Once the pioneer of upscale coffee, Second Cup wants to offer up a different kind of buzz by turning some of its coffee shop locations into cannabis dispensaries and maybe even pot lounges. With 286 locations across Canada, the move could make Canada into an Amsterdam of epic proportions.
Neither the coffee company or its medical marijuana network partner, National Access Cannabis, has a license to sell marijuana but that didn’t stop the shares in the Canadian restaurant operator from rising as much as 31 percent before closing up 28.73 percent at $3.54 the day of the announcement.
The venture will begin with Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba—four provinces that allow for the private sector to sell and distribute cannabis.
In addition to converting café locations into dispensaries, the two companies want to open coffee shops for adult cannabis consumption, said Second Cup’s board chairman Michael Bregman. “(Cannabis) is going to be an awfully big business in Canada, and we have some amazing locations.”
Bregman says he wishes he knew in what capacity they will be pursuing and participating in the market but for now they are just trying to find a position that complies with legislation as opportunities arise.
Second Cup has been losing market share to the dominant Starbucks and Tim Hortons for some time now. Canada’s second-largest specialty coffee retailer reported adjusted net income of just $110,000 for fiscal 2017. A foray into the hot cannabis market could be a game-changing move for the coffee brand.
The deal between Second Cup and their marijuana clinic operator partner is contingent on government regulations, the participation of franchisees and agreement with landlords.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.