Canada: This Coffee Chain Wants To Turn Some Of Its Stores Into Marijuana Shops

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A popular Canadian coffee chain is eyeing up a new type of stimulant to sell: marijuana.

Ahead of Canada’s expected legalization of recreational cannabis later this year, Second Cup — which has more than 300 locations throughout the country — is looking to convert some of its cafes into weed dispensaries, according to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Second Cup announced Thursday that it signed a deal with medical marijuana consulting company National Access Cannabis to develop a number of recreational weed stores, the paper reported.

“This stra­tegic re­la­tion­ship pro­vides Se­cond Cup with a great op­por­tun­ity to lever­age our se­lect real es­tate assets to in­crease value for share­hold­ers and fran­chis­ee part­ners,” Se­cond Cup CEO Gar­ry Mac­don­ald said in a state­ment, according to The Globe and Mail.

Second Cup and NAC are first targeting locations in the western regions of the country, which could include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, where the pot-friendly city of Vancouver is located. NAC will be tasked with applying for dispensary licenses, while Second Cup will focus on converting and constructing stores, the companies said in a joint statement, The Globe and Mail reported.

NAC CEO Mark Goliger said on Thurs­day the agreement with the coffee chain “al­lows us to quick­ly ex­pand our foot­print in prov­en high-traf­fic re­tail lo­ca­tions across Canada,” according to the paper.

Second Cup’s Macdonald, meanwhile, seemed to indicate that it would continue to invest in its coffee business as well, saying the company is geared toward “grow­ing our Se­cond Cup brand and sales through con­tinued prod­uct in­nov­a­tion and ex­pand­ing our net­work across Canada.”