The largest drugstore chain in the United States, CVS Health Corp. has announced that the retailer will sell CBD products. While questions about legality in the US continue, CVS will carry the product line of US cannabis retailer Curaleaf Holdings. In an emailed statement, CVS reported that CBD products, including creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions, and salves, are available in 10 states in 800 stores.
Competing drugstore chain Walgreens will also sell CBD creams, patches, and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states. Cannabis-based products will be available in the chain in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. Walgreens has not specified the brands to be carried in its outlets.
“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said in an email to CNBC.
“Marijuana has been used to relieve pain, digestive and psychological disorders for more than 3,000 years — but the efficacy, safety, and legality of the drug are still widely debated,” Walgreens said on a corporate blog post about medical cannabis. “Research on the health benefits of marijuana is ongoing, but current studies have proven that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function.”
CBD derived from hemp is now legal with the passage of the Farm Bill, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified CBD a drug ingredient making it illegal to add to food and as a dietary supplement. Selling CBD-infused beauty and skin-care products is the first step for retailers.
As retailers open their doors to carrying CBD products, other well-known product brands are either developing or introducing CBD-infused products.
The Coca-Cola Co. opened talks to partner with Canadian company Aurora Cannabis in 2018 to market cannabis-infused beverages, according to BNN Bloomberg. The move is still in the discussion phase but still marks a significant shift with one of the world’s largest corporations embracing the cannabis industry. The beverages developed would only be CBD infused, marketing on easing pain, inflammation, and cramping.
The Coca-Cola products, if ever developed, might either be sold just in Canada. However, the growing acceptance of other large US retailers to carry CBD product lines might change the landscape for Coca-Cola to include sales in the US.
The 132-year old company owns over 500 brands around the world, but revenue has been reported to be down since 2017. The company offers an alcoholic beverage in the Japanese market and is probably looking for new beverage concepts for additional revenue.
Jelly Belly candies giant has launched CBD jelly beans. David Klien, a confectioner, often credited with creating the popular Jelly Belly candy loved by President Ronald Regan, announced the CBD candy on Instagram. His company, Spectrum Confections, will offer the 10mg CBD beans in 38 flavors, along with a set of 7 sugar-free jelly beans coated in sugar or Maltitol.