18 October 2022 |

The owners of Circle K just invested in the cannabis industry.

By Kaitlin Domangue

Circle K’s owners’ officially have hands in the cannabis industry

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) Inc., the owner of Circle K convenience stores, is financing an $11 million principal loan to Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. – a cannabis retail company with operations in the U.S. and Canada.

Included in the deal is a stock purchasing agreement, where ACT will obtain $5 million worth of common shares of Fire & Flower. 

​​“The company will prudently use this capital to continue to grow the business and build upon the recent success we have seen through improvements in our retail, wholesale and logistics, and digital business segments,” said CEO of Fire & Flower, Stéphane Trudel. 

High-interest rates and short loan agreements are par for the course 

ACT will be financing this loan at a rate of 11%, which is quite high for a loan of this kind – buuut it’s right on par with what cannabis businesses usually see. Interest rates are high, and loan terms are short in the cannabis space. 

Where traditional businesses are paying 5-8% interest rates, cannabis businesses are more likely to see a 12-18% interest rate on their financing agreements. 

It’s, unfortunately, just another way cannabis businesses are at a disadvantage compared to traditional businesses. 

Bringing Breast Care Awareness Month to cannabis

Every October, our retail stores and social media feeds are flooded with the color pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A few years ago, I learned about the “Think Before You Pink” movement. 

It sheds light on organizations claiming to do good things for the breast cancer community. Still, they offer little transparency as to how they’re helping further research or support this community.

4Front Ventures x The Pink Gene Foundation

4Front Ventures is breaking that trend. The brand will donate $1 to The Pink Gene Foundation for every purchase of select products from the brand’s flower, vape, and edible lines. 

The Pink Gene Foundation was founded by 4Front Ventures Chief of Staff Tera Martin, who is a breast cancer survivor herself. Seeing a cannabis brand able to deeply support one of our own while advancing a powerful cause is incredible. 

The Pink Gene is working on completing fundraising efforts that have been active for the past two years, which will fund a research project aiming to identify breast cancer cells before they “wake up” and become tumors. 

Consumers – across all industries – are smarter than ever before. Cheap tactics and tricks won’t fly, y’all. 

So if you’re doing something for Breast Cancer Awareness, LGBTQ+ support, or AAPI support – whatever the case may be – make certain you are *meaningfully* supporting a group that is doing real work and can be held accountable. 

Bernie Sanders “worries” about teens’ cannabis curiosity

Sen. Bernie Sanders has become “the politician who likes weed” to many people, especially young people.

He is often asked by students about cannabis legalization when he makes public appearances. At a recent visit to a Vermont high school, he was asked about President Biden’s announcement involving pardons and a federal review of cannabis. 

Sen. Sanders said this enthusiasm from teens “worries me, to tell you the truth.” He is not a consumer but feels cannabis should be legal in every U.S. state and has long maintained that position. 

The interest from teens in cannabis 

I understand how it can be jarring for Bernie Sanders to hear teens ask him this, especially as the frequency increases during federal legalization conversations. 

It’s important to remember, though, that legal cannabis is not associated with increased teen consumption some research shows the opposite.

On a smaller level, these teens may be witnessing a major point in history and are curious about the transition. They could have been told their entire lives how dangerous cannabis is, and now it’s being discussed otherwise, which piques their curiosity and sparks questions to Sen. Sanders. 

Teenagers in 10 years will hopefully have a much different perspective on cannabis and view it as a medication or wellness tool rather than an alluring, forbidden drug that kids want to experiment with.