By / December 1, 2019

Couche-Tard is eyeing cannabis shops in New Brunswick

Quebec convenience store Couche-Tard has already shown interest in the cannabis sector and has now set its sights on cannabis shops in New Brunswick.

Couche-Tard is one of the largest operators of convenience stores and gas stations in North America, primarily under the global Circle K brand and the Couche-Tard banner in its Quebec home province.

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Couche-Tard looks to cannabis shops in New Brunswick to become a leader in the industry

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., a convenience store chain operator, has made a strategic investment in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., using the funds to grow its Hifyre online retail platform and broaden its cannabis distribution network.

Alimentation Couche-Tard does not hide its intention to acquire cannabis shops in New Brunswick, recently put up for sale.

“This is indeed interesting news for us. Alimentation Couche-Tard has already expressed its desire to become a leader in the North American cannabis industry,” said Couche-Tard spokeswoman Laurence Leroux yesterday.

Someone making a purchase at one of the cannabis shops in New Brunswick
Couche-Tard will use previous investments in the industry to fuel future endeavors in the cannabis market. (Source)

More than 13 months after the legalization of recreational cannabis use, New Brunswick has just issued a call for tenders to privatize Cannabis NB, a subsidiary of the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation.

Cannabis NB has a network of 20 stores. Cannabis NB’s strategy is to find a buyer to become responsible for the exploitation, distribution, and sale of cannabis for recreational purposes on its territory.

Fire & Flower helps Couche-Tard expand into cannabis

Couche-Tard is intending to file an offer through Fire & Flower of which it is a major shareholder. Fire & Flower, headquartered in Edmonton, license 33 retail and online cannabis stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Yukon.

Fire & Flower’s stock is currently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange but has been given conditional approval to list its shares simultaneously with the deal on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

According to Couche-Tard’s management, Fire & Flower represents “its development vector in the cannabis market, both in New Brunswick and the rest of Canada, to reach new consumers as markets develop.”

By the end of 2021, Fire & Flower expects to have a network of 135 stores across the country.

Quebec pushes Couche-Tard to find opportunities through cannabis shops in New Brunswick

Rolling weed from one of the cannabis shops in New Brunswick
Cannabis stores in New Brunswick include a network of 20 stores. (Source)

Couche-Tard’s co-founder, Alain Bouchard, would have liked to develop a global cannabis sales showcase in Quebec for his network of convenience stores in more than 25 countries.

Couche-Tard had hired a lobbying firm to make representations to elected officials. However, the Couche-Tard offer was never considered by the former Liberal government.


(Featured image by Beltz via Wikimedia )

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