“Big-Box Retailers” Gearing Up to Sell CBD Products in the U.S.
In another reminder of the stark contrast between Canadian and U.S. laws, major retailers south of the border are preparing to carry a wide array of CBD-infused products, according to the New York Post.
Unlike Canada, where CBD can only be obtained through a licensed medical provider, cannabis dispensary or government-controlled marijuana outlet, CBD products in the U.S. have been circulating for several years.
In fact, it is safe to say that the “CBD craze” came about thanks to supplement companies in the U.S. marketing it as a health product. Extracting it from industrial hemp, not marijuana, allowed them to hide in a legal grey area. However, these products were still technically illegal. This is because, despite the 2014 Farm Bill allowing for the production of industrial hemp (cannabis with a THC content of 0.3% or less) and CBD products, its plant classification kept it as a Schedule I drug on a federal level.
Hemp (cannabis sativa L.) and marijuana (cannabis sativa) both belong to the cannabis genus. The U.S. banned cannabis as whole, which meant both hemp and marijuana were considered illegal drugs on a federal level. But the 2018 Farm Bill cleared the air, and established hemp as separate from marijuana according to both federal and state laws. Now, anyone can sell it.
Despite the fact that many of CBD’s alleged benefits have not been thoroughly researched, many users swear that it helps with a myriad of issues. Understandably, big retailers have not hesitated to cash in on this opportunity.
Target and Wal-Mart Among Other Major Players
Although some companies have been selling CBD in legal states for some time, retailers are now engaging in closed-door discussions to carry CBD products nationwide in the near future. According to the New York Post:
“Big-box retailers aren’t selling CBD yet, but they’re busy getting ready for the day when they can. The Post has learned that top executives at major chains such as Walmart and Target have been quietly meeting with makers of drinks, gummy bears, topical creams and oils that are infused with cannabidiol, or CBD.”
Sales of this magnitude are unprecedented, as CBD products have been typically sold for the most part by small online supplement companies.
But ever since the product took hold, companies like Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS (among others) specifically offer CBD creams that are said to reduce signs of aging – an unsubstantiated CBD claim.
CBD companies like CBDfx – a small operation that has been selling the products for about six years – claims to have had multiple discussions with major retailers.
Furthermore, the New York Post states:
“…both chains are not only doing due diligence on CBD but also hatching plans for how to sell it, sources said.”
However, when reached for comment, both Wal-Mart and Target said that they were following the CBD development, but have no plans to offer other CBD products in the near future.
Opposition from the FDA
Wal-Mart and Target’s desire to stay under the radar might have to do with pushback from federal watchdogs. The Food and Drug Administration issued a reminder in December of last year that it is illegal to “spike” food or drinks with CBD, or carry it across state lines.
The New York Post reveals that, for now, smaller chains will likely offer CBD products first. Larger organizations – likely fearing litigation – are waiting for the FDA to rule on the CBD controversy.
WeedAdvisor’s Desire for Universal Cannabis Access
Although overhyped, CBD does have some beneficial properties. Having these supplements available in conventional stores allows customers in otherwise illegal states to access the medicine safely.
However, WeedAdvisor reminds everyone that not every CBD producer conducts independent lab tests, nor are they evaluated by government regulators. Consequently, there is no consistency in quality from one brand to another.
We urge individuals not to get too excited yet.