REI will not enter cannabis industry because of Donald Trump. During a discussion panel, one of the company’s vice presidents publicly stated REI’s initial intentions to branch out into weed. However, due to the current political climate, the retailer will not go forward with their plans.
Who Is REI?
According to reports, the executives of the sporting goods retailer REI considered entering the blossoming cannabis industry. And why not? Adults may now legally smoke recreational weed in eight states and the District of Columbia. There are also 29 states with medical cannabis programs. The cannabis industry has seen an atomic boom in recent years, known as the Green Rush; it would seem like a logical move for existing companies to get in on the action.
REI, formally known as Recreational Equipment, Inc, is the world’s largest and most famous outdoor sports and adventure equipment retailer. It’s been around since 1938 and is just as committed to giving back to the environment and their community as they are to selling sports gear. They donate millions of dollars annually to environment conservation causes and even organize teams to clean up parks and beaches and even to build trails. Since 1998, they have been on Fortune Magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies To Work For.”
The Sport of Politics
Given their commitment to outdoor sports, protecting the planet and encouraging communities, it should not come as any surprise that the company’s executives had expressed an interest in the cannabis industry. After all, according to research, consuming cannabis before a workout is actually beneficial to the exercise session. And we know that weed has myriad proven health benefits.
But alas. REI will not branch out into the cannabis industry. During a panel about consumer behavior and trends at an Outpost event, the company’s vice president for retail experience, Elizabeth Dowd, came forward with this development. Or rather, lack of development.
Dowd stated that REI had considered capitalizing on the spreading legalization of weed. She didn’t specify how exactly. It’s not clear if REI was planning on partnering with existing cannabis businesses or tossing around the idea of actually selling the herb in select locations. But they were considering going greener.
In her comments at the panel, Dowd identified the true reason for REI’s reluctance to embark on this new business venture. Predictably, the fault lies with the current federal administration. Dowd publicly called out the regressive and explicitly anti-cannabis views of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his boss, President Donald Trump.
In other words, REI will not enter the cannabis industry because of Donald Trump.
Final Hit: REI Will Not Enter Cannabis Industry Because of Donald Trump
During her remarks at the discussion panel, Elizabeth Dowd stated that the administration “has not progressed beyond fifty years ago”. She’s not wrong. And considering that Sessions wants to eliminate protections that block federal funds from being used to crack down on states with medical marijuana programs, REI is right to hold off on their plans to break into the cannabis industry. REI will not enter cannabis industry because of Donald Trump. For now, anyway.