TORONTO —Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., a cannabis consumer retail and technology platform that has attracted investment from Circle K owner Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., is updating its U.S. expansion plans.
- Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.
The company has entered into an amended agreement through which Fire & Flower has an option to acquire Fire & Flower U.S. and deploy the Hifyre technology platform in the United States. In addition to an initial licensing agreement in Palm Springs, Calif., where Fire & Flower already operates a cannabis retail store with Hifyre technology, Hifyre will be deployed in a Denver dispensary, the company said.
Hifyre, Fire & Flower’s wholly owned technology development subsidiary, will receive digital revenue from deployment of its software in this market. The digital and analytics platform empowers retailers to optimize their connections with consumers, the company said.
Fire & Flower U.S. is also in the final stages of submitting applications for five cannabis retail store locations in New Mexico.
“Fire & Flower views the U.S. market as a major opportunity and we are thrilled to see President Biden pardon all prior federal offenses of simple cannabis possession and instruct an expeditious review of how cannabis is scheduled under the Federal Controlled Substances Act,” said Stéphane Trudel, CEO of Fire & Flower. “Initiation of this review is a meaningful and welcome step forward towards U.S. federal legalization of cannabis for adult use. We look forward to the results of this review which could provide a major opportunity for Fire & Flower to exercise our option to acquire Fire & Flower U.S. Our option to acquire Fire & Flower U.S. provides us with a U.S. market entry avenue that we believe is unique to any Canadian cannabis retailer.”
The Toronto-based company is also making some leadership changes. Chief Financial Officer Judy Adam is resigning as of Nov. 18. Fire & Flower and its board of directors have started a search for a new CFO.
Fire & Flower owns and operates the Fire & Flower, Friendly Stranger, Happy Dayz and Hotbox brands. In 2019, Couche-Tard made a strategic investment in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., investing about $26 million for a 9.9% ownership interest. Through Laval, Quebec-based Couch-Tard’s investment, Fire & Flower said at the time, it was setting its sights on the global expansion as new cannabis markets emerge.
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