It’s an idyllic turn of stoners across the country, many of whom have illegally registered some dude or dude at their local gas station for years. There is only one problem with the plan: The state health department has not given any regulatory approval for the announced partnership.
This week, health department officials He told the Washington Examiner The state has yet to agree to the details Circle K and RISE disclosed in their announcement.
“Florida has never approved a medical marijuana treatment center to operate from a gas station,” a health department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner after the reported deal went viral last week. The health department representative added: “The opening of RISE Express stores is still subject to regulatory approval, and sales will be exclusively to Florida patients with valid medical marijuana ID.”
Health Department officials say they have not signed off on any plans that would allow medical cannabis to be sold at gas stations across the state.
According to a statement from Couche-Tard, the Canadian company that owns Circle K, the proposed transaction would allow Green Thumb Industries (GTI), owner of RISE dispensaries, to open “RISE Express” locations adjacent to Circle K stores and gas stations. So while the gas station won’t technically sell cannabis within Circle K, the partnership will be another milestone for the entire legalization movement.
Circle K’s parent company worked on a similar pilot program with Canadian retailer Fire & Flower last year to launch transportation hubs across the country. In the US, Atlantic Farms in Portland, Maine has Gas N’ Grass cannabis shop. But that doesn’t make Circle K and RISE’s partnership any less historic, if the companies can actually pull it off.
Did they jump the gun by advertising without consent? Can. But even with regulators from the Sunshine State raining on their parade, the viral marketing that prompted the announcement of the ad is still probably worth the drama.