Leading drug store chain Rite Aid has joined competitors CVS and Walgreens in launching CBD products in select stores.
The pharmacy chain made the announcement on Thursday, stating it would add creams, lotions, and lip balms containing the cannabidiol to more than 200 stores in Washington state and Oregon later this month.
CVS was the first drug store chain to announce a move into the emergent CBD market last month. Walgreens soon followed suit. Earlier this week Target also announced it would begin selling deodorants from Unilever brand Schmidt's that contain CBD later this year.
“Rite Aid has heard from many customers about their interest in purchasing CBD products,” the company said in a statement.
CBD is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis and hemp products connected to reduced inflammation, relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders such as insomnia. The compound is also being studied for its potential effects in reducing seizures in people with epilepsy and other conditions.
CBD is now legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but regulators are still struggling to define legislation on its use. Because it's found in both hemp and THC-containing marijuana plants, it's proving difficult to regulate expose to THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high.
The FDA says it's pulling together an expert panel to help craft legislation for CBD-containing products.
The move comes as Rite Aid is looking to boost its healthy image by phasing out e-cigarettes from its stores.
Chief Operating Officer Bryan Everett called in an "epidemic," but says the chain will still sell traditional cigarettes for the time being.
“While many feel [e-cigarettes] are beneficial to those of legal age who are trying to quit the use of tobacco, we have made the decision to remove all electronic cigarettes and vaping products from our offering at all Rite Aid stores,” Everett said.
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