Walmart is looking into selling cannabis products in its Canadian stores

  • Walmart’s Canadian division is exploring the sale of marijuana products in its stores, according to reports.
  • The company said it had carried out some “preliminary fact-finding” on carrying CBD-infused products in its stores, but it had no immediate plans.
  • Canada is set to legalise marijuana federally on October 17, and analysts expect CBD to show up in products ranging from beverages to skincare.

Walmart may be the next big retailer to get into the marijuana business.

The big-box retailer’s Canadian division told Bloomberg it has carried out some “preliminary fact-finding” on potentially carrying CBD (or cannabidiol) infused products, but has no plans to do so yet. Walmart’s stock was up 2% following the reports.

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that’s linked to a range of health benefits but can’t get you high.

Canada is set to legalise marijuana federally on October 17. In the US, the CBD market is estimated to be a $US1 billion business, and some analysts believe the market could explode to $US22 billion across a range of categories, including beverages, snacks, and beauty products, in the next four years.

Coca-Cola is reportedly eyeing a deal with Aurora Cannabis to produce beverages infused with CBD for the Canadian market. Constellation Brands – the beermaker behind Corona and Modelo – recently paid $US4 billion for a 38% stake in the Canadian cultivator Canopy Growth.

On top of that, Lagunitas, Heineken’s popular California-based brand, recently developed a hoppy, THC-infused sparkling water. And Molson Coors recently entered a joint venture with Hexo, a publicly-traded cultivator, to produce marijuana-infused beer for the Canadian market.

“Health and wellness consumers are beginning to find value and use cases from CBD-based oil extracts, tinctures, topicals and capsules to improve everyday life,” Vivien Azer, an analyst at the investment bank Cowen said in a note on Tuesday.

“We expect to see CBD used as a functional ingredient in non-alcoholic beverages,” Azer said.

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