While 21 states have taken steps to legalize medical marijuana, corporate pharmacies can’t—and won’t even try—to get in on this rapidly expanding industry.
Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and more have said they aren’t going to enter the legal weed market. CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel said selling marijuana would violate the company’s registration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
They’ll be missing out on an industry that is expected to grow to $6 billion over the next five years. At this point, regulations are keeping the big guys far away from the conversation (and revenue).
recently ran a piece that explains the regulations and factors that make it impossible. Namely, marijuana is still prohibited under federal law, though it’s being sold for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, and for medicinal purposes in quite a few other states. While it doesn’t make sense now, if it ever does, the U.S. government could see major tax dollar signs on the horizon.
UCLA professor of public policy Mark Kleiman told Bloomberg, “It’s not drug stores that have to make these decisions, its pharmaceutical companies that have to decide if they want to make cannabis products.”