10 Florida fuel stations will offer cannabis pick-up in 2023. Call it ‘Gas to go.’
In the words of Keanu Reeves: “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”
A big cannabis company is partnering with a household name in convenience stores to set a new milestone for marijuana’s mainstreaming.
Multi-state cannabis company Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTI) will partner with Circle K gas stations on a weed pick-up service through 10 Florida medical cannabis dispensary locations starting as soon as next year. The stores are called RISE Express.
“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,” Kovler said in a statement announcing the deal.
Circle K is a Canadian-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations with 600 locations across Florida. In 2021, Circle K’s parent company Couche-Tard worked on a similar pilot program with Canadian retailer Fire & Flower to launch pick-up hubs across the country. The Atlantic Farms shop in Portland, Maine also has a Gas N’ Grass cannabis convenience store.
Florida state law allows medical cannabis, but not recreational sales or use. With more than 700,000 registered and active patients across the state, Bill and Ted won’t be the only weed lovers getting into strange things at the Circle K in the near future.
What should smokers in Florida expect?
The flower, concentrates, and edibles coming to Circle K stores will be grown at a brand new, 28-acre facility in Ocala, FL, which GTI plans to open by year’s end. GTI already operates a cultivation and processing facility in Homestead, FL.
Since joining Florida’s medical market in 2018, GTI has opened stores in Bonita Springs, Oviedo, and West Palm Beach.
Bloomberg reported today that GTI “struck a deal with the Florida Government” to get this multinational deal done. Under the deal, Green Thumb could expand to more locations across Florida.
Reactions to the Circle K weed deal
The companies have not announced which Circle K locations will be integrated with RISE Express dispensaries. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, either, but Bloomberg reports that RISE will lease space from Circle K to house their operations.
Is marijuana “medical” or more akin to beer or cigarettes? Given Florida is a medical-only state, Circle K locations that sell weed will have an interesting design…
— Tiffany Kary (@TiffanyKary) October 19, 2022
Across the internet, readers met the news with a mix of laughs, ire, and jealousy. Weed’s been sold in front of Circle K’s and other gas stations for years, just illegally.
Others bemoaned that large companies are getting green-lit to expand, instead of more mom & pop operations. Meanwhile, weed lovers abroad and in prohibition states just felt burned by how far behind their own communities are lagging.