The Legal Side of Selling Guns vs THC

Selling THC vs Guns - The Legalities

Image Credit: alexfan32. From 2018, Walmart has set the age restriction to 21 years old to legally purchase a gun

American multinational retail corporations and small scale shops around the country operate to help people through convenience. Types of companies can include; Supercenters, hypermarkets, supermarkets, warhouse clubs, cash-and-carry stores, home improvement, drugstores, convenience stores and digital retail to name but a few.

Big chain retailers have relationships with firearm sales, although for example, with Walmart, they have been capricious in regards to gun policies. Politics and economy has changed drastically over the last 25 years and restrictions on the purchase of guns has been requested by the general public. On the other hand, the laws behind medical and recreational purposes on cannabis seem to be conflicting and have caused a bit of confusion around retailers and consumers alike. It is the primary reason why THC is not in stock.

Legality of Guns VS THC

In the US, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental civil right which is protected by the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, and by the constitutions of most U.S. states. The Second Amendment declares:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed

This authorizes American citizens to have weapons unless:

  • Convicted of a felony
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor (such as domestic violence)
  • Is deemed mentally incapacitated to do so

On the other hand, marijuana has been legalized on a state-by-state basis but it remains illegal under federal law of the United States. A majority of states still have criminalized recreational use of marijuana.

Currently cannabis has been legalized for medicinal uses in half of the states across america. Seventeen other states have permitted cannabidiol in high doses and THC for medicinal purposes only. We must understand that federal laws pertain to clinical trials. This means that the illegality of cannabis makes organizing and running studies challenging.

The laws that stand have complications backed behind them due to unknown legalities and confusion behind CBD and its status. All in all, cannabis and isolated CBD are in an extremely grey area. As a result, it is vital that you read your state’s or country’s laws and regulations regarding cannabis.

  • In the United States, the use and ownership of cannabis are unconstitutional under federal law for any purpose which is conducted by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA).
  • Under the CSA, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I substance, due to it having a high chance for abuse and is believed to not contain any medical properties or benefits.Thereby even the medicinal use of the drug is forbidden.
  • At the state level however, policies concerning the medical and recreational use of cannabis vary greatly and in many states conflict significantly with federal law.

Policies for Studying Cannabis
Cannabis can only legally be dispensed and owned if authorized as a research program by the federation. Since it is still a Schedule I drug, those that want to investigate research into the plant must apply for a study registration. In certain states, a Schedule I grant is required.

Of course, regulations and requirements surrounding the legalities to initiate research can be tricky. Within the research registration, protocols and substances are specific. It is necessary for distributors, importers and manufacturers to register for a Schedule I certificate for substances.

Excluding research programs, Schedule I substances cannot be distributed to the general public. This explains why doctors within the United States can only recommend their patients about the benefits medical cannabis could have for them. A doctor cannot actually prescribe marijuana.

Each state law can be significantly different and the authorization could differ between patients and caregivers. Said patients must have a recommendation from a doctor or other medical professional.

There are no dead-set definitions of high CBD, medical marijuana or low THC produce and the media usually report on these terms very loosely. Most of the cannabinoids in medical marijuana comprise of THC and CBD.

Some areas decriminalize possession by prescribed patients of their caregivers. Some others give full authorization from cultivation to sales, medical to recreational use. In all cases, doctors will monitor the distribution to patients in regards to medical marijuana. Therefore, a patient will not be qualified until a doctor gives permission or a recommendation.

Guns Are More Accessible to Buy Than THC

Hundreds of stores sell guns, even big chain stores. Gun shops and other retailers are required to have a permitting notice known as a Federal Firearms License. These licenses exist to administer federally mandated regulations. Retailing without a permit could result in a fine, jail time, or both. Though there are certain cases when the ATF says you don’t need a license to sell, as when individuals are liquidating a personal collection or selling off the occasional gun to pay for a newer model. Gun shows are also a commonly discussed loophole.

In February 2018, Walmart announced that they would not sell any gun related product (i.e ammunition, magazine clips etc) to anyone under 21 years of age. They also said that they would no longer sell items relating to assault-style rifles, including toys and airsoft, BB guns, or paintball guns.

Large scale stores usually conducts a background checks on customers who wish to purchase a gun. Their customers have to fill out a form to purchase:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco
  3. Firearms
  4. Explosives

The form requires information such as:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Place of birth
  4. Race
  5. Citizenship

Meanwhile, although cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States, many states have legalized marijuana for legitimate medical purposes and several states have approved cannabis both medically and for adult recreational use.

There is a qualification for medical marijuana patients. They must have a diagnosed illness that is on their state’s list of approved medical marijuana conditions. With a valid recommendation of a local physician, a qualified patient can get a medical marijuana card or authorization to purchase medical marijuana products. On the other hand, there are few states where recreational cannabis has been legalized. There is no need for adult consumers to have a medical marijuana card but may not have access to the same medical cannabis that is reserved for patients.

Walmart is undeniably the most significant gun retailer in the world. However, there are still circumstances that explain why they keep guns in stock but not THC. Legalities between the two are one of the main factors. Under the Federal Law of the United States, possessions of firearms are protected by the law. Meanwhile, THC remains illegal under the federal regulations of the United States.

This is true even though marijuana has been legalized in some states on a state-by-state basis whether it’s for medical or recreational use. Comprehending as to how the federal laws pertain to clinical testing and studies can be difficult, but when you investigate research funding, you will see the clear correlation. Some state funding has been allocated to studying cannabis in states with legalized medical marijuana.

Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty
Niamh Tumilty is a writer and multimedia producer for cannabisMD where she is constantly evaluating the continued growth of CBD and its presence in the news. Her research and writing on cannabis and CBD can be found at

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