The CBD expansion rolls on: Kroger will roll out cannabidiol topical products within 945 stores in 17 states before the end of June. The supermarket chain will sell hemp-derived CBD items such as lotions, balms, oils and creams, with the rollout beginning on the West Coast.
The move comes shortly after cannabis retail company Green Growth Brands (GGB) revealed it would open 70+ shops selling CBD-infused products in Brookfield Properties shopping centers throughout the U.S. Currently, there are seven GGB shops already operating within the Brookfield Properties’ portfolio. In total, GGB anticipates expanding its physical footprint to approximately 280 total locations by the end of 2019.
Both Kroger and GGB are capitalizing quickly on the growth of CBD, which has the potential to become a $22 billion industry by 2022, according to cannabis-focused research firm Brightfield Group.
Many other retailers are getting in on the CBD craze. GGB sells its Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy brand through an e-Commerce site and in 96 DSW stores. Drugstores including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, as well as health supplements retailers Vitamin Shoppe and GNC, have introduced CBD products to stores in a handful of states. Barneys New York opened a “cannabis lifestyle shop” in its Beverly Hills store called “The High End,” selling exclusive vaporizer pens and pastilles. Recess, which sells CBD-infused beverages online, opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City in February.
The increasingly popular CBD compound — unlike the cannabis plant that it derives from — is legal to sell, except as part of a food or beverage product. The compound also cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement under current law.
Retailers still have questions about their ability to sell CBD products, and even their safety for use and consumption. Peter Matz, Food and Health Policy Director at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), urged the FDA at a hearing to act swiftly to provide retailers with more clarity and create a pathway for the “legal and appropriate sale” of hemp and hemp-derived products.
GGB has already committed to opening 108 Seventh Sense shops within Simon Malls across the U.S. Under the partnership, GGB can open additional Seventh Senseshopsfor CBD-infused body care. In addition, GGB is further expanding its chain of CBD-infused personal care product shops with a new prestige brand called Green Lily; four Green Lily locations will open in Brookfield Properties shopping centers.