Florida Gas Stations to Sell Weed

Stephen Andrews
20 Oct 2022

Pizza rolls, cookies, candy, potato chips, ice cream... gas stations already have all your favorite munchies and flavors. But what about weed? Starting 2023, Florida will permit sales of weed at gas stations in a deal that is a global first. Floridians with MMJ cards will be able to purchase flower, pre-rolls, gummies and vapes at dozens of locations after Green Thumb Industries Inc. signed a deal with convenience store chain Circle K.

Green Thumb Industries, the multi-state cannabis operator, signed a deal with Circle K, the global convenience-stores chain, under which they will sell licensed medicinal marijuana products at dozen locations run by the gasoline retailer. The partnership will take effect next year with 10 of the company's 600 locations in the state. 

Seeing marijuana products at a place where people usually buy snacks, soda or tobacco can help the normalization of Cannabis as a mainstream product. 

Historic Deal for Weed Sales 

The deal is a global first, given that cannabis is typically sold at stand-alone dispensaries in the U.S. and Canada or within pharmacies in countries like Germany or Uruguay. 

"This is a futuristic deal," Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler said in a statement, adding that "there's appetite" from Circle K to extend the partnership further across other states in the near future. 

Couche-Tard, the parent company of Circle K, operates a total of 600 sites in Florida. Green Thumb will lease space from ten Circle K locations with sales beginning of next year. The outlets will be branded as "RISE Express" stores and will have a separate entrance from the gas stations. Green Thumb will offer flower, pre-rolls, gummies, and vapes. 

Florida is one of the fastest-growing Cannabis markets in the U.S., although it only allows the sales of medicinal weed. At least for now, RISE Express can only serve users who present with a valid medicinal marijuana card. More than 550,000 Floridians have a MMJ card, according to the state's Department of Health. 

The partnership with Circle K will make 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.  

"The opening of RISE Express stores at Circle K locations is a game-changer. Convenient is a strong channel in retail, and people want more access to cannabis," he added.

For Circle K, it would be the second time to pivot into the sphere of Cannabis. Last year, Couche-Tard introduced a partnership with Canadian cannabis retailer Fire & Flower and similarly opened adjacent pot shops in Circle K locations across Canada. 

Past initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida have unfortunately failed, but a new industry-led campaign backed by Trulieve seeks to end prohibition in the Sunshine State by bringing the adult-use question on the 2024 ballot. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

- Where Can You Buy Medicinal Cannabis?

- Cannabis Dispensaries in the Metaverse 

- 6 Tips How to Deal with Munchies

Stephen Andrews