By: Joshua Waldrop
Rite Aid, the nation’s third largest drugstore chain, announced that it will pilot CBD products in Washington and Oregon stores, according to a report in USA Today. The move follows industry leaders Walgreens and CVS both of whom announced plans to carry CBD products earlier this year.
“We’ve heard from many customers about their interest in purchasing CBD products,” said Rite Aid CEO Bryan Everett.
The chain will start selling CBD creams, lotions, and lip balms in over 200 stores, reports CNBC. Everett also announced that Rite Aid will remove e-cigarettes and vaping products from all stores, but stopped short of following CVS in extending the ban to traditional cigarettes.
Earlier this year, CVS, the largest drugstore chain in the United States, announced that they 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.
Less than a week later, Walgreens, the nation’s second largest drugstore chain announced that it will carry CBD products in over 1,500 stores, according to a report by CNBC. The chain’s CBD product offerings will include creams, patches, and sprays and initially in the following states: Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
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.”
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@riteaid is on board with #cbd ! The chain announced that they will carry an array of products in Washington & Oregon to test the market. Also doing away with ecigs & vape products. #cbdlife is everywhere! . . . . . #drugstore #drugstoreproducts #walgreens #cvs #cbdoil #topical #cbdcream #cbdlotion #healthandwellness