CVS has launched goods infused with cannabidiol (CBD) at select stores in eight states, according to CNBC. The initial product lineup includes creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves, and is available in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee.
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that have used those products that, gee, it’s helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments,” said Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS in an interview with CNBC. “We’re going to walk slowly, but we think this is something customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering.”
The retailer won’t carry any supplements or food additives that contain CBD, as these are still banned under FDA regulations. However, the agency will hold its first public hearings on legalizing the additive in April, according to CNBC.
According to an A.T. Kearney survey, the vast majority of Americans are already aware of CBD’s benefits and would be willing to try products containing the compound, according to the findings.
“Our survey found that 82% of U.S. consumers are aware of the health and wellness benefits of CBD, which is a really staggering number,” said Randy Burt, Partner in the Consumer and Retail Practice at A.T. Kearney in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Additionally, 78% suggested they would try products with CBD. Those products could be functional foods and beverages, or they could be in personal care products. Based on that, I think consumer acceptance is higher than those that say they would try medicinal or recreational marijuana.”
CVS isn’t the only retailer entering the fledgling CBD market, although it is one of the first with a national store footprint:
- Recess, an e-Commerce CBD-infused drink retailer, opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City in February;
- Barneys New York will open a luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness shop called "The High End” inside its Beverly Hills, Calif. flagship store; and
- Mall operator Simon Property Group and cannabis company Green Growth Brands will open 108 shops featuring CBD-infused merchandise.
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