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Cannabidiol (CBD) has become the new hot product everyone’s talking about. Much like marijuana, you can use CBD to de-stress, reduce inflammation, or treat seizures without getting drowsy, hungry, or having the perception of time slowing down. In other words, consuming CBD won’t get you high.

CBD is extracted from the industrial hemp plant and is therefore considered part of the cannabis family. In 2018, congress passed the Farm Bill which legalized the production of hemp derived CBD. However, not all CBD is legal. Only those products compliant with the Farm Bill and approved by the FDA are considered legal by the federal government.

Nevertheless, the Farm Bill was seen as a huge win by the cannabis industry; a huge win that did not go unnoticed.

Competition has emerged from all corners of the globe. So much so, that the industry is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022. It was only a matter of time before well-known retail stores such as CVS and Wal Greens rushed to grab a piece of the pie.

Walgreens Wants In

WalGreens has announced its plans to sell CBD in almost 1500 of its stores throughout the US. As of now, they plan on selling CBD patches, creams, and sprays. However, the brand for these products has not been specified.

Due to the various state regulations regarding CBD, Walgreens will only sell CBD in nine states:

  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • Vermont
  • South Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Illinois
  • Tennessee
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky

Walgreens spokesperson Brian Faith shared with CNBC the reason for introducing CBD in their stores is to increase the accessibility of health and wellbeing products to better meet customer demand.

However, with the recent stocking of CBD products on CVS shelves in early March, we highly doubt meeting customer demand was the only reason Walgreens announced it would sell CBD.

CVS Takes a Leap of Faith

CVS is leading the charge for retail pharmacies by selling CBD. The giant chain store has introduced CBD salves, lotions, spray roll-ons, and creams to its line of products in a strategic move to capture a portion of the growing industry.

At the time of writing, CVS sells CBD in:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Tennessee

Due to the FDA’s regulations, CVS has stated that it’s not selling any CBD food additives or supplements. Rather, they claimed to have partnered with CBD manufacturers that are complaint with the Farm Bill to deliver only high quality products to customers.

The CEO of Curaleaf has claimed that CVS will soon be selling its products on the CVS website and in over 800 CVS stores throughout ten states.

CVS is yet to confirm any of these claims.

Time will Tell

With the FDA frowning upon the use of CBD (especially as an additive in food or dietary supplement) many retailers are turning to CBD as a beauty product. The challenges for these two giants highly increase with the online competition completely dominating the market.

Only time will tell if consumer demand will allow CBD to become another mainstream product at retail stores.

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