As the CBD industry continues to thrive, we see the advent of more players entering the space. From unique product offerings and verticals to big-box retailers, all sides of the equation are beginning to point towards a very large and budding CBD industry. As of recent, massive retailer, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has been busy getting ready for the day that they can sell CBD. Reporters at The Post have been in communication with the executives of these major chains, including the executives at Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT), who have also been reportedly meeting with CBD product manufactures.
Many of these big-box chains are quietly looking into drinks, gummy bears, topical creams and oils that are infused with Cannabidiol, or CBD. These seem to be the most popular product verticals among the masses and the more highly applicable. As an active ingredient without any psychoactive effects, chains like Walmart are excited to be able to offer other products that can relieve stress, anxiety or dull pain symptoms. Large supermarket chains such as Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Safeway in the U.S. are also requesting samples of CBD products along with any up-to-date lab results and current health studies.
Despite the rosy outlook, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has continued to say that it is very illegal to mix food and beverage with CBD or THC. It is also illegal to transport these ingredients over state lines. “Like many companies, we know there is consumer interest in CBD products, and the conversation is evolving quickly,” a Target spokesperson said. “We’re following the discussion, but currently don’t have any immediate plans to carry them.”
Brand manager Christian Graversen of California-based company CBDfx, a 6-year-old company that makes more than 50 CBD-infused products, also thinks the future is in CBD. Graversen believes that major retailers are hoping for a piece of the exploding industry, as prices will remain high for these products for quite some time. There have been 8 packs of gummies being sold for over $10 – and consumers will pay a premium for products that can help treat symptoms that come with acute arthritis, ADHD and many other medical conditions.
“The major retailers are designing shelves, laying out space where CBD products will sit in their stores, but they aren’t buying any product yet,” said Michael Kirban, chief executive of Vita Coco. “We do not have plans to carry CBD products at this time,” Walmart said in a statement, declining to elaborate on its CBD strategy.
Walmart and Target aren’t the only big-box retailers looking to get in on the action. Just last month CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) announced their plans to sell CBD products in the near future. Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD), GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC), and The Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (NYSE: VSI) also made their intentions to sell CBD products public.
For now, we will have to wait and see how regulations continue to unfold, but it doesn’t seem that the big-box retailers can hide their buying strategies for too long, even if they continue to deny it publicly.
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