Add Kroger to the growing list of major national chains that sell products containing CBD, a hemp-derived but marijuana-derived hemp plant.
The huge supermarket retailer announced on Tuesday that it will start selling personal care products, mostly lotions and decoctions containing cannabinoids. Although no legal claims can be made about its use and effectiveness, advocates say it can help relieve stress, induce sleep, and generally relax you (without the mind-altering properties of marijuana).
Kroger will begin selling the products in 945 of its more than 2,700 stores operating under various brands, including Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, Smith’s and Harris Teeter, in addition to its eponymous brand. The program will be introduced in stores in 17 states by the end of June, the company said.
Kroger is just the newest major national retailer to start selling CBD products, following drug chains such as CVS, Walgreen and Rite Aid; specialty stores such as Barney’s, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC; and even convenience stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s.
The move was also followed by reports from the two major mall operators – Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties – that they have hired Green Growth Brands to open CBD stores in their malls this year. Simon’s agreement, announced in February, envisions 108 stores, while the deal with Brookfield, signed just this week, is for 70 seats by the end of the year.
The rapid CBD followed the passage last year of a so-called congressional farm bill that legalized hemp, the source of CBD. However, some local authorities continue to ban the substance and its use in food and beverages remains in question. Deployment of the Kroger product is limited to local applications and does not include anything that can be swallowed. He did not specify the brands he would sell.
It remains to be seen whether CBD will become an evergreen product or just a passing fad. There is little, if any, scientific evidence that he is doing any of the things his supporters claim, but in the meantime he remains a hot product for retailers in search of the latest and greatest.
To say that they have high prospects would be too obvious and no doubt illegal.