Kroger to Begin Selling CBD Products in 17 States

Kroger announced it will sell topical CBD products derived from hemp in 945 locations in 17 states. The nation’s largest grocery retailer joins a growing list of national retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC, that are beginning to stock shelves with the cannabis compound.

The Cincinnati-based grocery store chain this week is introducing topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD, according to The Detroit News.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds, called cannabinoids, found in cannabis sativa. It is extracted from the hemp variety, which has no or only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that produces the mind-altering “high” associated with marijuana.

“CBD is a naturally-occurring and non-intoxicating compound that has promising benefits and is permitted within federal and state regulations. Our limited selection of hemp-derived CBD topical products is from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety,” Kroger said in a statement.

The 2018 Farm Bill lifted longtime restrictions on hemp, meaning that hemp would no longer be regulated as a controlled substance. The hemp industry saw this as a green-light to move ahead in promoting CBD products.

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Nearly 7 percent of Americans say they use CBD products, which is higher than the 4.2 percent who use e-cigarettes. The hemp-derived CBD market will grow from a $390 million-dollar market in 2018, to a $1.3 billion market (or 3.3x) by 2022, representing a 27.2% 5-year CAGR, according to a study by New Frontier.

But the Food and Drugs Administration reacted and make it clear that it has regulatory authority over CBD. The agency has said, for example, that cannabidiol products cannot be sold as dietary supplements or add it to food. During the first hearing on CBD products conducted by the FDA at the end of May, acting Commissioner Norman Sharpless said despite the popularity of many CBD products, answers to many questions on the safety for consumers are still unknown.

The grocery store chain will sell the CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.