convenience retailer in the United States made good on its vow to be one of the “key players” in the North American recreational cannabis market. As part of a partnership between Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp, two Fire & Flower marijuana dispensaries opened adjacent to Circle K stores in Canada this July.

Marijuana is not yet legal on the federal level in the United States, but Lukas says it’s not too early for savvy retailers to start planning. After all, BDSA predicts THC/marijuana products will account for $27 billion of the $45 billion in U.S. cannabis sales projected for 2024.

“Mainstream retailers are already thinking: What does legalization look like in my state, and how do I participate?” she says. “The smarter players are looking at what the next five years hold, not just stocking CBD products today.”