In a letter directed to its U.S. employees made public on June 1st, 2021, Amazon announced its support for the federal legalization of adult-use cannabis. This announcement has served as a springboard for cannabis enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists alike to come up with an array of theories on the retailer giant’s intentions within the cannabis industry.
But before we get into that, let’s remember that Amazon had already shown some degree of interest in cannabis when the MORE Act was announced in 2020. Safe to say, those theories went down the gutter in parallel to the death of the MORE Act in the senate.
The June 1st announcement, in combination with rumors of a new mysterious bill for cannabis federal legalization, has re-sparked the public’s interest. With a potential passing bill and a public announcement, the chances of great retailers like Amazon jumping on the ‘money train’ seem certain.
Even more so when you take into account that the letter (blog post) also announced their intention to not test for marijuana in the future. Instead, they will treat marijuana consumption as they do alcohol consumption; only testing for transport-related jobs. Which makes a lot of sense if you ask us.
Although it won’t eliminate all of the obstacles for a company like Amazon to get into the cannabis industry, supporting federal legalization allows them to meet the people they need to meet to do the business that needs doing when it comes to cannabis delivery, even if it is far into the future.
Safe to say:
Something like national cannabis distribution is a highly political matter and friends must be made (lobbying). Marijuana, alcohol, medication, and other similar substances are very difficult to sell online due to state regulations and restrictions, even when they are legal.
We know because we are an online retailer for cannabis-derived products ourselves. So even if Amazon were to sell cannabis down the line, the chances of them taking over the industry are very slim. So we can expect local dispensaries and specialized online retailers like us to still have a niche.
It also helps to remember that CBD and other cannabis-derived products have been federally regulated for a while now. Still, these are not sold on Amazon as of yet.
That should tell us two things; the first is that selling this type of product is not as simple as it seems and the second is that there might be many undiscovered risks and obstacles behind cannabis and alcohol distribution that Amazon is not willing to take. But then again, these are just assumptions based on observation.
What we do know is that regulations like the PACT Act have made the distribution of cigarettes and vaping devices very difficult, even though they are legal products. A similar outcome can be expected of a substance like Marijuana that comes with so many taboos attached to it.
Yes, Amazon is probably interested in the cannabis industry. If not interested in selling cannabis-derived products just yet, they most likely are interested in exploring the possibilities. But there is a long way from interest to action, so only time will tell whether or not they will sell cannabis at some point.