MAR 14, 2019 9:53 PM PDT

Facebook and Whole Foods Make Preparations for Marijuana Products

WRITTEN BY: Amy Loriaux

Whole Foods wants to sell you pot...probably. Actually, they are eager to sell you pot "accessories", but more of the housewarming kind and less the kind sold at headshops. According to Forbes, many large and conventional (and family friendly) companies are investing in the marijuana market and preparing to make a lot of money off of it. Here's a basic example: Bloomingdale’s is now selling cannabis-related products, including candles, perfumes, and soaps. 

Will we one day see Eau du Cannabis? Photo source: UnSplash.com

Companies more associated with other intoxicants (liquor, cigarettes, etc.) have been looking at how to integrate cannabis into their product lines. Two years ago, Constellation Brands, maker of Corona, invested in Canopy Growth Corporation. That company has poured so much money into the enterprise that they now own 38% of the company. Coors and small craft brands are also looking to take advantage of the “Green Rush”, as Ben Curren calls it in the Forbes piece.

According to The TelegraphFacebook is considering loosening its rules which could allow its users to promote and sell cannabis products for the first time. According to one official: “Our policies at the moment do not allow for the sale of marijuana on the platform. We want to consider whether we can loosen this restriction, especially in relation to medical marijuana, legal marijuana and brick and mortar stores.” To give them credit, this would be an enormous undertaking with many complexities because, as a social media company, it can cross state lines and even go international, where different laws are on the books. These factors have been giving the company pause before jumping on board the pot band-wagon.

On the other hand, you have Whole Foods (sold to Amazon last year). Whole Foods is waiting on bated breath for complete legalization to arrive. When John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods was questioned at a Texas event about the kinds of products he would be interested in selling, he reportedly stated: “If cannabis is ever passed in Texas, chances are good that grocery stores will be selling that too.” He then continued, “You just never know what happens over time with markets. They change and evolve.”

Other companies that want to extend their product lines include beverage companies like PepsiCo who want to gain a competitive edge over alcoholic beverage companies through the addition of cannabidiol (CBD) into their drinks (although they still need to work out its reputable bad taste). Cosmetic companies see a potential for adding cannabinoids to their products to add another element of lotions and creams, including for calming attributes. Even businesses in the "sharing economy" see potential in cannabis delivery services in the vein of Uber Eats.

Would you drink "weed beer"? Photo source: PixaBay.com

One word that pops up in this article more than once is the word "potential". The market is primed to jump into this new space. You can bet that they are putting pressure on members of Congress to repeal this federal ban on cannabis. And, frankly, the government tends to be more easily persuaded by industry than by activists. This may mean that advocates for marijuana should look towards industry for a potential partnership to overturn a ban that is almost a century old. 

 

SourcesForbes.com, Telegraph.co.uk, Marijuana Moment, Wall Street Journalcourant.comLeafly.com

About the Author
  • I currently work at a small CRO involved in clinical trial management.
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