Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Starbucks and Cannabis, a Match Made in Heaven? Think again Marijuana may be a Canadian obsession right now, but don’t expect your local Starbucks to offer a bit of bud with your latte anytime soon. According to CEO Kevin Johnson, weed culture just doesn’t fit the Starbucks brand.
It’s a happy cannabis day across the country, a historic moment that turns 95 years of the ban on its head and makes Canada again the second country and first G7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana use.
The day has been a long time coming not only on a political and legislative level, but also on a business level, as the daily troubles of the Canadian pot companies have been making headlines around the world for some time, which has to do with these huge financing rounds and big acquisitions and the volatile ones Share prices have soared to staggering heights in recent weeks.
The sector has seen its share of outside interest, from beer and alcohol producers to pharmacy chains to vegetable growers interested in the emerging industry. Also coffee, as emerged from Canada’s Second Cup, which announced earlier this year that it will be partnering with medical and recreational cannabis retailer National Access Cannabis Corp to turn some of its coffeeshops in Western Canada and Ontario into weed shops. (As of the last report, the partnership has not yet opened any stores and a number of stores are still pending license approvals.)
And with that in mind, one could imagine that Starbucks, always aiming to stay ahead of the curve, would at least kick the tires on this one. But apparently not.
Starbucks cannabis plans? No
“I am aware of this, but we do not think about it or pursue it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday. “I just don’t think it’s going to benefit our brand and what our brand stands for. But as always, we will monitor and watch what is happening in the industry. “
End of the story.
In fact, even the issue of employee cannabis use doesn’t seem to attract more than a stock response from the CEO: “None of this was a problem. Our Starbucks partners use good judgment and employ people who care about connecting with their customers, who care about creating that high-end Starbucks experience, and we have wonderful Starbucks partners, “says Johnson .
After a good half a decade of solid growth, SBUX has been effectively sideways since late 2015, despite the fact that the stock has just seen an upward trend on news that activist investor Bill Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square acquired a 1.1 percent stake in the company Valued at over $ 800 million. The share has gained more than seven percent in the past few days.
And while he may not be interested in cannabis, Johnson says his company is carefully focused on creating shareholder value.
“If you look at the strategic priorities that we outlined, we were very clear about those priorities,” he says. “Number one accelerates our growth and our long-term target markets in the US and China. Second, it leverages the global coffee alliance we just formed with Nestle to run our CPG and food services business worldwide, and the third sharpens our business focus on shareholder value returns. “
“If we push this forward, the stock is expected to be undervalued today. If we implement this, we will create significant shareholder value,” he says.
Too bad. A couple of pot brownies would look great next to those blueberry scones.