In 2023, ten Florida Circle K gas stations will take convenience to the next level. Soon, residents of The Sunshine State who visit the popular super chain can purchase gas, Doritos, beef jerky, and weed. Weed?! Yes, weed—but only if you have a valid Florida medical marijuana card. For now.
Recently, Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries partnered with Canada-based Circle K to launch its “RISE Express” cannabis dispensaries adjacent to the world-renowned convenience stores. Green Thumb has high expectations that selling RISE cannabis products alongside Circle K consumables will boost brand awareness among Florida’s medical marijuana patients.
Many believe the partnership between Circle K—one of the largest convenience-store chains in the world—and Green Thumb Industries—one of the biggest multi-state operators in the U.S.—is a step in the right direction. The plan makes it easier for medical marijuana patients to purchase high-quality cannabis products during a routine stop at the local convenience store.
Others disagree with the cannabis pilot program due to concerns about stoned drivers. In fact, various organizations opposed to marijuana commercialization and legalization plan to petition the decision.
Do you think it’s a good idea to put cannabis dispensaries next to gas stations?
Let’s learn more about the game-changing partnership to help you decide...
Why Did Green Thumb Choose Florida for Its Circle K Weed Rollout?
In 2016, The Sunshine State legalized medical marijuana, not recreational cannabis. So, why did Green Thumb Industries choose Circle K locations in Florida for its weed rollout?
Despite the restriction of recreational marijuana, Florida is still the second-largest US market for marijuana (after California). According to the Florida Department of Health, the state has over 700,000 medical marijuana cardholders, so there’s definitely a need for weed.
Green Thumb Industries entered Florida’s market in 2018, and the company currently owns and operates medical cannabis retail stores in West Palm Beach, Bonita Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Pinellas Park, Kendall, and Oviedo. Plus, Green Thumb has a cultivation facility in Homestead.
Now, enter Circle K...
Circle K, owned by Alimentation Couch-Tard in Quebec, has 600 gas station/convenience stores in Florida, which means an additional 590 (potential) locations for RISE Express Dispensaries in The Sunshine State. But for now, the company will launch its “test and learn phase” of the weed rollout in ten stores in central Florida and the St. Petersburg area.
Ten Rise Express Dispensaries
The game-changing opening of ten RISE Express cannabis dispensaries at Florida Circle K locations could help marijuana go mainstream. Each store—named after the company’s RISE dispensary chain—will have its own cash register and entrance, separate from the Circle K convenience store.
Medical marijuana patients can choose from a variety of cannabis products—gummies, vapes, buds, and pre-rolls—that come from Green Thumb’s new, 28-acre cultivation facility located in Ocala, Florida.
Although legal cannabis products such as CBD and Delts-8 are currently sold at Florida gas stations and smoke shops, their psychoactive components differ from medical marijuana, so they don’t have the same state regulations and testing.
Green Thumb Plans to Expand Brand Awareness
In addition to increased cannabis sales, Green Thumb Industries strives to achieve a positive proof-of-concept, which could boost brand awareness as well as acceptance by those unaware of the legality of marijuana within the state.
If successful, the Circle K/Green Thumb dispensaries deal in Florida would set the stage for a greater national presence for RISE products, with potential brand expansion plans in Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
These days, there’s a growing need for weed. Marijuana use in the U.S. is up—49% of adults report trying it at least once in their lifetimes.
So, will the Circle K pilot plan get a Green Thumbs up? Stay tuned...
Cannabis dispensaries alongside convenience stores could become the new normal across the nation if the Circle K/Green Thumb deal is a success.