retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Coming in the wake of the news this week that Walmart has fired an employee who tested positive for marijuana, and being criticized in some quarters because the employee is suffering from cancer and had a prescription for medical marijuana, there is a story in the Wall Street Journal about how some weed purveyors want their grass to look greener.

According to the story, “Medical marijuana is now legal in 15 states for patients suffering certain conditions, including, in Colorado, chronic pain. More than 60,000 Coloradans have doctor recommendations allowing them to buy marijuana; physicians are approving about 400 new patients a day. Pot shops have popped up all over, including at least 230 here in the Mile High City.

“Many of the new dispensaries are dingy and cramped, with bars on the windows, psychedelic posters on the walls and a generally furtive feel.

“But a growing number of potrepreneurs have gone upscale, investing as much as $100,000 to launch ‘wellness centers’ that look like spas—and just happen to sell weed. This new breed of marijuana ‘pharmacist’ is pushing hard to professionalize the industry.

“That means promoting a voluntary code of conduct at odds with the traditional buck-the system stoner culture. The new pot professionals look down on neon cannabis-leaf signs, wince at tie-dye Bob Marley posters, and cringe at the in-your-face swagger of the names traditionally used to differentiate varieties of marijuana.”
KC's View:
This probably is an important image shift that has to take place if folks are to take medical marijuana seriously as a treatment for cancer symptoms.

When we had the Walmart story earlier this week - and my commentary suggesting that the Bentonville Behemoth should have showed more compassion - there were more than a few emails suggesting that people supporting the use of medical marijuana had a social agenda in mind, and that the employee was a stoner looking for an excuse.

The business has to change it those kinds of reactions are to go away.