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Are Walmart and Amazon On The Verge Of Getting Into The Cannabis Industry?

By Roger Malespin

The World’s largest retailer just took a step toward becoming the world’s largest carrier of cannabis products when it reached a distribution deal with Denver-based American Cannabis Company last week to carry items from SoHum Living Soils and Dr. Marijane Root Probiotic, both agriculture-based cannabis products. The deal will be exclusive to online channels and are additions to the variety of hemp oils and  other hemp based products already sold. 

“ACC is excited to have the opportunity to offer our products online through these major retailers,” said CEO Terry Buffalo. “We are especially excited to be selling our proprietary SoHum Living Soils potting mix through these online channels, as we have spent years perfecting our blend, and fine-tuning the messaging around the brand itself.”

Michael Warren, CEO of Earth Alive, stated: “ACC has taken a leadership position in this new industry, and we are thrilled to be partners with them as we benefit from their vast experience and innovative approach. We as a company are pleased that ACC has been very proactive in getting our innovative and proven effective Dr. Marijane Root Probiotic to the retail marketplace in such a timely fashion.”

A valid criticism of being too worked up about this is that it is limited to a select few products and through online channels exclusively, but we would counter that those are reasons to be hopeful, not disgruntled. First, online shopping is the way the majority of Americans shop today, with $454 billion spent last year, 63 million more than the year before. Clearly, online retail is not the wave of the future, it is the current dominant channel for Americans to buy their products, and it will only get bigger as more traditional retail giants close their doors. 

Also, we should be happy with small victories because their effects may go well beyond their initial impact. Just a few short years ago, it was laughable to think that companies the size of Walmart and Amazon would associate themselves with cannabis, and not just because of the legality. The stigma of marijuana while waning, still persists in many places in America, and even if we take this newest victory as purely symbolic it would be a huge gain against that stigma.

It is true that before these and other retailers are able to sell cannabis products with the breadth of alcohol and pharmaceuticals, the government would have to change the federal laws, and that seems far off, but so did Walmart and Amazon associating their brand with any cannabis just a short time ago. There are lawmakers on the right side of things, and even those who are opposed cannot ignore the will of the American people and the taxable revenue cannabis would bring for long. 

Mainstream acceptance of cannabis in America is something that must happen in increments, and the progress made in a short time is nothing short of spectacular given the decades of demonization. So keep the faith, and we just might see changes at the federal level well within our lifetimes.