The Canadian branch of Walmart Inc. has revealed that it is thinking about including cannabis-based products on its shelves.
This announcement makes Walmart the first major retailer to express interest in participating in the cannabis industry. Other major companies from the U.S. to show interest in the Canadian cannabis industry were from the beverage and alcohol industry (Coca Cola and Constellation Brands).
Just how free are these companies when it comes to making decisions about getting involved in the cannabis industry? Market sentiment may be forcing their hand as was seen when Pepsi Cola shares dipped on the stock exchange when the company announced that it had no interest in venturing into the cannabis industry. Other mega brands, fearful of suffering a similar fate, may be sending out feelers to identify at what point they can get on the marijuana wave sweeping everything in its wake.
Marijuana or its derivatives has been linked to several medicinal functions, such as helping people deal with chronic pain. Cancer, pediatric epilepsy, PTSD and other conditions are all said to be improved by cannabis ingredients.
Diana Medeiros, the spokeswoman for Walmart confirmed that the company had conducted some preliminary research but they hadn’t made any decision yet to have CBD products in their stores.
The move by Walmart comes just days before the adult-use of marijuana becomes legal in Canada. Canada is the first country with a large economy to decriminalize recreational marijuana. The retail sales of marijuana in Canada are expected to reach C$10.4 billion by 2025.
Canada’s decision and process is likely to be copied in other developed nations since many are already watching the developments in Canada closely. Canada has started exporting medical cannabis products to different countries, and many developed nations will not want to be left out on the revenues that can accrue from this industry that is enjoying wide popularity across all sections of the population.
The interest shown by large corporations is giving the marijuana industry positive publicity, something that is likely to fuel the push for further legalization in jurisdictions where marijuana is still prohibited.
It is that same interest in revenue that is driving decriminalization in several U.S. states. For example, New Hampshire is already calculating the potential tax revenues from the cannabis industry ahead of legalization. Such forces are likely to play a major part in any decision made regarding the legalization of marijuana.
Whether Walmart sells CBD products or not, cannabis industry players like Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) welcome the buzz that their interest has created around the cannabis industry.
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