Those seeking signs that marijuana is headed towards mainstream availability may find news titillating that a spokesperson for Walmart said the mega-chain is doing “preliminary fact-finding” on the possibility of selling cannabis products.
Walmart Canada representative Diane Medeiros admitted in an email to the Vancouver Sun that, though the company has no set plans for making any specific products commercially available, it is researching the potential of stocking cannabinoid-based products—specifically those containing CBD. Medeiros chalked the research up to good business tactics, writing that Walmart is doing its due diligence, “as we would for any new industry.”
The news comes days before Canada is set to legalize weed on the federal level. Given that the country’s census organization has estimated that Canadians will drop $1 billion on legal cannabis in the first 10 weeks of its availability, it should come as no surprise that the industry is attracting attention from pre-existing brands.
Walmart is far from the only major brand looking to expand its offerings for marijuana consumers, the food and drink industries being among the areas of most rapid expansion. In the past month, Coca-Cola has joined the list of megalith brands that have openly addressed the possibility of creating products featuring CBD. Molson Coors is perhaps the largest brand to announce plans to start experimenting with cannabis beers, though mid and smaller sized breweries like California’s Lagunitas and Portland’s Coalition Brewing already market CBD-infused alcoholic beverages. Estée Lauder is another major label courting weed consumers, having made it’s “Hello, Calm” sativa-infused face mask available through its Origins line at Sephora.
And it’s not only major companies who are looking into incorporating CBD in their products. Select cafés and restaurants have been grinding out CBD-infused coffee and tea, as well as baked goods and even cocktails. For example, the United States-based vegan restaurant chain By Chloe is now offering CBD-infused food and drinks. Across the pond, Blooms Café in Ireland and Liverpool’s White Wolf Yoga and Kitchen have also hopped aboard the cannabidiol train. While there are certainly those who aren’t a fan of CBD coffee, there are many who are interested and eager to try it out now that the option is available.
Medeiros’ reveal will surely delight those gunning for wider mainstream acceptance of marijuana, and dismay those keen to maintain cannabis’ corporation-free profile — which has already been much called into question by weed companies equipped for international trade and multi-store chains that are shaping marijuana economy in recreational-legal states. The future of cannabis and scope of its purveyors will have a similar spread to that of any other widely retailed product.