Next year, when consumers in Florida pick up a soda, chips, or a candy bar when they load up for gas at Circle K gas station stores, they’ll be able to add another new item – licensed medical weed.
Circle K, a Canadian convenience store and gas station operator, is teaming up with a leading cannabis packaged goods company, Green Thumb Industries, to sell weed at a limited number of locations in 2023.
The rollout of the pilot begins with 10 locations where Green Thumb will set up its RISE Express dispensaries adjacent to the Circle K convenience stores. Circle K has 600 locations in the state.
Customers can buy several cannabis products, including flower (smokable cannabis buds), pre-rolls, gummies, and 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,” Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler, said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Although Florida is one of several states where cannabis for medical purposes is permitted, selling weed is still unlawful under federal law.
According to the Florida Department of Health, more than 700,000 Floridians currently have active cards registered in the state’s medicinal marijuana program.
Circle K has previously entered the cannabis industry. To develop a pilot program with Canadian cannabis retailer Fire & Flower and open cannabis retail storefronts next to its Circle K convenience stores in additional markets across Canada, Circle K’s parent company Couche-Tard, which owns Circle K, will expand it in 2021.