Next time you pop into CVS, you might be surprised by what you'll find on its shelves. 

CVS Health just announced the sale of products containing a controversial ingredient in 800 stores across eight states. Starting this week, CVS will start selling topical cannabidiol products, such as CBD creams, sprays, and lotions.

CVS is the first major drugstore to carry them

CVS health spokesperson Mike DeAngelis said they're carrying hemp-derived CBD products to meet customers looking for alternative care options, according to NBC News. Hemp-derived CBD products have been promoted as pain relievers for conditions such as arthritis, inflammation, and muscle soreness.

It's something CVS believes their customers are looking for, CEO Larry Merlo said in an interview. He also said they're going to "walk slowly" towards rolling out CBD.

In many states, there's still a legal gray area surrounding CBD. CVS will only be selling these products in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. They'll sell topical products only, not any food products or supplements containing CBD. And they couldn't anyway, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD in food, drinks, or other edible health products.

Why CVS is betting big on CBD

Sick of hearing about CBD? Get used to it, because products containing cannabidiol aren't going away.

The Farm Bill passed in December 2018 removed hemp from the list of controlled substances. While this did not technically legalize hemp-derived CBD in all states, more companies such as CVS are betting big on it.

Brightfield Group, which studies the cannabis and CBD industries, projects that the CBD market will burgeon to $22 billion by 2022. "Everyone and their mother is starting a CBD line right now," Brightfield research director Bethany Gomez told Inc. last year. "It's absolutely a gold rush."

Published on: Mar 22, 2019
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