CANADA Wal­mart Canada pon­ders cannabis pos­si­bil­i­ties

In­ter­est in CBD has been boom­ing as Canada pre­pares to le­gal­ize­mar­i­juana

StarMetro Edmonton - - CANADA - Kris­tine Owram MARTIN/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Wal­mart Inc.’s Cana­dian arm has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of sell­ing cannabis-based prod­ucts but doesn’t in­tend to get into the much-hyped busi­ness yet.

“As we would for any new in­dus­try, Wal­mart Canada has done some pre­lim­i­nary fact-find­ing on this is­sue, but we do not have plans to carry CBD prod­ucts at this time,” spokes­woman Diane Medeiros said in an email, re­fer­ring to cannabid­iol, a non-psy­choac­tive com­pound found in cannabis plants.

In­ter­est in CBD has been boom­ing as Canada pre­pares to le­gal­ize recre­ational mar­i­juana next week and sev­eral large al­co­hol and con­sumer prod­ucts com­pa­nies have in­di­cated they’re study­ing CBD’s com­mer­cial pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Coca-Cola Co. said last month that it’s “closely watch­ing the growth of nonpsy­choac­tive CBD as an in­gre­di­ent in func­tional well­ness bev­er­ages around the world.” Con­stel­la­tion Brands Inc., the maker of Corona beer and Robert Mon­davi wine, has in­di­cated an in­ter­est in sell­ing CBD-in­fused drinks through its part­ner­ship with Canopy Growth Corp., and Mol­son Coors Canada Inc. has formed a joint ven­ture with Hexo Corp. to de­velop cannabis bev­er­ages.

When Pep­siCo Inc. said last week that it has no plans to in­vest in cannabis, its shares took a dip.

Other Cana­dian re­tail out­lets are mov­ing into the pot space. Shop­pers Drug Mart, the drug­store chain owned by Loblaw Cos., last month re­ceived ap­proval from Health Canada to be­come a li­censed med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­ducer, open­ing the door for its phar­ma­cies to dis­pense med­i­cal cannabis to pa­tients.

While CBD doesn’t get you high like its cousin THC, it’s thought to help with a wide range of ail­ments rang­ing from pain and in­flam­ma­tion to anx­i­ety and sleep­less­ness. Its ther­a­peu­tic ef­fects are the sub­ject of sev­eral clin­i­cal tri­als be­ing con­ducted by Cana­dian cannabis com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing a Canopy study on sleep and Til­ray Inc. re­search into Dravet syn­drome, a rare form of pe­di­atric epilepsy. Sev­eral large al­co­hol and con­sumer prod­ucts com­pa­nies have in­di­cated they’re study­ing CBD’s com­mer­cial pos­si­bil­i­ties.TIJANA

MORE NEWS ON THE BUSI­NESS OF CANNABIS AT THES­TAR.COM/ BUSI­NESS

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