Why Walmart Keeps Guns In Stock But Not THC | cannabisMD

Why Walmart Keeps Guns In Stock But Not THC

Why Walmart Keeps Guns In Stock But Not THC

Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation and is considered to be the world’s largest company by revenue (approximately $486 billion according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2017). Walmart operates in various retail formats throughout these divisions:

  1. Supercenters
  2. Supermarkets
  3. Hypermarkets
  4. Warehouse clubs
  5. Cash-and-carry stores
  6. Home improvement
  7. Specialty electronics
  8. Restaurants
  9. Apparel stores
  10. Drugstores
  11. Convenience stores
  12. Digital retail

Walmart is often referred to as the world’s largest gun retailer. Yet, its relationship with firearm sales has been fickle in the last 25 years since it made the landmark decision to stop carrying handguns. As economic and political winds have shifted, so have Walmart’s gun policies. The general trend, however, has been toward more restrictions. On the other hand, federal and state laws regarding the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids conflict have led to confusion among consumers and retailers like Walmart. 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 medical purposes in 50% of states across america. Seventeen other states allow products that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical use. We must understand that federal laws pertain to clinical research. This means that the illegality of cannabis makes organizing and running studies challenging.

The complexity of these laws has worsened due to confusion regarding the legal status of CBD. 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, because it is defined as 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

Schedule I substances like cannabis cannot be prescribed and can only be lawfully distributed and possessed as part of a federally authorized research program. Investigators seeking to conduct Schedule I research must secure a Schedule I study registration. Some states also require a state Schedule I grant.

These requirements, particularly for those unfamiliar with the steps involved, can be challenging. The research registration is both substances (e.g., cannabis or CBD) and protocols specific. Manufacturers, importers, and distributors also must secure Schedule I substance-specific certifications.

These Schedule I substances cannot be given outside of a research program. This explains why physicians, in the states, that approve the therapeutic potential of cannabis, can only “certify” or “recommend” that their patients diagnosed medical condition is best treated through medical marijuana. They cannot issue a prescription.

State laws, which differ significantly state-by-state, may authorize people other than patients and caregivers to distribute and manufacture cannabis preparations to patients. Said patients must have the recommendation of a physician or healthcare provider. Nevertheless, such activities remain illegal under federal law.

  • The cannabis plant contains more than 100 individual cannabinoids (so far scientist have only come across this amount so this is only an estimate).
  • The predominant cannabinoids are Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
  • THC activates the body’s endogenous cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. Activation of CB1 is responsible for THC’s psychoactive properties.
  • Cannabidiol does not directly activate those receptors at doses being studied in clinical trials and is considered to be non-psychoactive.

There are no definitions of “medical marijuana” and “high-CBD” or “low-THC” products and media reports usually use these terms loosely. Medical marijuana products may comprise a range of cannabinoids, although most are predominantly comprised of CBD and THC. High-CBD products are commonly higher in CBD content than other medical marijuana products, but some of these products may have levels of THC ranging from 0.3% to 5%, depending on the state law. Similarly, there is no common understanding for medical marijuana or CBD under state laws, which vary significantly.

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, physicians (or in a few states also other healthcare providers) are the “gatekeepers”. That is, a patient cannot become qualified without a physician’s recommendation.

Guns Are More Accessible to Buy Than THC

Hundreds of stores sell guns, even big chain stores like Walmart. 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.

Walmart 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 products that are available for the patient.

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. Understanding how federal laws pertain to clinical research and studies can be challenging, 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.

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