Retail

Walmart Canada exploring possible sale of cannabis-based products

Key Points
  • Walmart's Canadian unit is exploring the possibility of selling cannabis-based products, but has no immediate plans for selling them.
  • Walmart is the first major retailer to show an interest in being part of Canada's burgeoning marijuana industry.
Man shopping at Walmart in Toronto, Canada. 
Roberto Machado Noa | LightRocket | Getty Images

Walmart's Canadian unit said on Tuesday it is exploring the possibility of selling cannabis-based products, but has no immediate plans to get into the business.

The company's shares rose 2.1 percent to $96.67 in late morning trading.

Walmart is the first major retailer to show an interest in being part of Canada's burgeoning marijuana industry, as other big U.S. companies, mainly in the alcohol and beverage industries, begin to seriously consider entering the market for cannabis-infused products.

Last month Coca-Cola said it was closely watching the marijuana drinks market for a possible entry, while Corona beer maker Constellation Brands has invested more than $4 billion in cannabis producer Canopy Growth.

"As we would for any new industry, Walmart Canada has done some preliminary fact-finding on this issue, but we do not have plans to carry CBD products at this time," Walmart spokeswoman Diane Medeiros told Reuters.

Cannabidiol or CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana and does not cause intoxication.

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Key Points
  • Deutsche Bank raises its rating to buy from hold for Walmart shares, predicting the retailer will report sales above expectations in its third quarter.
  • It says Walmart's online grocery business will thrive and compete well against Amazon.