Executives at retail recreational company REI have discussed the idea of entering the coming-of-age marijuana industry; however the company is concerned about ongoing ambivalence on the U.S. federal level.
Ongoing federal prohibition deters banks and the majority of mainstream corporations from directly, or even peripherally, working with the cannabis industry. Bitcoin is currently the industry’s currency of choice.
So far, REI has weathered the storm that has seen many brick-and-mortar retailers shutter their doors, while online outlets are on the rise.
Given how tough it is for retail companies to stay above their online competitors, it might be too big a risk to position themselves as pro pot. While 29 U.S. States have a medical marijuana program, and eight states, the District of Columbia and the country of Uruguay, have legalized marijuana, it is still prohibited at the U.S. federal level.
According to Forbes, while Obama-era guidance generally respected the rights of states to implement their own cannabis laws without federal interference, current Attorney General Jeff Sessions has publicly considered rescinding that.
Despite the current, polarizing climate of cannabis, legalization is marching forward and public perception of it is changing.
It makes sense that marijuana would be on-brand to use in advertising a company that positions itself as the ideal supplier for the rugged adventurers and outdoorsy types. The campfire is the perfect place to pass a joint.
Perhaps even a strain of REI campfire cannabis would fly off the shelves along with the tent pegs.