Whole Foods already sells some cannabis-based products like organic hemp seeds and cannabinoid supplements.

John Mackey, the co-founder and current CEO of Whole Foods Market, told an audience in Texas that if the state legalized cannabis, he would support efforts to sell it in supermarkets.

Mackey, who was speaking at a staged conversation with the Texas Tribune, said that “chances are good” for cannabis sales in grocery stores like his natural and organic food chain, which has more than 450 locations in North America and the United Kingdom.

When asked for an estimated time frame on when cannabis might be available on his shelves, Mackey noted that the decision lay with “the market and the government regulations.”

As High Times noted, Mackey’s comments about cannabis in grocery stores were actually prompted by a question from an audience member about whether insects would ever be offered as an alternative protein source at Whole Foods. Mackey said that his stores would consider that option before adding his comments about legalization efforts in the Lone Star State.

“If cannabis is ever passed in Texas, chances are good that grocery stores will be selling that, too,” he said. “You just never know what happens over time with markets. They change and evolve.”

Mackey did not voice an opinion as to what cannabis-related products would be sold at his stores – Whole Foods already sells some cannabis-based products like organic hemp seeds and cannabinoid supplements – and concluded his thoughts on the possibility by stating, “Let’s see what happens with the market and government regulations over time.”

Legal sale of marijuana is currently restricted in Texas, though low-THC cannabis is available to patients who have been diagnosed with “intractable” epilepsy as part of the Texas Compassionate Use Act of 2015. Three organizations were licensed to dispense cannabis in 2017, per the act’s requirements.

House Bill 1365, which was introduced by Texas state representative Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville) in February 2019, would expand the Compassionate Use Act to allow treatment for cancer, autism, PTSD and other forms of epilepsy, and would expand the kinds of cannabis available to patients to include vaporizations, tinctures and lotions, but not smokeable cannabis.

High Times also noted that Whole Foods is not the only food retailer to consider stocking cannabis. The United Bodegas of America has expressed its desire for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow bodegas – the small, independent grocery/convenience and wine stores that are located throughout New York City and other major metropolises – to sell cannabis. 

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