Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) is the world’s largest drug store chain and promises to grow even larger if its proposed merger with Rite Aid Inc. (NYSE: RAD) is completed. That’s why a recent post at the company’s blog that discusses medical marijuana is worth noting.
The post at the company’s StayWell tumblr is in the form of an FAQ that begins with a definition of medical marijuana and ends with where a consumer can buy it. The answer to that last question is interesting:
Medical marijuana can’t be purchased from a pharmacy like traditional prescriptions. It must be sold through a licensed dispensary in an approved state. Patients must be seen and evaluated by a licensed health care provider.
Walgreens told MarketWatch that the post was written in response to customer questions. If consumers are asking about medical marijuana at Walgreens they’re also asking about it at CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, and other large, well-known retailers.
What does the mean for the medical (and, eventually perhaps, the recreational) marijuana industry that has sprouted since California passed the first state law permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996? Are Walgreens and other large pharmacies just waiting on the sidelines for the federal government to remove restrictions on medical marijuana to clear the way for them to offer medical cannabis in their pharmacies?
By Walgreens standards the U.S. medical marijuana market is pretty small at around $4 billion in 2015. But if marijuana were legalized for recreational use as well, the market size could easily reach 10 times that amount. Walgreens total revenues in 2015 amounted to more than $103 billion, and adding a few billion from legal marijuana sales could be a solid revenue driver.
Walgreens might as well put its stake in the ground now, setting itself up as a source of dispassionate information on medical marijuana. There’s something to gain and nothing to lose.
Here are excerpts from other recent cannabis-related news stories.
Actor Woody Harrelson’s Application to Open Pot Business in Hawaii Fails
Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson’s bid to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Hawaii was rejected on Friday, as the state approved eight of more than 60 applicants, officials said.
Harrelson, who is best known for his roles in the film “White Men Can’t Jump” and 1980s sitcom “Cheers,” had applied for a license on behalf of his company Simple Organic Living LLC.
The actor, who for more than a decade has spoken in favor of pot and is on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, made national headlines earlier this year when his application became public.
Read more Reuters.
‘Marijuana Tampon’ Might Be the End of Your Period Cramps
Period cramps suck and can turn some women’s menstruation into a monthly encounter with severe and intense pain. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at least half of all women who get their periods experience one or two days of cramping, and while women try lots of ways to relieve the issue, from Midol to acupuncture and beyond, not everything works for everyone, making almost any new proposed solution worth investigation. Enter Foria Relief, a THC-infused suppository that’s come to be known as the “weed tampon.” The company says it won’t get you—or your vagina—high, but it might be the cure for what menstrually ails you.
According to Foria’s website, the suppositories contain just three ingredients: CBD, THC and organic cocoa butter. You insert the suppository—which can be used with tampons—and wait for its healing powers to take effect. Though every woman’s response will be different, Foria states that “on average, women are reporting relief within 15-30 minutes of insertion.” And in case you’re worried—totally justifiable—about what else might be contained in something you’re putting directly into your body, Foria claims its “cannabis is outdoor grown in Northern California without the use of harmful pesticides.”
Read more at Alternet.