Litigation Halts Green Thumb Medical Marijuana Dispensaries at Florida Gas Retailer

Under the agreement, dispensaries were set to open next to Circle K stores.

April 11, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—A proposal by Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to lease space next to some Circle K Florida stores to open medical marijuana dispensaries under the Rise Express brand has been halted, reports. Florida regulators haven’t approved the plan, initially announced last October, which has now moved to litigation.

When the agreement with Circle K was announced, GTI founder and CEO Ben Kovler said it was “a game-changer… Convenience is a strong channel in retail, and people want more access to cannabis.”

However, the Florida health department has yet to approve the deal, with spokesperson Jae Williams confirming to MJBizDaily the department’s stance hasn’t changed and noting the deal was currently in litigation without providing additional details.

“As with all Rise dispensary locations in Florida, the opening of Rise Express stores remains subject to regulatory approval,” GTI told the news outlet in a statement late last week. Currently, the company operates seven Rise Express dispensaries in the Sunshine State.

Circle K has more than 600 locations in the state and its parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard has entered into similar agreements in Canada for co-locations of cannabis retail outlets adjacent to Circle K stores. In Florida, GTI wanted to begin a “test and learn” process with 10 stores. Florida rules required medical marijuana dispensary operators to get a variance request from regulators.