By: Joshua Waldrop
With full scale cannabis legalization seemingly all but inevitable retailers are jumping on board CBD and the latest to capitalize on the craze is The Vitamin Shoppe who announced this week that the addition of oral CBD soft gels to its shelves this week and the addition of CBD drops by the end of the month.
According to CNBC, Vitamin Shoppe will stock Irwin Naturals soft gels filled with full spectrum hemp CBD extract and will soon sell Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Broad Spectrum CBD Extract soft gels and liquid drops. These products will be available in 14 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“The customer relationship is the cornerstone of The Vitamin Shoppe’s reinvention, and our customers have told us loud and clear they want CBD,” said Vitamin Shoppe CEO Sharon Leite according to High Times. “Our goal at The Vitamin Shoppe is to be first to market with innovative, high-quality products, as well as provide our customers the education, guidance, and services essential to helping them live their best life, however they define it. These new product offerings are another example towards us fulfilling that promise.”
“We have more than 40 years of experience in the supplements industry, and we know our customers need a reliable place they can purchase products they desire and trust, including CBD hemp extract.”
The move comes soon after the three leading drugstore chains in the market, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, all announced the addition of CBD and CBD-infused products to its shelves.
Last month, CVS announced that it 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. Walgreens followed suit days later announcing it will carry CBD products in over 1,500 stores including creams, patches, and sprays and initially in the following states: Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Last week, Rite Aid announced that it will pilot CBD products in Washington and Oregon stores.
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.”
The FDA will hold an open forum in May to hear arguments and testimonies from industry leaders in an effort to reevaluate and reshape their regulations toward CBD.