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Couche-Tard, Green Thumb to Launch Cannabis Dispensaries in Florida

Company will expand medical retail footprint through a lease agreement with Circle K
Photograph courtesy of Green Thumb

LAVAL, Quebec, and CHICAGO — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Green Thumb Industries Inc., a cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of Rise Dispensaries, said they will roll out approximately 10 “Rise Express”-branded dispensaries adjacent to Circle K convenience stores in several Florida locations.

Green Thumb said it will expand Green Thumb’s medical retail footprint in Florida through a lease agreement with Circle K stores. Starting in 2023, Green Thumb plans to launch its test and learn phase of a rollout of the Rise Express dispensaries.

Through the exclusive agreement, Green Thumb can lease space from Circle K in Florida, where the retailer currently operates approximately 600 locations. The Rise Express stores will offer patients a selection of branded cannabis products including Rythm premium flower, Dogwalkers pre-rolls, incredibles gummies and &Shine vapes.

“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,” said Green Thumb Founder, Chairman and CEO Ben Kovler. “The new Rise Express model is a huge step forward in making it easier and more efficient for patients to purchase high-quality cannabis as part of their everyday routine when stopping by their local convenience store.” 

The products available at these retail stores will come from the company’s new 28-acre cultivation facility in Ocala, Fla., that will be operational by the end of 2022. Green Thumb entered the Florida market in 2018 and currently owns and operates medical cannabis retail stores in Bonita Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Kendall, Oviedo, Pinellas Park and West Palm Beach, Fla. The company also has an existing cultivation and processing facility in Homestead, Fla.

More than 700,000 Floridians are currently registered active cardholders in the state’s medical marijuana program, according to Green Thumb, citing the Florida Department of Health.

Established in 2014, Chicago-based Green Thumb manufactures and distributes a portfolio of branded cannabis products including &Shine, Beboe, Dogwalkers, Doctor Solomon’s, Good Green, incredibles and Rythm. It has 17 manufacturing facilities, 77 open retail locations and operations across 15 U.S. markets.

  • Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 list of biggest U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.

Separately, Couche-Tard, an investor in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., Toronto, in September opened a Spark Perks Cannabis Store adjacent to a Circle K in in Brampton, Ontario, the first of several convenience-cannabis stores from the brands. Through Fire & Flower, Couche-Tard said it is eyeing a global expansion as new cannabis markets emerge and is poised to expand in the United States. Fire & Flower is a cannabis and consumer retail and technology platform with more than 90 corporate-owned stores in its network. The company leverages its wholly owned technology development subsidiary, Hifyre Inc., to advance its proprietary retail operations model.

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard’s 24-country global c-store network includes approximately 9,300 locations in North America, with more than 7,100 in the United States, primarily under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners, and approximately 2,100 in Canada under the Circle K, Mac’s and Couche-Tard banners.

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