Major corporations are starting to support cannabis. Photo credit: SeDmi.
Times are always changing, and so are corporations. And while cannabis is not yet federally legal for medicinal or recreational use, national and multinational conglomerates are paving a path forward for consumers and patients.
Amazon is one of the first to make changes by not screening their workers for cannabis — and lobbying lawmakers to pass pro-cannabis policies. A corporation such as Amazon stands out and entices others to do the same and gives an outlook that time’s are indeed changing.
But Amazon isn’t the only major company announcing support, and moving forward with their own pro-cannabis policies. Listed below is more insight into corporations that are diving into the cannabis industry.
In early June, HR boss Beth Galetti announced that the company is reinstating the employment eligibility for cannabis users. Additionally, Amazon will now no longer screen its applicants for cannabis.
Since the pandemic, the company used many incentives to attract more applicants. For example, a tight labor market influenced their decision to drop cannabis drug screenings, reports CNBC. More specifically, the world is facing a labor shortage. Consequently, Amazon hopes that eliminating drug screenings will encourage applicants.
In the same announcement, they also said that they were motivated to remove drug screenings because these tests disproportionately affect people of color.
However, Amazon will continue to screen for cannabis for Department of Transportation-regulated jobs. This includes truck drivers and equipment operators. They will also continue their impairment checks after incidents.
This incentive brings a new perspective for both employees and for Amazon itself. For example, this October, the company announced it is lobbying the federal government to legalize cannabis. Amazon supports the Marijauna Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The act focuses on decriminalizing cannabis at a federal level. This would remove criminal records and invest in impacted communities. Amazon has also endorsed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). This act focuses on expunging state-level cannabis crimes.
The company recently sent a letter to congress. In it, they encourage lawmakers to remove federal non-violent cannabis crimes and allow resentencing for those serving federal prison for those crimes. They are also pushing states to take similar steps.
While many speculate that it is only a matter of time before Amazon gets into the cannabis delivery business, the company currently only sells CBD/hemp products.
Altria Group — one of America’s biggest corporations, and owner of brands including Philip Morris — is one of the many who’ve invested in Cronos Group, a cannabinoid company. Specifically, Altria invested $1.8 billion in Cronos Group, according to a NASDAQ report.
Cronos Groups owns three cannabis brands, the medicinal brand Peace Naturals, and two recreational brands — Cove and Spinach. Additionally, they export to countries like Poland and Argentina.
In order to invest this much into Cronos Group, Altria announced it took a 35% stake in the e-cigarette company Juul for $12.8 billion, according to NASDAQ.
The Canada-based cannabis producer is also currently working on bringing lab-grown cannabis products to the market, according to Cronos Group.
Investing is a gamble that comes with risk, but for Cronos Group, it was different. From cash and short term investments with Altria, Cronos reported having more than $1 billion dollars after research and development capabilities with cannabis. Altria continues to learn more about cannabis, which aligns with their attempt to move beyond tobacco.
Known for brands like Corona beer, Constellation Brands introduced the idea of creating a line of cannabis products.
In 2017 Constellation announced a 9.9% stake in the cannabis producer Canopy Growth.
Currently Canopy Growth brands include Martha Stewart CBD, SurityPro, This Works, BioSteel, Whistl and more.
Their investment started with 245 million Canadian dollars. However, they’ve continued to invest more in the company, and now own 38.6% of Canopy Growth, according to NASDAQ.
The idea of cannabis beverages is still in its early stages. But according to an analysis by Financial News Media, by 2025, the global infused beverage market will be worth $ 2.8 billion. Additionally, experts predict the global cannabis market will be worth $90 billion by 2026. Constellation Brands may benefit from investment in Canopy Growth, a Canada-based company, due to the Canadian market, where products are legal.
Once the market in the U.S. is fully legal, Constellation Brands will have products that are tested and ready to go, according to NASDAQ.
Post from @fireandflower_co on Instagram.
Alimentation Couche-Tard is notable in the U.S. for its convenience store chain, Circle K. Couche-Tard began investing in 2019 in cannabis retailer, Fire and Flower, which had 23 cannabis shops in its portfolio at the time, according to NASDAQ.
Couch-Tard took a plunge investing $26 million to take a 9.9% in Fire and Flower. Fire and Flower is based in Toronto, Canada, but due to this investment, there is a change in their strategy. This company plans to go beyond Canada and expand its market to the U.S.
Currently, Fire and Flower sells a variety of vapes, pre-rolls, flower, edibles and more.
Located in Palm Springs, California, Fire and Flower U.S. Holdings, a successful store under the company’s U.S. brand, continues the company’s expansion with their platform Hifyre Technology. Couche-Tard has helped support Fire and Flower and has resulted in the expansion of more than 14,000 stores spread across 26 countries.
Molson Coors Brewing
Post from @liveveryvell on Instagram.
Molson Coors Brewing Company — owners of brands including Coors, Blue Moon and Miller High Life — announced their joint venture with HEXO, a cannabis company, now known as Truss.
As of 2018, Molson Coors Brewing holds a 57.5% stake in Truss, according to Inside Beer.
In January 2021, both companies collaborated and came up with Veryvell. The CBD-infused products include flavored sparkling waters, and flavored and unflavored beverages drops. They include hemp-derived CBD, and Focus, Unwind and Mind and Body blends.
While Molson Coors Brewing owns a majority of Truss, however, Veryvell operates as a standalone business with its own team, financial resources and board. It has now entered the U.S. market and is sold online and in dispensaries in Colorado.
Having success in the U.S. cannabis market, Peter Marino, president of Molson Coors, changed the company’s name to Molson Coors Beverage Co., reports CNBC. This change reflects its growing focus on beverages outside the traditional beer offerings.
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Post from @hifihops on Instagram.
The California-based brewing company, which is owned by Heineken, is yet another beverage maker that’s hopping into the cannabis industry. In 2018, Lagunitas formed a partnership with the large-scale California cannabis company, Cannacraft, reports the North Bay Business Journal. Together, they’ve created a line of cannabis-infused beverages, Hi-Fi Hops.
The IPA-inspired beverages do not include alcohol. Instead, these are cannabis-infused sparkling waters with CBD and THC.
With cannabis on the rise in the U.S. and Canadian market, other companies are getting ready to empty out their pockets and begin investing. According to ResearchAndMarket, their data shows the global market for CBD is worth around $123 billion by 2027. Companies on the rise most likely to make the next big move include Schmidt’s Natural, Ben & Jerry’s and Colgate-Palmolive. As cannabis slowly makes its way around the U.S. market, the companies above are ready to dive in.