CBD Going Mainstream
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
CVS, Walgreens ....Who’s Next? We went to CVS to see what all the hype was about.
Earlier this month CVS announced it would be selling CBD products in 8 states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee. CVS is currently the nation’s largest pharmacy chain with 9,800 locations nationwide and will initially test the product in 800 locations.
Following the news, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said on CNBC that the move was prompted by customer demand. CVS Customers that have used CBD said it helped with pain relief, arthritis and other ailments. Merlo also added that they plan to walk “slowly” with the category “but we think this is something that customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering”. CVS also stated that they would not be selling any CBD-based supplements or food additives.
CBDFollow went to two of the Orange County, California locations. In both locations product was only available behind the checkout counter. When asked why product was behind the counter we were told because of "theft". One CVS location did have a CBD endcap display. However, a sign was placed on the empty display stating “Located up front at the register”. The brands behind the counter were: Charlotte’s Web, Strength of Hope, Sagely, Medterra, Curaleaf, PlusCBD Oil, Elevate and SELECT CBD. Product selection was limited to creams, lotions, sprays, roll-ons and patches. When asked specific questions about the strength, staff really did not know much about CBD and basically just read what was on the label.
Not to be outdone, Walgreens announced a few days later that they too will be carrying CBD products in 1,500 stores. Like CVS, Walgreens will limit their product offerings to topicals, sprays and patches. Walgreens will be selling CBD in 9 states: Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Walgreens currently has 9,560 locations throughout the U.S. and has not announced what brands it will be carrying.
As of now there are 67,000 pharmacies throughout the United States. CVS and Walgreens account for 29% of the market with 19,360 locations. Rite Aid and Walmart are 3rd and fourth with approximately 8,200 pharmacy locations between them. Although Walmart currently does not sell CBD in it’s stores, you can purchase CBD at Walmart.com. CBD products from Procanna and Medterra are sold and shipped by discount vitamin seller VitaSprings who is a partner through the Walmart Marketplace. CBD Products include: CBD tincture for humans, CBD tincture for pets, CBD soft gels, and there is even a disposable vape pen.
What’s all this mean for CBD? These are all positive signs of accepting CBD with a stamp of approval. As more mainstream stores start to carry CBD both the FDA and lawmakers will be forced to recognize the business of CBD and will have to clarify the regulations needed to put legal products on the shelves. The FDA announced plans for initial public hearings on CBD in April, hopefully we will learn more then and CBD will be on its way to legitimacy. Until then, yes, you can go into a drugstore and conveniently purchase a CBD topical. However, If you are looking to learn anything about CBD or you are looking for edibles or tinctures, then you should shop at a more specialized retailer. Trained staff can answer your questions and specialty retailers will have a wider variety of CBD products available.