Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has rarely wavered from founder Sam Walton's gospel of Christian free enterprise or his conservatism.
So it should come as no surprise that, over the years, the world's largest retailer has taken stands against medical marijuana laws, sometimes refusing to cover employees' legal cannabis prescriptions.
So the most recent news coming out of Bentonville, Ark., was a bit shocking.
Earlier this week, Walmart's Canadian division said it's exploring the possibility of selling cannabis-infused products in its stores.
While various global beverage and tobacco giants have been showing interest in the legal cannabis market, Walmart is the first big retailer do so – and probably the most surprising choice possible.
What's next? Cannabis grow kits at Hobby Lobby? Marijuana-infused nuggets at Chick-fil-A?
Even more jaw-dropping is that this, technically, isn't Walmart's first foray into pot.
Earlier this year, it greenlit the sale of American Cannabis Co. Inc. (OTC: AMMJ) soil mix via its online store. While this is a far cry from stocking Walmart shelves with buds and edibles, it was a big step into the cannabis market for the traditionally conservative retailer.
Now, Walmart doesn't want to anger conservative customers. That's why you won't be able to buy your bud from the retailer – in Canada or here at home – maybe ever.
Instead, Walmart Canada is looking into cannabidiol, or CBD.
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CBD is a non-psychoactive but beneficial agent in marijuana. One CBD drug – a childhood epilepsy treatment from GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (Nasdaq: GWPH) – just got reclassified as a Schedule V drug in the United States, on par with cough syrup.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.