As consumers continue to show interest in cannabis products, mass retailers are embracing the products on a limited basis. CVS Pharmacy announced in March 2019 an agreement to sell Curaleaf topical CBD products in 800 of its stores across 10 states, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. Walgreens also announced at the end of March it will sell CBD products in cream, patch, and spray forms in 1,500 of its stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.
This is a big development for the consumer CBD market because, until now, the products have been sold in largely obscure places, such as CBD-specific websites, CBD stores, shopping malls, and kiosks. The entry of major drug store retailers with nationwide reach in the CBD market, albeit only offering these products in select test markets, could be a major boon for growing the market and helping to raise awareness and educate consumers on how to use these products.
However, the FDA was quick to weigh in after these market developments with the following statement made on April 2, 2019, by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, outgoing commissioner of the FDA:
“….today, the FDA is announcing a number of important new steps and actions to advance our consideration of a framework for the lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products under our existing authorities. These new steps include:
- A public hearing on May 31, as well as a broader opportunity for written public comment, for stakeholders to share their experiences and challenges with these products, including information and views related to product safety.
- The formation of a high-level internal agency working group to explore potential pathways for dietary supplements and/or conventional foods containing CBD to be lawfully marketed, including a consideration of what statutory or regulatory changes might be needed and what the impact of such marketing would be on the public health.
- Updates to our webpage with answers to frequently asked questions on this topic to help members of the public understand how the FDA’s requirements apply to these products.
- The issuance of multiple warning letters to companies marketing CBD products with egregious and unfounded claims that are aimed at vulnerable populations.”
The back-and-forth between consumers, retailers, and marketers with the FDA on consumer CBD products is likely to continue for some time as this market is developed.
In March 2019, Kline & Company published Consumer CBD Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities, which is based on extensive primary research with industry, regulators, and consumers. This report is a comprehensive qualitative analysis of consumer use CBD health and beauty products, regulatory and legal status, currently available products, marketing channels, and outlook for CBD-based products. CBD is a key ingredient with multiple claims and can be found in everything from lip balms and mascaras to pain relievers and dietary supplements. This report helps subscribers to:
- Assess this dynamic market that is poised for strong growth
- Understand the legal and regulatory barriers that exist
- Analyze consumer attitudes and perceptions about CBD products
- Evaluate claims being made and product forms available
- Learn about business opportunities and how to capitalize on this burgeoning space
- Prepare for the potential threats to existing brands
- Examine markets outside the United States and how foreign cannabis markets behave where CBD is legal
- Make predictions about the CBD market in the United States
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