Fire & Flower (TSX: FAF) (OTCQX: FFLWF) said that it has entered into a master licensing agreement with MC Cannabis Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the owner of multinational convenience store Circle K.
This deal gives Fire & Flower the exclusive right to negotiate with Alimentation Couche-Tard (OTC: ANCUF) when it comes to entering new retail cannabis businesses and franchise arrangements in Canada. It also opens up the possibility for retail expansion into other legal cannabis markets outside of the country.
“With the signing of this agreement, we have achieved another important step forward with our strategic partner, Couche-Tard. We continue to work closely together to build a sustainable growth engine, leveraging Couche-Tard’s high quality real estate assets, retail operations expertise and capital, accelerating our path to profitability and goal of free cash flow,” Fire & Flower CEO Stéphane Trudel said.
“Successful retail is built on delighting our customers with great locations, people and products. Today, we have expanded our ability to grow the Fire & Flower network, in Canada and other international legal cannabis markets by adding this scalable building block that we can further refine together in the first federally legal cannabis market in the world.”
The initial plan includes five stores co-located with Circle K convenience stores in the Greater Toronto Area. These stores are currently operating under the MC Cannabis Inc. brand and will be rebranded as Fire & Flower.
Both companies stand to benefit in several ways. Fire & Flower gains access to Couche-Tard’s real estate footprint and resources, enabling the development of more licensed stores. The agreement also allows the company to expand its system sales, brand presence, and its Hifyre digital retail platform in Canada.
Additionally, the company will have the exclusive right of first opportunity to participate alongside Couche-Tard in a potential expansion to additional legal cannabis markets outside of Canada.
The partnership also extends the reach of Fire & Flower’s Spark Perks membership program and its Spark Marketplace App, helping to grow its customer base and enhance the overall user experience.
“The current co-located cannabis stores adjacent to Circle K locations and anchored by convenience stores, fuel and car wash offerings are showing growth and we look forward to combining this with the recognized Fire & Flower brand and technology-enabled shopping experience to make it easy for customers,” said Steve Pitts, vice president of operations, central Canada, of Couche-Tard.