Ontario Coffee Chain Second Cup May Pivot to Pot, as Marijuana Goes Legal in Canada

Instead of tea pots, you may be able to buy pot tea at Second Cup’s Ontario locations starting in April 2019. The Canadian coffee chain said it’s considering converting some of its 130 locations from caffeinated beverages to retail marijuana outlets, according to The Globe and Mail. The company’s stock was up 30% in intraday trading, and closed Thursday up 10% for the week, but below some recent highs.

Second Cup signed an agreement with National Access Cannabis, which already operates medical marijuana clinics, to develop recreational pot stores. Second Pot will convert some of its existing locations, while National Access Cannabis has plans to open 50 to 70 stores under the Meta brand across British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba in 2018.

Both firms have to secure licenses from provincial governments, and gain approval from landlords. Second Cup relies on franchisees, which also have to agree to certain changes.

Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana in late June, with sales slated to start Oct. 17. Provinces have moved to provide the necessary regulatory support in the months that followed. The Ontario provincial government originally planned to roll out 200 pot stores that would sell marijuana and head-shop-style paraphernalia.

A new government has scrapped those plans, but will manage home-delivery and online sales starting Oct. 17, and shift to private-sector retail in April. Some ‘tea’ fans no doubt hope it happens on April 20th.

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