Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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70 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Cigarettes + Cigars + Smokeless + E-Cigs + Other OTP TOBACCO Y ou can find a cannabis store selling gas (Gas & Grass in Colorado Springs, for one), but so far, not the other way around. Is it only a matter of time? To be clear, Denver, Colo.-based dispensary business Native Roots now has three Gas & Grass loca- tions in the Colorado Springs area, but it maintains a separate entrance for the dispensary business at these locations, which are medical mari- juana sales only. While the gas sta- tion sections are open to the public, the Gas & Grass dispensaries must follow the same rules and restric- tions that apply to all other medical marijuana stores in Colorado. The combination has certainly attracted the attention of the conve- nience store industry, which is among many watching with interest as the country's pastures turn "greener." Evidence of marijuana's move to a more main- stream position includes: • A growing number of states have moved toward marijuana reform; four additional states voted in favor of marijuana legalization in the 2016 elec- tion, including California, the largest market for the industry. • More than 60 percent of Americans now live in medical or adult-use cannabis states, according to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). • Before the election, a Gallup poll showed that 60 percent of Americans support legal cannabis use. That is the largest percentage of support for legal- ization in the recorded 47 years of studies conduct- ed, with support increasing among all age groups. • The cannabis industry entered 2017 with 2,966 medical dispensaries, 3,973 retailers across the country, and more than 4,200 cannabis cultivators, according to a recent published report on cannabis licenses conducted by research firm Cannabiz Media. Now that California has legalized marijuana, the recreational and medicinal marijuana market is fore- casted to grow from $7 billion in 2016 to $22 billion by 2020, according to projections from The Arcview Group, a market research company. "This is the vote heard round the world," Arcview CEO Troy Dayton said in a recent New York Times article. "What we've seen before has been tiny compared to what we are going to see in California." This past July, even before the election turned the number of recreationally legal marijuana states in the United States from four into eight, one tobacco analyst predicted a federally legal marijuana country was not that far off. "We could be heading toward legalization sooner rather than later," said Nik Modi, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, who added it could Green Pastures Ahead? Legal cannabis states are multiplying and it's catching the c-store industry's attention By Renée M. Covino

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