Coffee chain The Second Cup plans to open a network of recreational cannabis dispensaries, starting in Western Canada and then potentially moving east to other provinces where the drug is expected to soon be legal.
The coffee chain announced on Thursday it is partnering with National Access Cannabis Corp. to develop and operate a network of NAC-branded dispensaries across the country.
Founded in 1975, Second Cup currently operates 286 coffee shops across the country. NAC describes itself as a health-care company that consults with patients to help them get access and prescriptions to medical marijuana. NAC currently has nine locations across seven provinces.
The plan is for NAC to apply for licences to dispense cannabis once it is legal, and then will work with the coffee chain to “leverage Second Cup’s extensive Canadian retail footprint to construct retail stores,” as the companies put it in a press release.
It’s possible that certain current Second Cup coffee shops would be converted into cannabis stores.
“We’ll look to work with Second Cup to license select storefronts, utilizing our proven business model to deliver secure, safe and responsible access,” NAC’s CEO Mark Goliger said.
The federal government is on track to legalize recreational cannabis later this summer, but is leaving the logistics off how and where it can be sold to the provinces. Many provinces (most notably Ontario) are opting to go with government-controlled monopolies, but some — including British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba — plan to allow some form of cannabis sales by private retailers.