Walgreens sells $1.2 billion in cannabis for patients
Walgreen has agreed to sell marijuana for $1 billion to treat patients who can’t afford traditional medicine.
The pharmacy chain’s board approved the deal Monday, a decision that was widely expected given the low price of marijuana in Colorado and the state’s marijuana laws.
Walgens chairman and CEO, Michael J. Samuels, said the pharmacy would treat a large number of patients with chronic pain, and that the sale of the drug would allow the company to help “help more patients access pain relief, and the life-changing benefits of marijuana for patients.”
Walgills annual revenue has fallen 15% in the past five years, according to the company’s financial filings.
Samiels said the company had hoped to have the drug on the market by 2018, but that timeline has changed.
“Today’s decision is another step forward to continue moving forward as a leader in the cannabis industry, and we are grateful for the support of our patients, their families and the communities we serve,” Samuel said in a statement.
The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as the company is facing pressure from lawmakers to loosen restrictions on the use of medical marijuana.
The federal government has not legalized marijuana for medical use, and states have struggled to pass legislation allowing the use and sale of cannabis for recreational use.
Samuals previously said he hoped the company would expand its distribution to states where marijuana is legal, such as California and Oregon.
Earlier this year, Walgans parent company, Samuel & Johnson, announced that it was spending $1 million to research the potential benefits of medical cannabis, which it said could help prevent the spread of cancers.