CVS Starts Selling Topical CBD Products

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CVS Health Corporation, one of the biggest drugstore chains, has started selling CBD products, a source said in March 2019. This comes after the company signed a deal with U.S cannabis retailer Curaleaf Holdings Inc. formalizing its rights to sell CBD products in eight states. The CBD products at CVS include creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves.

“We have partnered with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality,” a CVS spokesperson said in an email further adding that they are not selling any CBD-containing supplements or food additives.

This development comes after the US Food and Drug Administration approved a CBD-based drug, Epidiolex. The FDA has said that adding the chemical to food and health products is illegal. With this, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb hinted that the FDA may formulate ways to change this system in the future.

States, where CVS distributes cannabidiol, include Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. Aside from California (which has previously legalized recreational marijuana) and Colorado, Illinois, and Maryland (which gives a go signal for medical marijuana), all other states have not come up with laws legalizing the substance.

Curaleaf gives particular emphasis to its Curaleaf Hemp lotions and transdermal patches, which will be distributed to about 800 stores across 10 states in the US. This product together with other Curaleaf products will officially be available in CVS stores. One can also order these products from the CVS website.

Curaleaf Chief Executive Officer Joseph Lusardi announced that the company is making efforts to expand their market and has tried to tap national retailers and partners.

“We’ve been having dialogue with national retailers for many months now. We’ve got a number of potentially exciting partnerships in the pipeline,” Lusardi said.

Despite being legalized in some states in the US, Cannabidiol (CBD) is still met a lot controversy and disapproval. Concerns about which products have been given approval by the FDA are still to be resolved and identified.

“The other CBD products currently being sold are not FDA approved and generally unregulated, Dr. Deepak D’Souza, staff psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine explained.

Dr. Souza further warned the public that CBD products may contain different amounts of CBD and thus a conclusion on their effects are difficult to establish.

Currently, The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has lauded CBD’s positive effects in reducing seizures and other medical conditions. Also, the agency found out that the medical and recreational use of CBD did not cause any health related problems.

CBD can be found in gummies, skin creams, vape oils and oral drops. Notable companies selling CBD products include InCann, a New Haven-based company which offers CBD products said to be derived from organically grown Colorado hemp. These products are said to have “full spectrum of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoid, for maximum efficacy.”

Mago Green, created by Shirley Clark, is also famous for its cannabinoid-infused massage cream which contains 150 milligrams of CBD.

US HempCare has been in the market since 2015. It is said to have its products tested by third-party labs to make sure that they do not contain contaminants and cannabinoids.

On Wednesday this week, Curaleaf experienced widening net losses of $16.5 million, or 4 cents a share compared to its revenues and profits a year ago. Last year, its revenues rose up to $32 million from $6.3 million. This exclude revenues from managed entities.

Meanwhile, CVS shares went down less than 0.1% in extended trading after the news that it will be distributing topical Curaleaf products.