Second Cup Is Getting Into the Marijuana Business

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Canada’s second-largest coffee retailer is getting into the weed business. Its shares soared 33 percent.

The Second Cup Ltd. has established a partnership with National Access Cannabis Corp. to develop a network of cannabis dispensaries, initially in Western Canada, the company said Thursday in a statement. Converting any existing Second Cup cafe to a recreational pot dispensary hinges on obtaining a retail license from provincial regulators, along with approval from Second Cup’s franchisee and landlord.

Shares of the Mississauga, Ontario-based company closed at C$3.65 in Toronto for the biggest one-day gain in eight months. Ottawa-based National Access Cannabis, which operates care centers for medical marijuana patients, rose 9.9 percent to C$1.

“Second Cup will offer consumers access to quality cannabis products and the superior service in the comfortable setting they’ve come to expect from NAC,” Mark Goliger, chief executive officer of National Access Cannabis said in a statement.

A representative for Second Cup said the pot shops would be separate from the cafes. They would also be excluded from Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two most populous provinces, where governments will have a monopoly on marijuana sales.

Canada is poised to legalize marijuana later this year. Second Cup was founded in the 1975 as a kiosk in a shopping mall and has more than 300 cafes across Canada.

By: Jen Skerritt, Bloomberg

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