While I would prefer talking to a time traveling George Carlin to buying weed at a gas station, Floridians will now at least be able to do the latter. Green Thumb Industries announced they’ve signed a deal with Circle K to open approximately ten Rise Express dispensaries adjacent to Circle K stores in various Florida locations.
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, Beboe, Incredibles, Shine vapes, and Dogwalkers pre-rolls (a favorite among the Jage Media team).
This latest move is bold, but in keeping with Green Thumb’s expansion strategies, and reminds us of a conversation we had with then-CSO Jennifer Dooley last year.
“I’ve had some interesting conversations about whether brands are real and whether they matter in cannabis. It’s all about availability and accessibility — building distribution is super important,” said Dooley.
Yesterday, Green Thumb founder Ben Kovler echoed her sentiments saying, “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. 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.”
RISE products will come from the company’s new 28-acre cultivation facility in Ocala. Headquartered in Chicago, Green Thumb has 17 manufacturing facilities, 77 retail locations, and operations across 15 US markets. Green Thumb entered the Florida market in 2018 and operates medical cannabis dispensaries in Bonita Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Kendall, Oviedo, Pinellas Park, and West Palm Beach.
Although this is certainly a sign of the corporatization of cannabis, we’re pretty sure Bill and Ted would be psyched about this development.