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American pharmacy retailer Walgreens confirmed to the market that it will start selling novelty cannabidiol (CBD) products, spokesman Brian Faith told CNBC on Wednesday (March 27).
Faith said the products align with the retailer’s efforts to offer “health and wellbeing products and services.”
Close to 1,500 stores across Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana will serve as the launch sites for sales of CBD creams, patches and sprays.
The pharmacy is part of a larger holdings company, Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA). Walgreens did not disclose which specific brands it will start selling.
This move is seen as a response to competitor CVS Pharmacy (NYSE:CVS).
CVS told Bloomberg that it has commenced sales of creams, sprays and lotions in eight states. However, no supplements or food additives with CBD are being considered for sale.
As part of its 2018 year-end financial conference call, Curaleaf Holdings (CSE:CURA,OTCQX:CURLF) announced on March 20 that its hemp-derived CBD brand will be sold in 800 CVS stores. The launch is confirmed for 10 states.
“I think that, in anticipation of the farm bill last year, many retailers were trying to come to a strategy for how they were going to address hemp,” Joseph Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf, said during a call with investors and analysts.
The CBD ingredient has received a boost thanks to the legalization of hemp. Multiple products in the health and wellness market have adopted the cannabis-based component.
Neal Gilmer, cannabis analyst with Haywood Securities, previously told the Investing News Network that his bullish sentiment on the CBD market is due to the anecdotal information getting through to consumers.
Several multi-state operators in the public space have confirmed intentions of launching CBD-focused brands.
In addition, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) announced an expansion in New York state for the production of similar hemp-derived products. The Canadian firm also secured a partnership with Martha Stewart for the launch of CBD brands.
The excitement for this market has even accelerated beyond health regulators. Questions remain on the regulation of products making false claims and other CBD-related novelty products sold online.
In a weekly email newsletter to investors, Alan Brochstein, cannabis analyst with 420 Investor, said uncertainty stemming from US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s retirement and lack of clarity from federal powers have led to “the status of hemp and CBD at the state level [being] in disarray.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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