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HBC products, not groceries Kroger announced it will sell topical products ike lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD in 945 locations in 17 states.

Kroger to Sell CBD Products at Stores in 17 States

The Kroger Co. is adding cannabidiol, or CBD, products to its lineup at 945 stores across 17 states. The products containing this hemp-derived compound are in the health and beauty care department.

“Like many retailers, we are starting to offer our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,” a Kroger spokeswoman said in a statement to CNBC.

For the time being, Kroger will stay away from edible or ingestible CBD products as regulatory challenges persist. The Food and Drug Administration recently had a public hearing on the topic of whether or not to create a legal pathway for cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.

Kroger will begin selling the topical CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Kroger is not the first grocer to put CBD and hemp products on the shelves. New York metro area grocer Fairway Market introduced its own line under the Fairway Essential Wellness brand in January, and St. Louis-based grocer Dierbergs Markets announced its rolling out CBD products last week.

Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, employing nearly half a million associates. The retailer landed the No. 2 spot of Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of top grocers.

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Kroger to Begin Selling CBD Products in 17 States

Kroger announced it will sell topical CBD products derived from hemp in 945 locations in 17 states. The nation’s largest grocery retailer joins a growing list of national retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC, that are beginning to stock shelves with the cannabis compound.

The Cincinnati-based grocery store chain this week is introducing topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD, according to The Detroit News.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds, called cannabinoids, found in cannabis sativa. It is extracted from the hemp variety, which has no or only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that produces the mind-altering “high” associated with marijuana.

“CBD is a naturally-occurring and non-intoxicating compound that has promising benefits and is permitted within federal and state regulations. Our limited selection of hemp-derived CBD topical products is from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety,” Kroger said in a statement.

The 2018 Farm Bill lifted longtime restrictions on hemp, meaning that hemp would no longer be regulated as a controlled substance. The hemp industry saw this as a green-light to move ahead in promoting CBD products.

Nearly 7 percent of Americans say they use CBD products, which is higher than the 4.2 percent who use e-cigarettes. The hemp-derived CBD market will grow from a $390 million-dollar market in 2018, to a $1.3 billion market (or 3.3x) by 2022, representing a 27.2% 5-year CAGR, according to a study by New Frontier.

But the Food and Drugs Administration reacted and make it clear that it has regulatory authority over CBD. The agency has said, for example, that cannabidiol products cannot be sold as dietary supplements or add it to food. During the first hearing on CBD products conducted by the FDA at the end of May, acting Commissioner Norman Sharpless said despite the popularity of many CBD products, answers to many questions on the safety for consumers are still unknown.

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The grocery store chain will sell the CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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