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.”