By: Joshua Waldrop
CVS, the largest drugstore chain in the United States, will sell CBD products in over 800 stores. According to the business journal MarketWatch, CVS said that it is currently selling CBD products in eight states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee. Recreational marijuana is legal in California and Colorado, medical marijuana is legal in Illinois and Maryland, but marijuana has not been legalized for either in the remaining four states.
The chain has partnered with cannabis powerhouse Curaleaf Holdings with plans to expand CBD-infused offerings on CVS shelves beyond Curaleaf Hemp lotions and transdermal patches to include topicals, sprays, roll-ons, and salves.
“We have partnered with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality,” a CVS spokesperson said to CNBC.
While the U.S. Farm Bill, signed into law at the end of last year, legalized CBD for most uses, the cannabidiol remains outlawed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a dietary supplement in food and beverages due to a technicality that states that substances already approved for use in pharmaceuticals cannot then be approved for general consumption. Prior to the proliferation of CBD as a popular and trendy additive, the cannabinoid had been approved as the main active ingredient in the Epidiolex, a drug prescribed for the treatment of seizures.
Last year, the agency recommended rescheduling of CBD to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency stating that the FDA had found that CBD “doesn’t meet criteria for federal control.” Departing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has since pledged the administration’s diligence in reevaluating their stance on CBD in light of evolving studies and loosening state and global regulations.
“We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer,” said Commissioner Gottlieb. “We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers…to market these types of products.”
In 2014, CVS became the first national drugstore chain to eliminate cigarettes from stores citing a commitment to customer health.