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Fire & Flower – Couche-Tard Partnership

On April 17, 2023, Fire & Flower announced advancements in their relationship with Alimentation Couche-Tard through the completion of a Master Licensing Agreement.

Couche-Tard, owners of the Circle K franchise, initially made an investment in Fire & Flower in 2019 before exercising share warrants in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Couche-Tard significantly increased its stake in the company, rising from their initial investment of 14% in 2019 to 35%.

In late 2022, Fire & Flower expanded its Circle K co-located store program, bringing the total to seven Circle K co-located cannabis stores in Alberta and Ontario.

As part of this new master agreement, Fire & Flower will have the exclusive right of first opportunity to negotiate with Couche-Tard with respect to entering new retail cannabis businesses and franchise agreements in Canada, as well as potential retail expansion to additional legal cannabis markets outside of Canada.

Co-located Stores

Couche-Tard has exclusively committed to developing Fire & Flower branded retail cannabis stores in Ontario. The first five Fire & Flower branded retail cannabis stores will be recently opened, co-located stores, adjacent to Circle K convenience stores in the Greater Toronto Area. They are currently operating as MC Cannabis Inc. and will be rebranded to Fire & Flower.

The master licensing agreement will leverage Couche-Tard’s real estate footprint and resources to develop licensee stores. It will also expand the reach of the Spark Perks membership program and Spark Marketplace.

“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,” says Stéphane Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower. “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.”

Trudel says Fire & Flower is looking to expand to markets in the United States and Europe.

“Couche-Tard is pleased to have entered into a Master License Agreement with Fire & Flower. The Hifyre digital retail platform, including the Spark Perks membership program and the Spark Marketplace app, will bring a distinct competitive advantage to our cannabis stores. 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,” adds Steve Pitts, Vice-President of Operations, Central Canada, of Couche-Tard.

Tags: Alimentation Couche-Tard (11), Canadian cannabis industry (60), Cannabis Retail (394), Circle K (10), Fire & Flower (51), Fire and Flower (12), Stéphane Trude (1)