Strange Bedfellows: Surprising Retailers Getting into the CBD Game
Cannabis is ditching its stigma and becoming a mainstream product before our eyes. Here is a look at some well-known retailers who are starting to sell CBD-based products.
Unless you’ve been living in the bush for the past several years, you’re probably well versed in one of the largest cultural and political shifts of our lifetime - the Green Rush.
Cannabis, which was once cast aside and categorized as a product meant for long-haired couch surfers, has officially emerged as a mainstream product, one that is favored by 66 percent of adults and legalized medicinally in 33 states, 10 of which are able to sell it recreationally.
Now that the negative stigma has been lifted and the overall public perception of cannabis has positively changed with the times, we’re seeing a big rise in ingenuity when it comes to how the product is being manufactured and used. Derivative products such as oils, lotions, edibles, and cannabis-infused beverages are popping up left and right, and these products’ rising fame goes hand-in-hand with the rising popularity of CBD.
What exactly is CBD? Marijuana contains many different types of cannabinoids, but the two main ones are:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): The psychoactive component that results in a “high”
- Cannabidiol (CBD): The non-psychoactive or “high-inducing” component famous for its supposed medical benefits
The novelty and myriad of health benefits associated with CBD are more than enough to combat those of traditional prescribed medications, and some non-assuming, big-name retailers have taken notice. Now that hemp and hemp-based products are now legal (thanks to the passage of the Farm Bill in December), these retailers are doing what they can to capitalize on it.
Here is a list of some of the more well-known retailers that are incorporating CBD into their repertoire:
Major drugstores: Rite Aid, Walgreens, & CVS
In an effort to provide a broader array of health and wellbeing products, these major drugstore chains have announced their plans to introduce cannabis-based products into various stores located in states where it is legal to do so. Soon, CBD-infused lotions, creams, and lip balms will be stocked on their shelves for our buying pleasure.
This one might surprise you, but Designer Brands, otherwise known as DSW, is partnering with Green Growth Brands to carry a line of CBD-infused topical creams like body lotions and muscle balms in 96 US stores. The concept was originally tested over a 10-week period in 10 stores, but with a 74 percent sell rate, the partnership was quickly expanded.
Perhaps less surprising, Urban Outfitters is also jumping on the CBD train. The edgy lifestyle retailer and CBD For Life have collaborated to bring CBD For Life products into six initial Urban Outfitters locations, as well as its e-commerce platform. Their website also features CBD-based beauty and wellness products from an assortment of other CBD brands.
This beauty and cosmetics haven announced plans to carry its very own CBD skin-care brand in March of 2019. These products, which will be a blend of CBD and manuka, a type of honey produced by the pollicization of Manuka trees, will range from $9 to $58 and will be made available in most of their stores.
Luxury retailers: Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus
If you want proof that the cannabis stigma is being lifted, then take a look at these two luxury retailers. In addition to CDB-infused products, Barneys New York will be selling hand-blown glass bongs and other cannabis accessories in a lavish cannabis store located in their flagship location in Beverly Hills. Neiman Marcus has also announced that they will be carrying CBD products in five locations, as well as online.
While nothing is official, word on the street is that Starbucks has plans to incorporate CDB-infused drinks into their famous menu of coffee concoctions. While it’s not likely that these plans will be executed anytime soon, especially since the FDA has yet to approve CBD as a food additive in all states, they are keeping their finger on the pulse of the CBD trend and will most likely be ready launch their infused beverages when the day comes. Until then, people looking for CBD-spiked coffee can either add their own tinctures or brew their cup-of-joe with CBD-infused coffee beans. Thank you, Willie Nelson.
Although the trend of normalizing CBD products is on a fast-moving trajectory, there are still several big-name retailers that are choosing to take it slow. For example, Target, who actually sold hemp extract products on its website at one point, has since removed them for further monitoring of the landscape. Amazon, the seller of all things, has also said publicly that they will not be offering CBD-based products, and Walmart has said the same.
In any event, the cannabis train is only picking up momentum. Keep your eyes peeled for more retailers announcing their foray into the industry … you never know who will jump on board next.
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